In a thoughtful, faith-restoring rant on the Red Sox, PU Correspondent Brownguy talks us off the ledge, explaining why it's far too early to sound the death knell.
These are difficult times for Sox fans (I’m not into the whole “Nation” thing – especially since the mini-empire assesses a fee to be recognized as part of this elite group). Everything seemed to be going so well when Manny clocked that 2-run HR Saturday night into the lower bleachers, followed by Lowell’s HR to take the lead. Sure the game became tied in the 6th, but our world and this series went to sh*t when Tito turned to Gagne to close things down in the 11th. Let’s hope that experiment is now over, and the next time we see that overweight batting-practice gimp, it will be in the 7th inning of the first Sox/Devil Rays game next season -- and he won’t be wearing the reds and whites.
Things haven’t been the same since.
Sox starting pitchers are only going 4 2/3 of an inning for the last 3 starts, and only 4 guys are hitting: Youk, Papi, Manny and Lowell. These guys can’t do it alone. The remaining line-up couldn’t hit against a guy who topped out at 90 mph only once on Tuesday night, yet was so impressed with himself that he bragged about it upon entering the dugout. Pedroia (.172 avg), Drew (.231), Crisp (.192) ‘Tek (.192) and Lugo (.208) have been atrocious in the playoffs. And these numbers actually include the Angels series where they did hit. Watching these guys at bat is like watching the 3 token girls on your co-ed softball team walk to the plate – it kills an inning and any hope of making something happen. (Sorry ladies, but out of all the co-ed games I’ve played, I’ve only played with 1 girl who could hit the ball past the pitcher with any velocity.)
OK, OK… enough of my glass-half-empty rant. The last 4 days have quite frankly sucked swamp-ass for this team and their fans. I’m waiting for Mo Vaughn and Jose Canseco a la 1995 to come up to the plate in Game 5 so they can slam dunk the ass festival. But let’s turn our thoughts to the 1999 ALDS. Remember that? The Sox were down 0-2 to the Tribe, won 2 at Fenway (one shellacking that I saw in person with T-Bag and Nova), and then clinched it AT Jacobs Field, with 2 improbable Troy O’Leary HRs after intentionally walking Nomar both times. And of course the grand-daddy of them all, Pedro crippling the entire Indian’s roster with a busted back in 6 shut-out innings.
("Wake up the damn Bambino. Maybe I'll drill him in the ass")
Now I know Pedro’s not walking through that door, and Troy is not walking through that door (thankfully), but perhaps Tito can let Ellsbury and Kielty walk through that door while Coco and Nancy Drew take batting practice – hell, maybe they can learn how to strike-out instead of hitting into double-plays all the time. 1 out is better than 2, right?
But consider these numbers I pilfered from espn.com: When a team is leading a 7 game series 3-1… historically out of 65 series, 34 of those series were won in 5 games by that team leading 3-1. 17 series were won in 6 games, and 4 series in 7 games. I know, a tad depressing. But in 10 out of those 65 series, the team LOSING 1-3 won the series in 7 games. “So you’re saying there’s a chance.” Sure it’s only a 15 percent chance, but that’s better than Lloyd Christmas’ chance with Mary Swanson in "Dumb and Dumber." OK – totally unrelated but that movie was great and I had to somehow reference it after stealing Lloyd’s quote.
("We're gonna getcha.")
So what, the Sox can’t win 3 games in a row now? The Indians just did it. The Sox did it 16 different times this season. Now I’m not going to cheapen the situation by reminding you all of how 2004’s ALCD ended. Let’s face it – that was an anomaly and something only characteristic of the personality in that team. But this year’s team and the ’04 Dirt Dogs have the same mindset for the next game (as well as any recovering alcoholic) – One Day at a Time. Tonight’s game to the Sox is Game 7 of a series tied at 3-3. And I like Josh Beckett going in Game 7 of a 3-3 series. I know it’s unlikely for him to dominate like he has in the past 2 games, but he’s rested and has been in this situation before in an environment scarier than Jacobs Field (think batteries coming at you instead of gnats). And the offense seemed to have an idea of how to connect on CC SaFAThia. And then we move to Game 6 at Fenway. Over the years, Schilling has typically rebounded well after a loss. Consider that this could be (in my opinion it will be) his last outing in a Sox uniform should light a fire under his ass. If that doesn’t, 39,000 obnoxious Sox fans will. And if they take that game, we move on to Game 7 where anything can happen, especially in Boston. Sure we’ll see Westbrook again – but the Sox will be ready for his junk. And hopefully that 1 hour internal conversation Dice-K had with himself at his locker after Game 3 translates to his arm. If not, we have Jon Lester ready to hit the mound with a shot of sake for the Dice man (did anyone else notice that he only gave up 1 hit in 3 innings last night with 4 K’s?). So hang tight Red Sox Na…. uh, fans. Yeah, this totally sucks right now – big time. But we’ve ALL had a day off to rest, and we’ll resume things for at least one more time tonight. And this privileged Pointy Universe correspondent is not shutting the season down just yet.