The actions made by the Boston Red Sox over the last two postseason starts versus the Tampa Bay Rays have been awful. Whether it was allowing a starting pitcher to stay in too long or just not hitting the ball, it all takes me back to a wonderful season ended by the man seen above.
Well, nothing is perfect in baseball. No Boston pitcher has ever had a zero ERA in a season, a Boston batter never bats 1,000, and no Boston bullpen ever seems to have its day!
The decision to keep Josh Beckett in game two while allowing eight—I repeat, eight runs—was the point at which I, a Boston Red Sox fan, ask "Can we trust Red Sox management when it comes to postseason starters?" I recall a certain ALCS game back in 2003 when Grady Little decided to leave Pedro Martinez in the game, thus costing us one more year of shame and pity.
Terry Francona will go down in history of being the greatest manager in Red Sox history, believe it or not, but the weight of the two World Series ring on his fingers must be affecting the distribution of thought going through his mind.
All hard feeling as of late aside, the bullpen has not been any better either. Pitching Coach John Ferrel definitely scored some points with me the other night when he argued balls and strikes while Mike Timlin was pitching.
Aside from that, what the hell has happened to the 1-2 punch of Okajima and Papelbon?
Papelbon has still got it, but what has happened to Okajima, Timlin, and Masterson? All of them have either given up the game-tying or game-winning runs in this 2008 postseason.
Red Sox bats exploded in Tapma Bay the other night in game two, when they rose to the occasion and jumped out to reclaim or take the lead three separate times. Not to mention the four home runs that were hit (sounds a lot like what happened last night in Fenway, just vice versa).
Let's get real here, Red Sox Nation, because it is time for some tough love! If the Red Sox do not win game four tonight in Boston, they will be making lemonade and eating the left-overs of humble pie the Patriots had served to them on Sunday night. All while the Tampa Bay Rays win the World Series.
If the Red Sox win tonight then it is a completely different story, the Red Sox will crush the Phillies and sweep. It's simple really—losing tonight means bye-bye all hope and dreams of a repeat, but win and they are in.