Monday, August 21, 2006

Game 124: Moving On Down The Road

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 1, New York Yankees 2

I’d blame Javy Lopez for not blocking the pitch that Foulke threw in the eighth that lead to the Yankees’ second, winning run (I don’t care if it was ruled a wild pitch; Belli or Tek would have blocked that bounce) and then popping out to kill a rally in the bottom of the same inning, but it would be a bit like bandaging someone’s paper cut while ignoring the blood pouring out of their massive head wound – it’s not terrible relevant in the scheme of five losses in a row. Instead, let’s focus on the positive: David Wells stepped up the way Curt Schilling would have last night have the weather not interfered. He went seven and a third, surrendered what turned out to be two runs, battled out of a few small jams, struck out four, ate raw iron and crapped out nails. It was just what the doctor ordered and if the offense had been there, it would have been a moral victory after one of the most difficult weekends RSN has faced since 2004. Not to be and a waste of a marvelous outing, but going forward we appear to have both Wells and Foulke (who was flawless besides the putative wild pitch today and emerged unscathed from two innings on Friday) in full form for the rest of the season.

Coming out of the aftermath of this series, what’s the status? Clearly, there are big problems with the majority of the pitching. Most of the bullpen can’t get outs, can’t hold leads and thus, can’t win ballgames and that’s a problem. The wild card is in the hands of the Other Sox, who are four and a half games up with it – not an insurmountable lead, but there’s Minnesota to deal with as well. Coming up, we’ve got a full West Coast road trip (LA, Oakland and Seattle), then Toronto and the White Sox at home, which may really be the baseball equivalent of a hot lead enema. Things are certainly grim and the odds may just be impossible to overcome, but you know what? We’ve still got September. In about 10 days, Jason Varitek should be returning to his place behind the plate, steadying the younger members of the staff and possibly providing the push we need for another wild card berth. Tim Wakefield should be returning about the same time, adding another reliable veteran arm and ending the starter by committee. There’s a month left. Anything can (and does) happen. And still, even if it doesn’t, we’ve got 2004 to look back on and the 2007 development to look forward to.

Tomorrow night, after the Red Sox fly back in time to the mystical land of California, where they have strange implements like Thunder Sticks and Rally Monkeys to excite the local populace, it’s the first game of a three game set against LA. shows still shows Kyle Snyder as the probable pitcher, but we’ll see how things play out. GO SOX!!!