Monday, July 12, 2004

Games 84 - 86

Final Scores:

Game 84: Boston Red Sox 7, Texas Rangers 0
Game 85: Boston Red Sox 14, Texas Rangers 6
Game 86: Boston Red Sox 5, Texas Rangers 6

Losing that third game is always that much more bitter when the Yankees win the same day. Especially when it's right before the All Star Game and you've won the previous five after a horrendous slump. I hold myself partially responsible - going off to play a game of Battlefleet Gothic (yes, I'm an enormous dork - I do realize this) with Micah, trusting that the Sox could win after their rally in the seventh. I'm told the pickoff of Pokey Reese from first was BS, but there was a certain lack of energy in the air yesterday that made it feel like the boys just weren't playing right. Wakefield's knuckleball didn't dance for the first time in three games, errors were made, hits weren't gotten, etc. Bad day all around. But that game was preceded by Arroyo's magnificent shutout victory on Friday and Lowe's surprising performance on Saturday, where six unearned runs not only did not stop the offense, but more importantly did not bring out Lowe', * so the positive, in this case, shines through like a car's high beams.

So, what have we learned from this homestand? First, the season sure as hell ain't over by a long shot. Sure, the Sox are seven games behind New York, but after beating up Oakland last week, they are first in the Wildcard. Will miracles never cease. Sure, we could hope that this year would be the first time in nine years that the Sox finish in first in the AL East and they still may, but at least there's the Wildcard consolation. Second, Johnny Damon is a golden god. Third, having Bill Mueller batting eighth or ninth is like having a second heart in the lineup. Fourth, no one on this team is beyond hope quite yet. It has been and will be difficult to remember to remember that, but it's fortunately still true.

Finally, I have to make my comment on the All Star Game. I have been against the All Star Game since 2002, when I learned about the roster selection powers given to each team's manager, the ridiculousness of the vote early and often policy espoused by MLB for player selection and the inanity that is FOX All Star Game coverage. Actually, scratch that - all FOX coverage. In general. Except for the Simpsons. Anyway, hatred of FOX aside, I watched Ichiro hit an infield hit and tear down the line to first base (man, that was fast) in 2002 and have not watched since...nor do I plan to this year. Bring on the second half, I say. YANKEES SUCK!

* - Derek Lowe said last week in a press conference that he was not a head case, despite the popular perception. Unfortunately, I missed putting the link up before it disappeared from the article listing on, but basically he challenged the press to tell him how he screwed up. Apparently whatever he heard or just the action of talking about it in public was enough to keep him together on Saturday. Bravo.