Friday, April 28, 2006

Game 23: Dude, Where's my Team?

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 2, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5

Did you know you could strand 14 baserunners inside that thing? It surprised me, too.

I’m not kidding, either. For the first two thirds of the eighth, the Red Sox we know and love were there, knocking in runs, not being stymied by Casey Frickin’ Fossum and the Rays bullpen, not stranding fourteen men on base (14! Do you know how many runs that is?) or, even worse, not leaving nine of those men on base in scoring position (9! That’s not as many as fourteen, but dear God those were closer to being runs!). Heck, Francona was even doing wacky things like putting in J.T. Snow to pinch hit for Gonzalez so he could hit an RBI single and then have Alex Cora pinch run so that the rally might continue and someone could play shortstop in the ninth. It was great, it was awesome…it lasted for about five minutes.

I doubt I have to remind you, but this is the pitching staff of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays we’re talking about here, a group of pitchers who inspire so much confidence in manager Joe Maddon that his pitching coach has to console him every time he makes a move to the bullpen. I doubt I have to remind you, but we’re facing the Yankees in three games and we still have to get through Scott Kazmir. I doubt I have to remind you, but even with Clement’s lack of control for much of his start, even with two terrible calls by the umpires, the Boston Red Sox had the opportunity to win this game with their bats four or five times tonight…and they didn’t.

Lenny DiNardo versus Doug Waechter tomorrow evening at 7:15. I believe at this point everyone’s had their opportunity to bottom out during this most recent, terrible run through the rotation; it’s time for the boys in red and grey to step things up, start scoring runners, making outs, winning ballgames and ending this slump. GO SOX!!!