Sunday, May 04, 2003

Games 29 - 31 - Red Sox

Minnesota Twins 11, Red Sox 7
Red Sox 9, Twins 1
Twins 9, Red Sox 4
Record: 20-11

I'm irritated about the results of this series on a number of levels. The Sox led each of the games, and it's not a stretch to say that they should have swept this series. I'm irritated about that. The Sox bullpen imploded twice in this series, which was the leading cause of the two losses. That irritates me. The Sox committed 5 errors and an uncharacteristic number of mental mistakes in the series, which, well, irritates me. What really, really, chaps me the most, though, is that it was the Twins, the same Twins that served as the Yankees' prison bitches earlier in the season, that fought back and didn't collapse in the face of adversity against the Sox. The same team that conceded it was intimidated by New York, who flat out gave up before the games had begun against the Yankees,stood up in the first game of this series after giving up 6 runs in the 6th to fall behind, 6-5 and dropped 6 on the Sox bullpen. Then, the same group of candy-asses spotted the Sox a 4-run lead in the series' third game before roaring back against - guess who - the Sox bullpen to win. I used to admire that scrappy bunch, but now they're dead to me. I'll root against them against everyone they play this year, with the exception of the Yankees - which won't matter, as they've already lost those games.

As for the Sox themselves, these were bad losses, made worse by the mistakes, but they're the kinds of losses that can be quickly forgotten. They made a great comeback in the first game, followed Pedro to an easy win in the second, and just gacked the third. It is increasingly clear that the Sox have a very good offense, generally solid team defense, very good depth in the lineup, good (and potentially great) starting pitching, and an abysmal bullpen. Right now, on May 4, the Sox are that one piece from being a legitimate World Series contender, but it's a huuuge piece. No relief pitcher in the Sox pen is consistent, and none is trustworthy. The Sox don't need much - really, if Mendoza, Timlin, and Embree just approach career-average performances, the team will cruise to 95 wins - but they need it now.

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