If Wednesday night was the unsuspecting stab in the back, then Thursday has to be the twisting of the knife. Perhaps that is a bit hyperbolic for a season that isn’t even 1/16th over, but I am a Red Sox fan and we are fluent in hyperbole. One strike away from a victory and a 6-2 start, Joel Hanrahan surrendered a single, two straight walks, a wild pitch in which the tying run scored, and a three run home run into the monster seats. He managed to give up a total of five earned runs and effectively ruin my night. A win would have secured the Red Sox a third straight series win over an AL east opponent. Now the discussion has to be opened back up about who gives this team the best chance as closer. Andrew Miller and the, once Papelbon replacement, Andrew Bailey both had good games and seem capable of taking over the role. Did you know, since Papelbon left the Sox, he has 38 saves and 4 blown saves, and the Red Sox, in the same time span, have a combined total of 39 saves and 24 blown saves.
The local nine followed up Wednesday’s disastrous finish with a 3-2 loss in the rubber match. The game was highlighted by Will Middlebrooks’ second straight 0-4 game (after going 0-3 in the home opener). He appears to have left his swing in Toronto. The 5 through 9 hitters in the Sox lineup accumulated 2 hits over a combined 18 registered at-bats. So far, in this still young season, the starting pitching has been phenomenal, the middle inning relief has been stellar, the closer role is up for grabs, and the front of the order has been mashing the ball. Once the back end of the order starts hitting, or at least drawing more walks and getting on base, the Sox will stop dropping these winnable games.
With all of that complaining out of the way, we still hold a share of first place in the East. I wouldn’t have it any other way.