Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Game 50: Kneel Before Toronto

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 5, Toronto Blue Jays 8

Now batting AND pitching for Toronto: General Zod

I don’t get it. The Blue Jays might as well go and claim ownership of the Sox now and we can just surrender the rest of the games and save ourselves the effort of watching. I’ll use the time off to improve my cribbage game, or learn how to darn socks, or maybe, just maybe, take up that octraventral heebiephone I’ve heard so much about. How bad is it for Boston when facing Toronto? Oh, it’s bad. Real bad.

Out of the ten games the Sox and Jays have played this year, Toronto has won seven. That’s a .700 winning percentage for a team that’s seven games over .500 overall. The three games Boston won were against Josh Towers, who’s now back in the minors. The Jays have four regular players (Reed Johnson, Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and Bengie Molina) whose OPS scores are over 1.000 when facing Boston – and those scores go up an average of about 250 points, too. I’m sure this is how Baltimore fans feel about the Red Sox right now after we’ve beaten the pants off them so many times in 2006, but Boston is supposed to be a better team than Baltimore…so why this odd roadblock against the Canadians?

I find myself blaming the Rogers Centre for the problem. ‘Stupid dome,’ I think. ‘Stupid Astroturf that does weird things to rolling balls.’ ‘Stupid lack of wind that doesn’t push fly balls into the seats (that happened a lot tonight; the Sox hit several long outs or foul balls, while Troy Glaus and Vernon Wells combined for five home runs, four off of Beckett, two back-to-back in the first. Go figure).’ Is it a scientific hunch, an educated guess? Not hardly – try more like the desperate graspings of a fan trying to figure out why his team is getting 0wn3d so badly. In any case, I’m almost prepared to write tomorrow off entirely: the Jays have Ted “I wish they all could be Boston Red Sox” Lilly and the Sox have David Pauley, who came to Boston in the Dave Roberts trade at the end of 2004 (Remember that? No, me neither – Robin had to remind me) and who, although he’s done well for Portland, hasn’t pitched a game above Double A. Ah, desperation, your tangy stench fills the nostrils and warms the cockles of the heart so well. Francona says, “he’s been throwing the ball pretty well;” I say I hope Willie Harris isn’t out on the mound throwing pitches by the sixth inning. GO SOX!!!