First it was Jon Lester, our beloved lefty who shut down any last hope the Rockies had of winning a game during the World Series in 2007.
Then it was Papelbon, the closer who danced on all of their playoff dreams. Who's next?
I don't know, but watching Papelbon implode and give up three runs without recording an out rightly pissed me off. I can honestly say I've never been more annoyed with Jonathan. And every time he blows a save, you can be sure that someone will bring up how he isn't Mo Rivera and needs to shut his mouth and pitch before demanding to be treated like Mo. This time, it was me bringing that up. Me and about a thousand other people. It's not to say that Mariano has never blown a save. We know he has. Doesn't mean we want our closer doing that. I think the thing that kills me the most is that he didn't even get an out. Not one. Not a single out on a night where the Sox beat up the front runner for the NL Cy Young. We had Ubaldo Jiminez squarely in the loss column for this one! But no, Paps couldn't shut the door. Instead of continuing to focus on the end of the game, let's go back and look at what went right for the Sox.
Things that went right
1) John Lackey. Sort of. - John, despite his struggles and his inability to make me like him, managed to keep the Sox in the game long enough for them to beat up on Jimenez. No, he wasn't good, allowing five runs on ten hits over the course of 6.2 innings, but he didn't completely implode, so I'll take it. Overall though, he really, truly worries me whenever he's on the mound. On the plus side, though, I feel much better about him being in the batters box. Lackey was able to grab two hits, and he scored a run for his own effort. See? I went back to talking about good things. John Lackey in the batters box was a good thing.
2) The sixth inning - What started with a fly out and a HBP (Beltre), ended with the Sox taking the lead for the first time in the game when they managed to pull together four runs. Nava doubled to drive in Beltre. Ronald homered to drive in Nava, Lackey doubled, and Scutaro singled him in. It was such a happy inning at the time!
3) Getting to Jiminez - The Sox managed to get 6 runs off of 10 hits and a HBP. Jiminez didn't walk anyone and recorded seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Sure, the Sox had trouble with the bullpen, but at least they can say that they managed to beat up Jiminez, right?
Man, I wanted this win. I wanted the Sox to win and Steroid Monkey to never have another highlight moment in his career, and both of my wishes were dashed at the end of this game. It hurt. It hurt, but just like the game before, it's only one loss and we have a chance to avoid the sweep tomorrow night (spoiler: we avoid the sweep! This is the benefit of writing about the past). So with lonely, sad eyes, we turn to Dice-K, fresh off the disabled list, and beg for a win. Get it done, Dice.
(Don't worry. He does!)
3 weeks ago