My predictions rang true.....
I stated a few posts ago that angry Yankee underachiever Kevin Brown wouldn't make it out the 3rd inning in last night's game, and I was a little bit off. He got knocked out in the second. Nobody knows the mental makeup of the Yankee's starting rotation better than I.
Notice how I made zero predictions about the game's actual outcome, knowing full well that Red Sox tough talker Bronson Arroyo would probably cave into the massive pressure and not make it out of the third inning either. This, coupled with the fact I could take most of Boston's middle relievers deep on a good day, immediately leads one to the sad conclusion that with Boston pitching, no lead is safe. Armando Benitez transformed himself into a superstud closer on the Marlins this past season (12,000 fans a night in Miami = no pressure), but there's not a Mets fan alive who didn't furiously bite their nails when he entered the 9th inning with a one-run lead (leading a Yankee-loving friend to comment that Benitez was the only closer in the MLB that he wanted to see come in). Now imagine that Benitez was sent out to pitch the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th inning too. That's what a Red Sox fan feels like whenever Ramiro Mendoza or hairy KC Royals cast-off/Derek Lowe-lookalike Curtis Leskanic takes the hill. The latter actually sort of reminds me of Mets-era Benitez in the sense that he only throws two pitches; obvious balls, and 92-93 in the heart of the plate. Close your eyes and swing as hard as you can.
But did anybody actually think the final score would be 19-8? That's two touchdowns, a safety, and a 4th quarter field goal vs. a TD with a 2-pt conversion. Did anybody actually think that A-Rod, Sheffield and Japanese cyborg Hideki Matsui would combine for 12 RBIs? And why in the world didn't Terry Francona immediately use Derek Lowe or Tim Wakefield in long relief of Arroyo when either of them could start Game 4 and Pedro Martinez could easily start Game 5? Don't you only send out your two crappiest relievers back-to-back when it's early May and you're up by 17 runs? It's been known for a long time that the only people who become Major League managers are those who've already played the game, but proper bullpen management ain't rocket science. Just about anyone in New England could have managed last night's debacle better than Terry Francona.
19-8! Damn! Sort of makes you wish for the ten-run mercy rule a 'la RBI Baseball for the NES. I'll watch tonight because nothing better is on, and I really and truly think that the Sox will manage to win at least one of these games. But if the powers that be dictate that the 2004 Boston Red Sox will not make it to the World Series, I say make it quick. I really want to see McLusky at the Knitting Factory this Tuesday night (Game 6 if necessary).