If the Twins lost today, the Sox had the potential to be 4 full games ahead of their division. At the very least, 3 games. Instead, we find ourselves only 1 game ahead of the Twins, and in big trouble. So much trouble that I don’t promise this is going to make much sense. Today made no sense.
While I thought that we didn’t have a prayer with Richard pitching in the second game, I fully expected the first game to go well. In fact, the pitching was quite smooth. Well, not smooth, but Javi had shut the Jays down into the 5th. I caught up with the game after about 4 innings of following it on Gameday. Honestly, the live game was not any more exciting. The two pitchers (one of which was Javi) were neck in neck. Both had shut out the other team (the Sox, however were letting that guy get away with a no-hitter) and their pitch counts were within one pitch of each other. The Jays scored a pair and then the bullpen- starting with my most favoritest pitcher of all time, Horacio Ramirez, held down the fort. The first batter Matt Thornton (a waste of an outing, really) faced struck out on 3 pitches, Wasserman continued to let his ERA drop (finally, I don’t feel like a moron for liking him!). But then MacDougal had some issues today. Lots of ball and an earned run on 3 hits amounted to the 3rd point on the board.
The Sox offense, on the other hand, barely made one runner cross the plate. Noteworthy: 2 failed bunts by AJ. They also tried to make Alexei bunt in the 9th. Then there was a stolen base situation where Alexei could have gotten to third, but he wasn’t given interference (even though the 2nd baseman – or was it the short stop- was on top of him). Good grief, who’s managing this game? My favorite hitter, Beatnick Swisher struck out twice. He’s been doing a whole lot of looking lately. Either he’s swinging for the fences or staring as the balls fall down the middle. There really was a whole lot of nothing.
I figured things were about to get worse in the 2nd game. We had Clay Richard and his big shoulders starting. He started off with a solo home run from the very first batter. But he proceeded to shut out the Jays afterward. The Sox scored two and gave me hope that perhaps this wouldn’t be the disastrous game I thought it would be. That is until things got bad. There were some errors. Clay tried to avoid another fielding error and tried to put a tag on a guy. Long story short? He was safe. Lovely? Yes it was. The crowd was yelling, “Boone!” as Richard exited. Or was it, “BOO”? Yeah, that was probably it. By the time Boone Logan came in to pitch, the game was over, so I telepathically told him that his only job is to keep himself from looking like an ass. And, indeed, Boone Logan did what Russell couldn’t- induced a double play. When did Russell get bad? I have no idea. He must be getting rusty on the bench. On the bright side, Lance Broadway is very pretty. He allowed a solo home run and then finished the 9th inning. At that point, the Sox were trailing 8-2.
But things really went to hell when DJ Carrasco came on. After a mess of bunts, hits, and overall bad baseball, some guy scored but the runner got in a rundown. The man on 3rd was thankfully too stupid to run, but while the runner was running between 2nd and 1st, Paulie collapsed and started grabbing his knee. Paulie had to be carried off the field, Swisher (who had been sitting out because I’m sure Ozzie gave him a spanking for watching pitches fly by; and subsequently swung at 3 balls in his first at bat) was in at first, and I swore loudly and said, “Great! Just when he was doing well at bat!”
In case you lost track, let me remind you of our injuries. Jose Contreras: done for the year. Joe Crede: er… whatever it means for us now that he got an epidural Friday. Carlos Quentin: most likely done for the month. Chris Getz: fractured wrist (yes, him, too!) and likely out for the season. He injured himself on the 31st but they didn’t find the break until today. And now Konerko? Well, if that’s not a curse or at least the worst day in the history of baseball, I don’t know what to call it. No “Hava Nagila” today.