I didn’t mind last night’s loss as much as I did the other Sox losses this season. (And, no, it’s not just because I have Kevin Gregg on my fantasy team.) The pressure to win seems to have gone away. At least in my eyes.
Not that there was any actual pressure to win. It was more of, “Please win so people can stop harping on your losses.” I needed Sox victories so I wouldn’t be subjected to story after story of how bad the Sox start was. How unlikely it would be that they recover. I needed wins so the stories could go back to just analyzing each game on its own merits. That happened to me last night.
The Sox lost. OK. They’re going to lose at least another 50 games this season. It was a game you probably could have circled. They were facing a rookie pitcher. The Sox do better against people with histories they can study. It was the seventh game of a 9-game cross-country road trip. Losses on the road are to be expected more often. Especially after spending a week in California. Plus, the Sox did very well on the west coast, winning five of six and concluding with a four-game sweep. Can you imagine a large exhale after seeing Baltimore and Seattle as their next two opponents? I can. So, while those shouldn’t all be reasons for a loss, I can understand that they were.
And how great is it to say that those are the reasons? I’m not saying they lost because the new guys are overrated and overpaid. It’s not because the pitching staff is the fatal flaw some EEIdiots said they were. It was a loss. It happens. Phew.
Speaking of the pitching staff. Last night’s performance by Clay Buchholz was the worst outing by a Red Sox starting pitcher in a week. How bad was it? He gave up four runs in 6.2 innings. That’s the bad start? If that’s as bad as it gets, I will take that every day of the week. It’s also nice that this sub par start happened with Varitek behind the plate. (I’m not exactly sure why he was back there. But, it’s not my call.) That leaves one pitcher who doesn’t need Tek as his personal catcher. There should be no reason not to run Salty out there for every one of his starts. That certainly makes things easier.
So, hopefully the Sox recover to end the road trip as well as it started. There’s a long homestand coming up. This could be a nice chance to make some headway.
It’s getting better all the time.