Final Score: Boston Red Sox 2, Houston Astros 3
And we just lost a series to a sub .500 team that's won one more game than its pythagorian winning percentage would suggest; a team of underachievers with a very harassed shortstop who, in retrospect, might have been worthy of the bus Rafael Palmeiro threw him under (government charges pending). Losing one game to these guys was bad enough, but two...well, to adapt the old saying, lose once to a sub-average a team, shame on you; lose twice to a sub-average team, what the **** is wrong with you.
Many of you might blame Hideki Okajima and his missing splitter, which seems to have gone the way of Old Yeller - if Old Yeller became a zombie dog that kept coming back to haunt the Coates family, howling and foaming at the jaws - and today he certainly was the focal point of the loss, but the problem goes far, far beyond a wild pitch, my friends. Thirteen men left on base, six different times when Sox players left runners in scoring position. I think they loaded the bases twice. How many runs did all of those runners turn into? Two. By solo shots. In two different innings. Rock on. Someone might want to remind these guys Nolan Ryan's been retired for a few years now.
I don't have a stat for you on good teams playing down to the level of their opponents, but I'm not sure I really need to find one: any team that loses series to teams like Baltimore, Seattle, and Houston needs a big ole gut check: you guys will probably do fine in the playoffs when these games really count (and any team involved "counts," too), but don't think that post-season ticket is guaranteed...guess who's back in first place?