Friday, August 10, 2007

Game 115: The Umpire Giveth With One Hand and Taketh Away With the Other

Boston Red Sox 5, Baltimore Orioles 6

...and then Eric Gagne gives it back like a five dollar hooker during Fleet Week. I was a little wary of Gagne already because (unlike Robin) I did not watch the end of the Wednesday's game, which means I have yet to see a post-trade Gagne appearance where he did not give up a run. After tonight, though, I think we can call the honeymoon over; the Second Coming our newest pitching arm is not.

For a second, here's the rational part of me thinking: this loss was a betrayal of trust. That's a bit bothersome in its own way, because there's absolutely no rational reason for a fan to put trust in his team, but you follow a sport closely enough and you expect certain outcomes. Sure, Gagne had a particularly bad night, but he happened to have it on a really bad night for failure; the time we when fans needed that trust reinforced as much as possible. In addition, because Gagne's new and unproven with this club, he gets the brunt of a blame he should probably share with Okajima.

Ok, rationalization over. I can't believe we lost. I was ready to declare this game over and done by the seventh. Bedard was dealing; he had one sketchy inning that he escaped from thanks to home plate umpire CB "My Strike Zone is Shaped Like an Amoeba" Bucknor and a poorly-placed ground ball. Dice-K pitched great, but the team had the one run lead hanging over them the entire time. I had been reduced to praying for members of the laughably bad Baltimore bullpen to make an appearance when something happened in the eighth. Part of it was CB Bucknor, who sent a call or two the other way, giving Wily Mo enough chances to start a two-out, five run rally with an RBI single. Part of it was magic, but the sort of magic that kills your family when you wish for a million dollars. It was magic with an ugly side.

So, after hours of frustration, the Sox had their moment in the sun (or the park lights) for half an inning until first Gagne and then Okajima (who will escape tonight relatively scar free thanks to an established trust with RSN) did their clever lead disappearing acts, snatching away all of the glory and stuffing it down a black hole, leaving naught but gloom and irritation in its wake. Trust is a pain in the ass.