Thursday, July 19, 2007


The Red Sox lost (again) after out hitting an opponent (again), lost ground in the standings (again, though this time to Toronto), and just generally sucked (again) last night. In the last five years a two run lead hasn't seemed so daunting, but this year it may as well be climbing the frigg'n Matterhorn. It doesn't seem to matter how many hits the Red Sox had (10) or how many walks they got (2) because it just doesn't translate to runs scored.

Of course, it helps when all ten hits are singles. When attempting to avoid scoring, its further helpful if you don't start off innings with base runners. When a runner gets on to start the inning there is a better than 50/50 shot to score in that inning. How many times did the Red Sox lead off an inning with a hit? Answer: two out of nine (both of their runs came in one of those).

It seemed the Red Sox had runners on all the time, but couldn't ever get the big hit. How many times have I written that damn sentence in the past few weeks, eh? Upon checking the numbers, it didn't just seem so, it actually was that way. How many times did the Sox get two runners on and still fail to score? If you're curious, for this game it was three.

The Red Sox seem to have mastered getting as little as possible from their potential, and thus causing me to repeatedly punch the pillows of my couch. For no reason other than I was/am pissed off, I cataloged some of these instances. Enjoy:

1) Ortiz hit one right on the screws that was caught by a lumbering Dye in right field. A couple feet in either direction and Ortiz has a double.
Ortiz hit one right on the screws that was caught by a lumbering Dye in right field. A couple feet in either direction and Ortiz has a double. (No thats not a mistake, he actually did it twice.)
3) Dye took a homer or double (hard to tell which on replay) away from Jason Varitek in the bottom of the sixth down by the Pesky Pole.
4) Dye had to take only two steps in to catch Julio Lugo's screaming liner with a runner on to end the sixth.
5) Manny Ramirez absolutely crushed one into the triangle that Jerry Owens, the Chicago center fielder, caught against the edge of the bullpen fence over 400 feet away. This happened with two on in the seventh.

The Sox offensive woes were further exacerbated by the second mediocre (meaning "bad") start in a row for Daisuke Matsuzaka. He gave up only two hits and struck out six but walked six, including three in a row in the sixth inning. At one point Matsuzaka threw eight straight balls to walk two consecutive batters and load the bases. In doing so he effectively handed the lead to the White Sox, completely undid all the great work he did in innings two through five, and lost the game.

The bewildering thing about Matsuzaka is that when he is on he is incredible, but without warning and at a moments notice, his control disappears into the ether and he becomes incapable of throwing any pitch for a strike. Only in a Matsuzaka start could the Sox out-hit their opponent 8-3 and still be losing 3-2 when Matsuzaka left the game.

About the only bright spot was Manny Delcarmen, who continued his stellar relief work by cleaning up Matsuzaka's mess in the sixth. Entering with runners on first and second and no outs, My Man Manny K'd Jermaine Dye, got Josh Fields to ground out to Lowell (who threw home to force Konerko) and then got Juan Uribe to pop out to Julio Lugo to end the inning. He left having allowed no runs or inherited runners to score. Thats some quality relief work. If only the guy could hit, huh?

It was all for nothing as the Sox lost anyway. In the final indignity, my went out with two down in the ninth and I had to switch over to gamecast
to find out that Dustin Pedroia popped out to third to complete the Going Out Like Wussies 1-2-3 Ninth (Again) [GOLW123N(A), copyright 2007 Boston Red Sox].

I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty f'n tired of this.

AL East: Toronto ended the Yankees five game win streak, 3-2 and Tampa lost to Anaheim, 3-0. Baltimore was off. The Red Sox lead the Yankees by 7.0 games, the Blue Jays by 10.0 games, and Baltimore and Tampa by way too much and a staggering amount, respectively.

Tomorrow (Friday): Boston plays game two of four against the White Sox. In a match-up that overwhelmingly favors Boston
(and that can't be good), Jose Conteras pitches against Josh Beckett at 7:05pm EST.


This could be the immense frustration talking, but I'm starting to think that a trade for the sake of change might be a good idea. Off the top of my head I have no idea who should go or for what, all I know is the status quo clearly isn't working. Maybe things will seem better in the morning, but I doubt it.

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