DISAPPOINTING BUT NOT SURPRISING
Before their series with the Yankees, the Red Sox were on a roll. Hitting, defense,pitching- it was all there. They were making their move to establish themselves, once again as the best team in baseball. We all know what happened in the Bronx. You can accept that. You don’t have to like it, but you can accept it. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the continuing slide against the hapless Blue Jays. I hate to use this term, but the Red Sox did back into the playoffs. They’re ready now for a series with a Cleveland team that has a lame duck manager (Eric Wedge was fired after his tribe dropped 20 of their last 25 games). We may get a chance to see former Pawtucket standouts like Kelly Shoppach and Justin Masterson. Imagine how Cleveland fans must feel watching Victor Martinez leading Boston into the postseason. Too bad for Wedge and the Indians, but that isn’t our problem. We have enough of our own. Suddenly, our pitchers can’t get anybody out. Injuries have beset the staff,whether they’re serious or not, still remains to be seen. Beckett (back spasms), Lester (line drive off leg) have the hopes of Red Sox Nation resting squarely on their shoulders. Clay Buchholz has been terrific (last outing notwithstanding) and Daisuke Matsuzaka went virtually pitch for pitch with C.C. Sabathia, so Boston does have a little depth. Tim Wakefield (spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak) may not be a factor. As I watched on Tuesday night, only for a very short time I was again left sick to my stomach. Wake lasted just 3 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits. Fernando Cabrera, Dustin Richardson, Hunter Jones and believe it or not, catcher Dusty Brown were among those who followed on the mound. Brownie actually struck out Rod Barajas, getting his first M.L. whiff before his first M.L. hit. I know the Sox have clinched a playoff berth. I know Tito is resting his regulars after the arduous season. Right now, the Red Sox need to re-learn how to win. Get on a little bit of a roll so they can continue their mastery over the Angels. I guess it is in the DNA of a Red Sox fan to never be satisfied. After snapping the 86 year old curse in 2004, the Sox went from lovable losers to legitimate contenders. We’ve counted our chickens before and conversely we’ve counted ’em out before and we’ve been wrong. You never know what will happen. I just know I feel better when the Red Sox win. In March at Spring Training, during the regular season and especially, in the postseason.