I had my first “Fuck It” moment of the season last night at about 7:45 PM EST. Dan Bard had just pitched two of his best innings as a major leaguer, the Sox had scrapped together a little rally, and were a fly ball away from winning Friday’s suspended game. And what happens? David Ortiz completely fails by grounding weakly to first and Adrian Beltre follows with the worst possible outcome …a routine groundball to third that ends in a rally-killing double play. FUCK! I know it was only April 18th, but coming against the Rays, that was a punch in the stomach. Then, to make matters worse, MDC comes in, puts a runner on, gets a couple of outs and then throws one in the ONLY place that Pat Burrell could hurt him and guess what ….Pat Burrell hurt him. Just excruciating, especially when you figure that Beckett was great the night before and the only reason we were in extra innings was Scutaro butchered a groundball, Beltre whiffed on a chopper and third base coach Tim Bogar seemed to forget the most basic elements of coaching third base. In sum, I would be shocked if this two-night affair doesn’trank as one of the season’s five worst losses when I recap the season in October.
And then, not to be outdone, the nightcap was almost as bad. Mike Cameron with a “black swan” moment in the first, Clay Buchholz wilts in the aftermath, Clay Buchholz picks himself up an out too late, Marco makes another big error, the Sox miss several scoring opportunities and finally, a pair of late two-run home runs leave the Sox on the wrong side of a 6-5 loss. If Friday’s night game was a candidate to be on the season’s top-five worst loss list, than Saturday night’s loss is in the running to be on the top-ten list. Not even a Celtic playoff win and a great Buins win were enoguh to offset the stink. Nope, I went to bed angry last night.
So, eleven games into the season, the Sox are 4-7 and trail the Yankees and the Rays by four games. Yes, it is early, but the Sox are digging themselves a hole. And that hole is going to become a trench if the Sox don’t start catching the ball. Over the past three games, Scutaro has been miserable, Beltre has made a couple of bad plays, Cameron did an impression of Kevin Buckman and our catchers have been torched by base stealers. This was not in the script. Instead, the script I read said that the defense was going to save 30 or 40 runs over the year. Well, in the past three days, it has probably cost the Sox a half dozen runs, plenty of extra bases and scores of extra pitches. That has to change or the 2010 business model is going to tank.
I’m keeping it brief today as my blood pressure is still running a bit high after last night. But needless to say, I have plenty of say about the offense and the horror show we are seeing from the left-handers. And it doesn’t get any easier ….Matt Garza at 1:30 is no picnic. It’s hard to say April 19th is a big game, but there is some pressure on Jon Lester to right the ship today. Clearly, this team doesn’t want to leak much further behind the pack.
Interestingly, David Ortiz sits against a righty today and that has some significance which I will delve into this week.