9/6/07: Red Sox 7, Orioles 6
9/7/07: Red Sox 4, Orioles 0
9/8/07: Red Sox 5, Orioles 11
9/9/07: Red Sox 3, Orioles 2
Hey, Boston, we're officially done with the Os for the season! Everybody set your Kevin Millar phasers back to "gently stun."
Four notes on a four-game series:
1. One of these games is not like the others. One of these games just doesn't belong.
2. Seriously, not to dwell on the single loss, but Dice-K's performance was on par with Britney Spears' trainwreck on the MTV Video Music Awards tonight. Sure, we weren't expecting perfection, but we also weren't expecting a deer-in-the-headlights gaze, slow-motion movements, and the overall sense that the star of the show had abandoned all hope.*
Britsuzaka, get yourself to some kind of "wellness clinic." We're all pulling for you. We hear Bronson Arroyo is already arranging the benefit concert.
3. After being rattled by Toronto, the bullpen was lights out at Fenway South. With the exception of Tavvy (and seriously, they've gotta stop listening to him when he claims he can throw with a two-minute warning and a Red Bull--or else, hook the man up to a Red Bull I.V.)**, our bullpen band did not give up a single run in these four games. Even though we spend a lot of this space giving love to Paps and Oki and dancing for Mike Timlin,*** we sometimes take it for granted. It's nice to pay as much attention to their "routine" dominance as to their rare mistakes. It's nice to see question marks like Lopez and Snyder and bullpen newbie Buchholz shutting down everyone in their path, and even nicer to see Paps getting his save on with an efficient-yet-badass dozen pitches. Can they all win the Cy Young together and share custody?****
4. The bottom of our order stepped it up this series. The Man Papelbon Calls Cap'n came through twice in key late-inning situations, and today he even took a little extra time out for sexy defense; Coco Crisp had a homer, tall socks, and today's game-winning hit. Even J.D. Drew (not technically in the bottom third of our order, but let's not beat around the .383 SLG) contributed, with the bat and on the basepaths. We really want to be pulling for Slim J.D., at least until such time as we have the wherewithal to actually buy the team and start auctioning contracts off on eBay. This week he made our lives easier.
Of course, it's always easy to root for Tek. The hard part is watching him strike out and make a face like he'll never forgive himself, and unfortunately we had to see that a bunch this series.***** We hope he's taking comfort, post-Orioles, in what he did accomplish. And figuring out which of his gloves will best fit Britsuzaka's face.
You know. Tough love.
*They also did about the same amount of lip-synching.
**Someone should also tell Tavvy not to try and be the voice of reason in any sort of fight situation. Did you see him approach the mound to talk to crazed Daniel Cabrera? Did you, also, expect him to pull a shank from his sweatband? When he didn't, weren't we all the tiniest bit disappointed?
***Yes, it still works. Bam-a-lam!
****Can they also have a Grammy? Come on, whatever they were playing, it must be better than the award-winning "My Humps."
*****Blame the umpire, Tek! Mike Lowell totally has your back.