Thursday, June 28, 2007

Game 77: What a &%#!ing Waste

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 1, Seattle Mariners 2

Eight innings of high-quality dominance from Matsuzaka and no one could string together enough hits to score one measly additional run? I would have happily taken a blow-out on Tuesday in exchange for more run support yesterday; I could have gone to bed earlier one night and had the satisfaction of seeing at least one win in the deadly confines of Safeco. Instead, this pile of BS: eleven men left on base, six men stranded in scoring position and not a single run knocked in without surrendering an out. Eleven innings of excellent pitching, ending on a walk and a double and Ichiro's speedy legs, the end of the best road record in the MLB and a sweep to boot...hell, it makes me want to boot.

What's even worse is that, like the fight-loving gentleman Robin and I met at the Hairy Monk a couple of years ago, the Red Sox brought this loss upon themselves: two straight nights of starting pitcher weakness, culminating in complete bullpen drain that couldn't keep things scoreless long enough for the offense to pull the stick out and do some damage. It's a little incongruous: the Sox possess (by half a game) the best record in baseball and Seattle...well, they're doing pretty well this year, but they wouldn't lead a division in the NL, let alone pull out the domination switch. For Boston to win at least one game a series, even on the road, doesn't seem like a complete impossibility.

Being a curious, scientifically-minded person, I decided to see if there's any sort of historical basis for this level of suckitude. As it turns out, it's been a particularly lopsided century for Boston/Seattle matchups: Boston has won the season series twice (2003 and 2004), tied it once (2005) and lost every other year. Team ERA during those years: except for two years, consistently above 4.00. When Boston plays Safeco (six games a year, half the time - the scheduling gods are not kind), the numbers get even worse: one tie (2005 again) and six losses. With all of this consistent butt-kicking, I think it's time to paraphrase Pedro: "They beat [us]. They're that good right now. They're that hot. [We] just tip [our] hat[s] and call the [Mariners our] daddy." I just hope the Sox find a way to turn the tables next year.