I’ll admit it; when Bobby Abreau took exception to a high and tight toss by Josh Beckett after the ump called time out, taunting Our Man Josh with a shake of his meaty fist, and emptying the benches, I thought it was over. Curtains for the Angels. Because the wrath of Commander Kick Ass of the F@#k Yeah Brigade was sure to shake the very walls of Angels Stadium. I figgered he’d spend the rest of his time between innings affixing imaginary targets on all of the Angels’ nutcups, lay down the law like The Mighty Thor tossing his hammer, and reign nothing but hell fire and bad vibes on whomever his intended target would be.
He’s not just going to beat the Angels, I thought to myself. He’s going to vaporize them.
In the end… not so much. Beckett was merely human, giving up four runs and eight hits over six innings. The killing blow, however, was a home run by vlad.i.am. off Hideki Okajima in the bottom of the eighth, which turned what could have been a game-tying rally by the Sox in the top of the ninth into a frustrating exercise in coming up one run short.
Not that we didn’t have our chances. Collectively, our offense left a staggering 26 men on base, indicating that the team’s first full season of Life After Manny may be tougher than we’d imagined. Through the first six games, the team is averaging just 3.4 runs per game, and some of the big guns we’re counting on — Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, JD Drew and Mike Lowell — are a wretched 10-for-65 combined. On the bright side, Youk is tearing it up at .526, and Rocco Baldelli has been a pleasant surprise thus far, legging out a key hit in Saturday’s game against Anaheim and flashing some pretty impressive leather in the field.
The pre-2004 me might want to jump off a bridge. But the post-2004 me just kicks back, opens another tall Strohs, and waits for the August magic. This week it’s on to Oakland for three games, then back home for Baltimore. I imagine things could be getting better very soon.