Friday, July 06, 2007

Game 85: The Evening After

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 2, Detroit Tigers 9

One thing I've noticed about blowouts is that unless the offense delivering the beating - a.k.a The Beater - is "go get a bucket of water they're burning up" hot (a standard of offensive prowess measured not in wins, but in sweeps, plural), they'll always come back to Earth in the worst way the next day. We're talking full on post-beating hangover, with a couple of runs scored if you're lucky. In fact, if The Beater is really unlucky, they'll immediately go into a four or five game slump because they're so worn out from punishing The Beatee.
A sidebar: determining the crossing-over point from offensive explosion to blowout seems to be something in the range of a ten run advantage, where The Beater's starting pitcher goes six or seven (or more) innings without surrendering more than a few runs. Number of at-bats might also be a factor; if The Beaters come to the plate five times and start sending in the scrubs in the seventh inning, you know a blowout is taking place.

The Sox suffered the expected post-blowout hangover today, coming up wretched against the Tigers right from the start. Tavarez went from the crazy-eyed psycho with the surprisingly low (for a fifth starter) ERA of 3.48 over ten starts to a shell of man shelled for eight runs (including a grand slam to Marcus Thames) over four and two-thirds. My guess is that Comerica Park doesn't have a clubhouse conducive to blood sacrifice and JT Killer missed his regular "contribution" to the baseball gods.

Meanwhile, the already tired offense went into a bit of a super scrub mode. With Papi benched (but only for tonight; he has to make sure Manny gets to San Fran) and Youkilis in some kind of quadriceps limbo, Francona did the lineup shuffle, mixing in career minor leaguer Jeff Bailey (Jeff who?) to play first in place of the (now) over-worked Hinske. Bailey, described by Francona as someone who "looked to me like he could hit someone who’s throwing decent" ("You're gonna like him. He's a good kid.) turned out to be just as stymied by Tigers rookie Andrew Miller (Andrew who?) as the rest of the crew, but he's got working-class hero vibe written all over him, so the papers love his story. I have no doubt we'll hear all about the virtues of never giving up on your dreams over the next two games and then, unless he hits something fierce, we'll probably never hear of Bailey again.

Anywho, moral of the story: you always pay the Piper for a blowout, Detroit needed to win this game far more than Boston needed to avoid losing it, everyone's in break mode and we'll now be lucky to win one game this weekend. Go Sox!