Monday, September 19, 2005

Game 150: Children Of The Damned

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 7, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8

“Woe to you, O Earth and Sea, for the Devil sends the Beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short. Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the Beast, for it is a human number. It’s number is fifty-six.”
- With apologies to Iron Maiden

Craig Hansen will get you out

The highlight of night: Craig Hansen’s debut, a 1-2-3 inning with two strike outs and a pop-up. Hansen, whose fastball and hard off-speed pitches ranged between 88 and 97 miles per hour, has a weird release point that makes him look like he’s tossing the ball in a backyard game of catch instead zipping it by batters in a major league ballpark.

Other than some of the standard-fare Big Papi heroics (two run double and a solo home run in the ninth) and a quick manufactured run to the start the game, there wasn’t much to recommend the Red Sox performance this evening. Boomer lasted 2 and 2/3rds innings, victim of his own failings and a Francona hook after the Rays scored 4 runs. Harville added a run in the fourth, Papelbon two more in the sixth when a curve failed to curve and ended up over the left field wall and Bradford another in the eighth – but then again, Francona was misusing him again. Basically, with the exception of Hansen and Myers, every time the offense made a step forward, the pitching just moved the final goal a little further out of reach…and every time the offense tried to mount a rally, they fell short of taking the lead – grounding into double plays (3), striking out (5, including Manny’s to end the game), playing Edgar Renteria (1 for 4, 2 men LOB, plus another error)…

Meanwhile, in New York, Baltimore had a 2 – 0 lead going, then blew it to tie the game, then lost on the unkindliest cut of all, a walk-off home run to Bubba Crosby. But hey, cutting the first place lead to half a game will definitely inspire heroics from the exhausted and battered Red Sox, so close and yet so far from their Thursday day off. Thank, Bud Selig, for forcing them to play this 30 game stretch so late in the year. We all appreciate it. I know Robin, who's probably stalking around his apartment right now with murder in his eye and hot rage in his heart, would probably love to burn you in effigy, especially if this year's post-season starts without Boston as a participant.

Schilling tomorrow against Seth McClung. Will we get the Schilling who beat down the Yankees, or the Schilling who was beaten down by Oakland? Only time and the possibility of falling out of first place will tell. GO SOX!!!