I hate extra innings. More so on the road, but even at home, if the Sox don’t get it locked up in nine, I always seem to know that there is little hope. Last season the Sox were 4-6 in extras, but it seemed like a freaking miracle every time they won one of those, and I honestly don’t remember any of the wins. I guess the pre-2004 me is coming back in some ways.
Last night, meanwhile, was a great kick in the nuts game to start the season. Lackey was awesome, going six strong without giving up a run on only three hits to the vaunted Yankee lineup. He showed everything that he was supposed to be, battling every hitter and throwing strikes. If he keeps this up he will be dangerous. Unfortunately he did not get any support from either the offense, which only scored one run, or the bullpen.
Papelbon, the loser (the Sox bullpen has all three decisions this season so far), took the loss last night by being so predictable that even my sister knew that he was throwing a fastball to Curtis Granderson. He needs to start throwing the splitter if he ever wants to get to the point that he can get the big payday in free agency that people say he is trying to save his arm for. Unless you are Mariano Rivera, nobody can be a one pitch closer in this league, especially if that pitch is straight. It’s not like Bard is ready to replace him yet, seeing as he was the one who served up the RBI single to Nick effing Swisher (currently leading the race with Nick Johnson for the Yankee role player who I want to die most painfully, mostly because he looks like a douche in the Buchholz commercial) on a changeup. Bard needs to learn that his changeup is not and will never be his out pitch, and if he lets the hard one fly, not many people will be catch up to his fastball.
Of course, after last night, today is an off day. A whole day to hear people continue to argue that somebody should euthanize Ortiz (who did get the sole RBI our club could muster last night) in favor of Lowell, whether or not the bullpen will right itself (completely ignoring the fact that they were nasty on Sunday) and all of the other things that people overreact to three days into the season.
The kick to the junk was actually a good thing if you think about it. This is baseball. Shit like this happens all the time and we all need to be prepared for it over the course of a long season. Just keep telling yourself, “it will be fine,” and enjoy Tiger’s reemergence from his cone of silence. I hope he sucks.