You had me in Detroit.
After that come-from-behind win against the Tigers, capped — as things so often are — by a majestic David Ortiz home run, I was back on the bus. Hell, I was driving the goddam thing, with one of those tight little black caps and everything. “This is the turning point,” I thought at the time. “This is the start of big things for the 2014 Red Sox.”
Then you went to Baltimore. And scored one run over three games. Remarkably, we left with one win.
Things picked up again when you scored 10 runs on June 13. But you showed me. Over your next six games, you scored 11 runs in total.
Last Wednesday, it happened again. An improbable (and too many seem improbable these days) walk-off win, featuring back-to-back home runs by Ortiz and Napoli. Gotta admit, I was feeling it. As you guys shuffled off for the west coast, I figured the team flight would be a bonding session for the ages. I imagined Papi taking the mic and getting everyone pumped right the f$%k up. And Brock Holt taking a turn flying the plane, just because he can. And Jonny Gomes hoisting a Boston Strong shirt just to remind everyone what can be achieved when you put your collective minds to it.
Then you hit the field in Oakland. And it’s been downhill since.
This is the season of false starts. Epic moments surrounded by prolonged, excruciating failures. Times when I swear the Delorean’s brought us back to 2013, and other times I think I see John Farrell wearing one of Bobby V’s sweaters. [Fun fact: On this date in 2012, Bobby V’s Sox won their fifth straight to go 36-33. Losing pitcher in that game? Miami’s Edward Mujica.] It is feast or famine but mostly famine. And while the season is far from over — 6.5 games back is but a pittance in the wild, wild AL east — every loss seems to kick away a chunk of this team’s killer spirit. And I’m not sure how many it has left.
Don’t get me wrong. If you guys spent all your hits earning a World Series trophy in 2013, I’m fine with it. But if you’re gonna bomb out this year, I say do it in spectacular fashion. Just close your eyes and jump. Make losing outrageously entertaining. Seal the deal on that whole “worst to first to worst” thing. Embrace it and make it an art form.
But this back and forth, man. It’s killing me. It’s killing us.