Monday, June 02, 2003

Game 55 - Red Sox

Blue Jays 11, Red Sox 8
Record: 31-24

I feel like Kevin Bacon's character at the end of Animal House. All around me, Red Sox Nation is in a tizzy, running and screaming hysterically because the Sox (playing the part of the Deltas) have chosen this week to utterly implode (drive the Batmobile into the parade review stands). Meanwhile, I'm yelling, "Remain calm. All is well.", over and over again. I'm trying really, really hard to believe it. Hopefully, the next few days will see Pedro (Bluto) drive to the rescue carrying the cheerleader (a winning streak) over his shoulder.

The simple, central fact of the Sox season is this: the pitching (with the exception of Pedro, who is injured, and Brandon Lyon) has been putrid beyond reasonable expectations. Reasonable expecations, based on time-proven statistical concepts, indicate that it is nearly impossible that the Red Sox pitchers will continue to perform this poorly for the remainder of the season. The Sox are 1.5 games out in the division, and 1 game out in the Wild Card, and they have pitched as poorly as is statistically possible over the season's first 55 games. A regression to the mean over the next 107 games should translate to, well, a lot of wins.

All that aside, I was batshit about yesterday's game. The Sox scored 6 runs in the first 3 innings of this game, on 7 doubles against Toronto stud Roy Halladay. And then they pissed it away. Wakefield gave up 6, then Matt White, he of the 24.00 ERA, came in and poured kerosene on the flames. (Point of order: why was Grady inserting a struggling left-hander to face four consecutive right-handed bats?) Finally, after a few more flambe-filled relief innings, Jason Varitek put Sox fans out of their misery by grounding into a game-ending double-play with the bases loaded in the 9th. Neat effort.

Sox next 6 games are against the Pirates and the Brewers, two of the National League's weak sisters. Anything worse than 5-1 will have to be considered a disappointment, and will intensify the calls for Grady's head.

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