First things first: that obstruction/interference/getthef#$koutoftheway call on Middlebrooks was the worst conceivable way to end a World Series game. I honestly have no idea how Middlebrooks can be expected to beam himself out of the prone position immediately after falling to the ground to try to catch a ball, but apparently, he’s supposed to. And it took every ounce of restraint not to throw my flatscreen out the window, tear ass to Logan, hop a St. Louis flight and personally kick each of those motherf$%king umpires in the howsyourfather.
But I’m not gonna waste any more anger on something we couldn’t control. And rest assured, whether you thought it was the right call or utter bullshit, that call was out of the Red Sox’ control.
Instead, I’m gonna focus on the things we did particularly wrong that didn’t put us in the best position to win.
– Salty making the throw to get the runner. I know it’s the playoffs and adrenaline is running high and you just nailed a key runner at the plate, but you have to hold on to that ball. As soon as I saw it bounce past Middlebrooks, I figured, “Well, that’s the game.” And despite all the interference brouhaha, it was. Bottom line: Pedroia saved the game with a great play, then Salty threw the game away.
– Salty hitting in the eight. This was the real nut-kicker to me. After falling behind 4-2, the Sox got a bit of a rally going, loading the bases with one out. One Nava ground out and a Bogaerts infield single later, the Sox tied the game and had the potential go-ahead run at third with two out. Time for Napoli to step to the plate and possibly bang that run home, right? Or maybe give Ross a chance to make something happen? Guess again, assholes! Farrell stuck with his .000-hitting catcher, who promptly grounded out weakly to second. That was utter mismanagement, pure and simple.
– Napoli never getting of the bench. In a game in which your team is struggling to drive in RISP, there has got to be at least one spot to use your big gun (see above for one example).
– Hitting Workman instead of Ross in the ninth. Farrell himself copped to this one after the game.
– Peavy going tits-up out of the gate. I know the guy’s a tough mother. But in a game he himself called the biggest of his career, he put his team in a two-run hole right out of the box. And you can’t do that.
You could pile it on. Drew still can’t hit for shit. The bottom third of the order is killing us. Breslow had another shit day at the office. Pedroia has great leather but still can’t find a groove at the plate. Yadda yadda yadda. It was the second straight game the Sox seemed to give away through sloppy play and not getting the little things done. And it wasted another stellar performance by Xander Bogaerts, who should have been the star of that game and what we were all talking about afterward. Not that call.
What pisses me off is that I know the team is better than this. And seeing them squander opportunities and make mental mistakes on the season’s biggest stage is… well, it f#$king sucks. Pure and simple.
So now we have to hope that Clay Buchholz was using some kind of Jedi mind trick when he told the world his arm is dead and he has about one more start left in him. Because that arm–along with our bullpen–is the only thing keeping us from going 1-3 with one to play in St. Louis.
It isn’t over by a long shot. But that won’t stop me from calling tonight’s game a must-win.