The Red Sox season came to an abrupt end this afternoon when their game against the Houston Astros slipped away. While I'll have many more mosts in the coming days and weeks discussing the past season, I wanted to take this opportunity to spew out some quick thoughts.
I have an odd feeling. It's not quite disappointment. I think it's the realization that this was a good team that happened to run inot a slightly better one. It's not like I can absolutely hang my hat on a particular fault or flaw, at the moment. Nothing is gnawing at me like leaving Pedro in or anything. It just didn't work out.
From the final game, my only question is Chris Sale. I don't know if Farrell has given any explanation for his usage in today's game. So I don't know if I agree with it. But, I don't understand what the point of his was today. When the Red Sox won game five of the 2004 ALCS, many people questioned Torre's use of Mariano Rivera. Torre had said he wasn't available for two innings that night. So, with a two run lead in the eighth, he brought in Tom Gordon. A homer to Ortiz made it a one run lead, and in came Rivera, for what ended up being two innings. So, was he available for two, or not? Similarly, Sale wasn't starting this game today. He was being saved for game 5. I can't really argue with that sentiment. But, he was available in the bullpen. That's not completely unusual. Starters are often available on their throw days in the playoffs. So, I assumed this was something similar. He was under glass, but could give them an inning or two if needed in an emergency. The Sox decided that emergency was the fourth inning. Again, that was too soon to pull the starter...a problem Farrell seems to have in the playoffs. But once he was in, I guess it was ok to get the inning or two out of him right then. Sale was wonderful. He got through his two innings with ease. Then a third. Then a fourth. He did it. He was the bridge to a well rested Reed and Kimbrel. The Sox got their dream. A lead in the eighth to be handed off to their strength. But, they didn't do that. The sent Sale out to start the eighth. So, what was the plan? Did they decide they needed to use Sale the rest of the way? Had they given up on his game 5 start? Why? Once they blew his next start, did they figure they would just use him up completely? It was such a departure from the usual bullpen usage that it made me curious. What was the plan?
I was glad to see the offense wake up. They scored in the first, fifth, and ninth. They scored big runs. They were clearly trying. Hopefully the games at Fenway put to rest the tired notion that they hadn't wanted it enough. They wanted it. They just didn't get it.
Hanley doesn't get enough credit for his October performances. Sure, his Red Sox teams are 1-6 in the postseason. But, that hasn't exactly been his fault.
Like I said, I break this all down further as the days go buy. But, those are some things I wanted to get off my chest.
What are your immediate thoughts?
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