Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Game 81 - Red Sox

Devil Rays 4, Red Sox 3 (11)
Record: 47-34

The Sox ended the season's first half in the same manner they started the season, blowing a game to the mediocre Devil Rays in exasperating fashion. After scoring 2 in the top of the 9th to tie the game, the Sox allowed the winning run to score in the 11th on a botched pickoff. Brandon Lyon whirled around and had Rocco Baldelli dead to rights at second base. As Baldelli broke towards third, Lyon slung the ball slightly behind the onrushing Nomar Garciaparra. Nomar reached back to his right, but the ball brushed his glove and skittered into left-center, allowing Baldelli to score the game-winner.

Assessing blame on the game-losing play is really pointless. Yes, Lyon should have made a better throw, but he also should never have let Jason Tyner walk on a 3-2 curveball - which would have ended the inning before the pickoff play. Yes, Nomar almost certainly should have caught Lyon's throw, but he also went 3-for-6 in the game, so I can't really be mad at him. Blah blah blah. Bottom line, though, is that it never should have come to that. Extra inning games are a crapshoot, and Sox should have run the D-Rays out of the ballpark well before it got to the late frames.

Two more against Tampa, then 4 with the Yankees and 3 with the Blue Jays. 5-4 in those 9 would make me really, really happy, but the pitching matchups (Burkett and Mendoza in the Bronx - oofah) aren't pretty. I'll be crossing a lot of fingers and toes over the next 10 days. But, hey, the Sox still lead the Wild Card race, so the sky isn't falling yet.

No comments: