You just knew it, didn’t you? When the Kentucky-Fried jackass tried to throw the ball into the stands instead of third base, giving Tampa Bay a free run, you just knew. That the Sox, who scratched and clawed all night to stay in the game, would end up losing by a single run. That run, let in by Mr. Cowboy Up. While Minty is belting grand slams, this guy belts shots of JD and lives to annoy me with his ever-present goofiness. OK, that’s out of my system, now on to the 9th. Where in God’s name is Mike Timlin? The offense finally kicks in once Kazmir is out of the game and ties it up, Embree comes in (against a righty!?) and loses the game on one freakin’ pitch. That situation is made for Timlin, is he sick? Hurt? Anybody?

This game was ugly beginning to end, for both teams. The Sox seem to play to the level of their competition, looking great against the better teams and playing like little-leaguers against the Tampa Bays of the world. Bellhorn steals second, only to be picked off a minute later. He later boots a fairly routine ball, and double-clutches, leading eventually to an unearned run. The Sox load the bases but can’t score. The Rays helped us out with a few baserunning disasters of their own, including the play where Millar threw a would-be out over the third baseman’s head and the back-up’s head for good measure.

These losses really burn my ass, especially when Kevin Brown and the pinstripes are getting their 7-and-10-tied-for-the-basement asses handed to them again. To the lovely sound of the Bronx faithless booing. These games are the reason we are content with being the wildcard. Because just as you knew Millar’s tribute-to-Nomar throw would cost the Sox a game, you know the Yankees are going to start winning. And we’ll look back at games like this.

Tonight, we get Schilling. We need the ’04 Schilling, the man who chews nails and busts drunk drivers and berates talk show hosts and mows down opposing batters. We need the bats, early and often. We need defense. And we need the bullpen, including Mike Timlin. These are the games we should be feasting on, getting fat before taking on Angels and Demons and Rangers and A’s. This is Tampa Bay, improved, but still not a legitimate rival.