“Boston Massacre: Part Deux!” Why not call it that? Afterall, that’s what it was. I saw every game. You cannot tell me that what happened to the Boston Red Sox over the past weekend was not the equivalent of the British Redcoats coming into town and choking out a couple of Bostonians. And if you can’t convince yourself that that was what happened, then ask the thousands of fans who came to Fenway Park this past weekend what they feel like. I can almost guarantee that at least of half of them would rather experience the Boston Massacre than come to another game and watch their starting pitching get rung up like that again. Okay-okay. Forty-percent.
The first game was not that bad. It was a day game, and the Yankees got off to really good start. The Yankees clearly had the better pitcher on the mound, and Johnny Damon just couldn’t be stopped in his return to Boston. But most knowledgeable Red Sox fans were aware of the fact that their team was coming out after an off-day and the Yankees weren’t. So there was no way that the Yankees pitching could out duel the Red-Sox in the second part of Friday’s double header, could they? WRONG! Despite the Yankee’s game 2 win, the answer before the game was no, and the answer after the game was no. The Yankee’s pitching was horrible Friday night, but not so explicably, Boston’s pitching was horrible, too. The game was long and full of pitchers who couldn’t strike anybody out or even get a hitter to stop fouling off their pitches left and right. Nonetheless, the Yankees’ hitters showed up when it counted, and the bullpen of the Red Sox spoiled another possible Boston victory.
When Game 3 arrived, everybody certainly thought that the Red Sox would bounce back with a vengeance, prepared to avenge their poor defense and average-hitting from the day before. And for a while, that was the case. They went into the top of the 5th with a one-run lead. Unfortunately, they left the top of the 6th inning down by 5! Now that’s one hell of a 1.5 inning drop-off if I’ve ever seen one. Their supposed “B” pitcher, Josh Beckett, walked more hitters than Paris Hilton has bad acting roles. This game was much like the others though, because Game 3 was marred by untimely bull-pen blowups, and an absence of Mr. MVP candidate himself, David “Big Pappi” Ortiz. Don’t get me wrong, he had a couple of hits in the first 3 games, but not enough for a supposed MVP. If you’re MVP and you watch your team getting drummed for 3 games in a row, you might want to step up and do something about.
Granted, game 4 resulted in a much better performance from Ortiz. He homered to put the Red Sox up early, and the big boy stretched a probable easy single into a sliding double. He performed on Sunday, and to their credit, the rest of the hitters did, too. But another poor outing by the bullpen, which pitched an amazing 12.7 E.R.A. through 4 games failed them again. Schilling gave the bullpen a 2 run lead with 2 innings left in the game, and the Sox could not get it done once again. Now I am not going to blame a blown save on the entirety of a team, because let’s face it, a loss like that one is due to the bullpen and only bullpen. But baseball is the sport these guys chose to play, and you are only as good as your pitching. So with that said, the team floundered on another opportunity Sunday night, Game 4.
I’m willing to go as far as saying that the Yankees want it more. Joe Torre was pitch-hitting like crazy, he was making defensive substitutions, and he was bring in closers out of turn and outside of their usual situations because he needed his best guys in the game, because he and his team wanted this series more than the Red Sox. But maybe the Sox know something we don’t know. Maybe the second coming of the Boston Massacre isn’t the end of the world, or even the end of their season. But now that they have fallen back more than 5 games, it seems more than likely that the Sox are dead in the water. If they don’t get back on track and manage to win a series against the Yankees later in the season, Boston fans will be running from redcoats before they’re buying post-season tickets.