Seeking an Even Keel
"That was too easy," my Mom said after Game 4 of the World Series.
"I don't care," I responded. If the Series itself had been unexpectedly smooth sailing, the arduous journey that had brought us there--three months of .500 baseball, a 3-0 deficit in the LCS--more than made up for the luxurious bask of the sweep.
Even so, Mom had a point, which is why I'm not lurching around my apartment like I'm on the bridge of the USS Enterprise while it's under attack. Yes, it's tough losing forty percent of your starting rotation in the space of 48 hours. However, this stroke of misfortune has generated something that had been missing from my attitude toward the team this year: curiosity. I'm eager to see how the boys will handle it. I wonder if the boys can handle it.
Six weeks ago, a lot of folks were just assuming that the Sox would be around in October. There was even seem grousing from non-Boston fans that the Fenway crew was starting to feel a little inevitable in an Evil Empire kind of way. Now, instead of having a postseason ticket handed to them, the Red Sox will have to scrap and claw like everyone else, without the advantage of 17 to 20 million dollars worth of starting pitching for the next month. I'm looking forward to it, because I think these guys have a chance to prove that it's more than just a payroll. They have a chance to show that they can earn it even when it's not easy, and I think they will.
Tonight's game, however, didn't provide a lot of evidence to reward a hopeful fan's confidence. It was closer than the 7-2 final score would indicate, but just enough went wrong that it never really felt like it was going to be our night. Chan Ho Park, he of the lethally bloated contract, rustled up a bunch of groundball outs against a line-up that seemed a little pull-happy. Tim Wakefield gave his usual professional effort, but he made that one bad pitch to Soriano, and he didn't have the margin for that kind of error tonight. Hopefully Arroyo can turn things around tomorrow.