Imagine that. The Red Sox lost a game yesterday in one of the worst ways possible…a walk-off wild pitch. But, I don’t care. I’m not having a terrible day. I’m not swearing up and down. It’s almost a chuckle of, “You’re kidding me. Too bad. That would have been fun.”
After all, the Sox had spent the rest of the weekend making the Yankees look as foolish as any team can look. Generally I hate the “If I had told you a month ago…” consolation. But, in this case it’s pretty applicable. If I had told you a month ago that the Sox would march into NY and take 3-4 in September, that would sound pretty good. Now, add the fact that Rivera would blow two saves in the series. Nice. The Sox would storm back from a huge deficit to win one of the games going away. Perfect. The Yankees will come back from a huge deficit, only to blow the game in the end. Now you’re just making stuff up.
But, none of that was made up. It actually happened. The Sox did everything you could ask for over the first three games, and even a few things that you wouldn’t dare ask for. So, the fact that they didn’t win a second game following a Rivera blown save can’t hurt too badly. The best I can muster is an “aw shucks.”
Actually, there is one thing that bugs me about the way they lost yesterday. It gives all the anti-sabermetric people one big example to hang their hat on. See? A stolen base and a sac fly got the runner to third. Everyone knows it’s easier to score from third with two outs than from second. It’s small ball at its best! Which is true. I’ve never said that stealing bases isn’t helpful. I’ve never said that it’s not easier to score from third. The only downside to those tactics is that they’re not actually as helpful as they appear to be. A pitcher doesn’t throw a wild pitch with two outs and a runner on third often enough to base a strategy on it. Yesterday, he did.
Of course the one true downside from this weekend was the health of Jacoby Ellsbury. But, in keeping with the theme of the 2013 Red Sox, even that news wasn’t as bad as was feared. Ells broke his foot a bit ago, but toughed it out and kept playing. Now, though, it was too much so he needs to rest it. Thankfully he didn’t really wreck his foot being selfish, like Pedroia did. But, the question needs to be asked whether he should have just taken himself out of the line-up right away rather than play through the pain for so long. Right now he’s expected to return before the end of the season. But, how much better would it have been if he sat out an extra week? I also thought it was interesting/encouraging that the Sox actually said he should be back before the season ends. There was no, “We can’t set a timetable before the rehab starts.” Or, “Hopefully we can minimize the time out.” Non-answers. Ells is “expected” back before the season ends. That’s a pretty strong statement. Is it a way of calling Ellsbury out? Is it an attempt to quiet the media before they get crazy with the 2011 comparisons? Was it just a different choice of words? We’ll have to see.
Right now, I don’t care.