I stayed up to watch every bloody moment of that game, and when it was over, all I could think about was Josh Thole. Because when his error last week gave us a walk-off win against the Padres, one of my first thoughts was, “Payback’s gonna be a bitch.”
And it was. Because when you’re the top dog in the East and you’re up by four with two out in the ninth, you seal the deal. You win that game. And when Brandon Snyder fielded what should have been the final out of the game, then unleashed a throw that the Elf couldn’t have snared if he was on Chewbacca’s shoulders, allowing the tying run to score and completing an improbable collapse, I figured we owed karma one. And that we weren’t coming back to win.
Two innings later, I was right. And that was that.
Without question, it was the Red Sox’ worst loss of the season. A swift kick to the balls when everything was going so well. Over the last week, we’d been able to forget about Drew’s injury and Middlebrook’s progress and how the closer situation will eventually shake out. Maybe this loss was the wake-up call. Or maybe it was just a blip on the radar. All I know is, that’s the last time I make any bold predictions, drunk or otherwise.
The true test will be seeing how the team bounces back. Needless to say, it puts additional weight on John Lackey’s shoulders. As if pitching in front of the Anaheim crowd wasn’t enough, now he’s got to try to wipe away the bitter taste of this loss.
I gotta believe he can do it. Who’s with me?
Photo montage from The Bluth Company Tumblr.