05/23/08: Red Sox 3, Athletics 8
05/24/08: Red Sox 0, Athletics 3
05/25/08: Red Sox 3, Athletics 6
First, we'd like to thank Big Papi for ensuring that Jon Lester's was the only no-hitter this week. Call us selfish, call us sentimental, call us slightly tipsy after watching multiple hours of "hey, look, the Red Sox can't get a hit" theater, but we kind of wanted Jonny to retain sole Best Pitcher in the World bragging rights for the week.
Plus, you know, we actually wanted the Red Sox to win. Unfortunately, we didn't get that particular wish, and Jennifer's starting to think her latest no-hitter commemorative desktop wallpaper might be to blame.*
But, seriously, this insane home/road split thing is driving us batty. How can this be the same team? It's like, once they leave the friendly confines of Fenway Park, each and every player is replaced with Folgers crystals. Can you tell the difference? We sure can, and we'd like our real players back. Even after adding some cream and sugar, this instant stuff just isn't getting it done. Yes, the A's trio of starters** pitched good games. Yes, Wakefield had a pretty bad start, though at least he went deep enough to save the bullpen. No, Beckett wasn't at his best, but he also only gave up two runs and most other nights the story would be the way he minimized damage and managed to get the A's to strand most of their baserunners, not to mention the sexy, sexy Ks. Lester struggled, but, in the end, the offense didn't get it done (and the bullpen, Not Your Father's Javy Lopez, didn't hold it down).
It just defies explanation how this team can score eleven runs one day and struggle to put one across the board the next. Guys who were hitting everything in sight during the homestand are striking out and grounding into double plays left and right now that they're on the road ('Tek, we're kind of looking at you,*** even though we'll always love you best--what did you do during your two games off that has you looking like the guy we all worried about at the start of the season? We miss the guy who got two hits while catching a no-hitter, and we'd really like to see him back). At least Manny looked good today? He obviously put his day off to good use, and we're hopeful that whatever he discovered watching tape of himself won't come back anytime soon.
Next up: Seattle. Now, we know you guys have had your troubles at Safeco, but--no matter how much Caroline wishes this wasn't true--the Mariners aren't very good this season. In fact, they're almost epically bad. Of course, because the Red Sox always seem to luck out**** when it comes to pitching matchups, King Felix will be toeing the rubber for them the first game up, but we have faith that the Sox will find the missing bag of awesome en route to Washington. Either that, or Manny Being will remind them about the rules of hitting (after all, he just rediscovered them himself, right?), or Papi will pull out the old "bad-ass motherfuckers" speech. Whatever works. Just, please guys, win?
*It's either that or her Yankees-loving mother, who e-mailed to remark upon the fact that the Red Sox were doing well and the Yankees were not, thus setting off a whole chain of games in which the exact opposite has been true. Mothers: can't live with 'em, wouldn't be here without 'em, can't talk to 'em about baseball.
**We, like Tito, are thoroughly sick of seeing Harden on the mound, and Duchscherer, of course, pitched that gem of a one-hitter. Blanton didn't seem all that amazing, but he was certainly good enough to win (which, in the end, is all that counts), and we're willing to admit we were distracted by Clayton Kershaw's debut for the Dodgers on mlb.tv.
***We're also, of course, looking at Kevin "0-11" Youkilis, Jacoby "2-13" Ellsbury, Dust--eh, never mind, this is just getting depressing.
****For definitions of "luck" that involve, you know, facing every team's ace (who just happens to pitching "the game of his life" that particular night).