Game 107 – Red Sox
Indians 7, Red Sox 6
Lather, rinse, repeat. Or, put to the tune of the 2006 Red Sox: Ebby Calvin gets shelled, the Sox make a valiant comeback and fall just short, another loss that could’ve been a win. And before I’m accused of seeing only the empty volume inside the glass, I’m well aware of the number of wins the Sox have compiled that probably should’ve been losses. Still doesn’t make last night any less frustrating, especially since the Sox wasted a 3-0 lead and several stellar defensive efforts by Alex Gonzalez.
3 more homers given up by Beckett told the tale against the Indians. Yielding a bomb to Travis Hafner is no great shame, but when luminaries such as Aaron Boone and Shin So Choo (or, as Beckett called him after the game, “Whatever his name is.”) play longball, it’s well past time to reassess. Beckett’s now given up 31 taters on the year and his ERA sits at an even 5.00. Effectively, the Sox are down to 1 above-average starter, and that guy is almost 40 years old and coming off of his worst drubbing of the season. And I’m getting clubbed around here for being pessimistic. Sheesh.
Help is on the way, though, to paraphrase 2004 presidential candidate John Edwards. Of course, help in this case is embodied by Javy Lopez, acquired from the Orioles to fill Jason Varitek’s shoes for a few weeks. I’d like to find some of Edwards’ perpetual optimism, but I’m finding more parallels in his running mate’s day late and a dollar short campaign efforts.
The Sox wake up this morning in solo second place for the first time in months, and the next 17 games are critical. The Sox face a stretch of very winnable series against Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Baltimore before welcoming Detroit to Fenway. The Yankees take on the O’s (6 times), White Sox, and Angels over the same 12-game period. After both teams dispense with the preliminaries, the hype machine will ratchet up to DEFCON 5 as the Sox host the Yankees in a rare 5-game set kicked off with doubleheader on August 18. I’m eagerly awaiting massive doses of Chris Berman, eye-gougingly exasperating homilies from Tim McCarver and 4 days of stomach-churning anxiety.
Meanwhile, Whit’s Mets own precisely the same record as the Sox and get to coast along for the next 2 months, sniffing roadside flowers, writing poetry, and taking leisurely naps to the soft strains of a roaming calypso band. I’ll trade you.