Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Game 120: Looking a Gift Horse In The Mouth

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 5, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6

Rays Bullpen: I got you guys something!

Sox Bats: Again? Oh no… we couldn’t

And that’s basically how it went from the 7th inning on. They TRIED to give us the lead and we wouldn’t take. Those Red Sox are just too damn polite. Dice-K looked awfully unremarkable for his 6 innings while Sonnanstine or Sondheim or whatever his name was, looked like a Cy Young pitcher we all know he isn’t. This loser baffled us until he reached his magical pitch count and then turned into a pumpkin called the Tampa bullpen. But noooooo we couldn’t fully carve the damn thing. Our pen did its job holding on (Timlin was ballz again today), but we couldn’t capitalize. Close, yet no cigar.

In the 9th, Reyes looked primed to give it up like a prom date on her fifth glass of champagne. Coco’s perfect bunt, Lugo’s RBI double and then K, K, B, K. Just some ugly ugly letters. Ortiz and Manny both fouled off pitches that would be on Lansdowne Street if it was any other year. The power numbers are now bordering on pathetic.

Fortunately, our neighbors to the south had some trouble of their own. The pinstriped menace in New York tied their game in the 9th, but Mo Rivera gave up a 3 spot in the 10th to lose it against Baltimore. So we hold pat at 5 games ahead.

This 5 game lead is a little too close for comfort and I see some interesting changes in the Sox fan base as a result. People are getting… squirrelly. Some more than others and they break down into separate categories:

The Pessimistic Realists: This group knows that the Yankees are playoff bound if they keep scoring runs like this, but they think the Sox can hold on to the lead in the East if we can focus and maintain. I fall into this category, give or take a few freak-outs.

The Blind Optimists: The close race is a bit too much for these nervous fellas to bear, so they’ve convinced themselves that EVERYTHING IS FINE. Yep, the Sox are rollin, they are 20+ games up and a lock for the playoffs and beyond. Nothing anyone says can convince them otherwise. Be careful with this crew. Any mention that the race is getting tighter or any talk of a slide will set them off into a maddened frenzy.

The Chicken Littles:
These folks think we are back 15 games instead of up 5. They know the Yankees are going to play .700 ball for the rest of the season and we might as well pack it in now. These guys have called for Francona’s firing, Theo’s resignation, and the head of any pitcher who gives up a run. You can always spot a Chicken Little by his tinfoil Red Sox hat.

The Jose Offermans:
These poor guy(s) have cracked under the strain of this close division race (or were hit by a pitch) and have resorted to violence. They are often found beating pitchers and catchers with a bat or with a police escort and shiny handcuffs. Proceed with caution. Actually, just leave these under-achieving-ex-Red Sox-turned-scary-joke alone.