"The Indians are feeling it. It's going to be hard to stop them now."-John Donovan, SI.com
You know, the Red Sox started this season with the expressed goal of winning the World Series. Not making the playoffs, not having a good season, but winning the World Series. Anything short of that goal is failure in the organization's eyes, as well it should be. At some point, they might actually remember that, but probably too late.
For a team that shot it's entire wad on pitching, that philosophy is now coming home to roost. The only thing reliable on the mound these days is Josh Beckett. Tim Wakefield, like his two predecessors, was gone before the fifth inning was over. Schill and Tim are old, and Matsuzaka just has nothing left in his tank after a very long American season. Delcarmen, another of Theo's untouchable guys, came up majorly small when the Sox really needed him to step up. Poor pitching is what cost the Yankees the series against the Indians, and now it's on the verge of eliminating the Red Sox as well. In the heady days of May, who woulda thunk it? But after the Tribe hung seven on the Sox in the fifth last night, it was clear that "the best pitching staff in baseball" was done. A few extra days' rest isn't going to solve the problems of age and inexperience.
And if the faces of the future Red Sox WS championships are supposed to be Manny Delcarmen and Jon Lester, well, 2090 will be a long time coming.
Interesting factoid? J.D. Drew is hitting .267 this series; Mike Lowell .250.
Another omen? Youk makes his first error at first last night.
I know I should mention the hat trick, but on this night, I don't care, it was meaningless. Solo homers don't help much in the long run. Two out hits and hits with RISP do. I only hope it lights a spark for the remainder of the series. The bottom third of the order is hitting .170; the leadoff guy is hitting .188.
Day off today, then it's Sabathia vs Beckett Thursday. I don't expect C.C. to be anything near as putrid as he was the last couple of games, and if he is then he is the definition of a paper tiger. I expect Beckett will step up but the way this offense is going, he's going to have to pitch a near no-hitter to make it competitive.
Still, they're not out until they're out. If the Sox are really, really lucky, they'll be headed back to Fenway for 5 and 6. That's the most we can hope for right now.
(pic lifted from si.com)