Even Theo was willing to admit before yesterday’s game that the Sox had been playing piss poor baseball so far this season. They had been making errors, failing in the clutch and pretty much doing all of the things that we hoped would not happen in this new era of “run prevention.” They needed something, a spark, a goddamn win, anything to make them enjoy playing baseball for ridiculous amounts of money again.
That spark came last night, with me in the ballpark for the first time all season (you’re welcome), from a 31-year-old, journeyman minor leaguer named Darnell McDonald. I am proud to say that I was one of the few people in Fenway who did not say “Who the f#$% is Darnell McDonald?” when he was announced at bat in the eighth, but I never thought in a million years that this least heralded of our minor leaguers (who was a former first round draft pick) would be the hero.
After Varitek doubled (he’s hitting .429 with three homers for those who are counting), McDonald came up as a pinch hitter for Josh Reddick, with whom he had been called up earlier in the day to replace Cameron and Ellsbury who had gone on the DL, and promptly launched one up into the monster seats to tie the game. His walk off single (which would have been a double had the game not ended) an inning later was just Icing on the cake.
It was a spark, and a great win, but there were some warts on this one. Wake was just plain bad, giving up six runs in six innings, and Ron Washington must have been a little extra coked up because the Rangers were running like they had to get their stash away from the cops. Nine stolen bases, a Rangers team record, were given up. People are running at will on the Sox, and this is going to be a real problem if the Sox aren’t hitting.
Speaking of not hitting, I am not going to complain about David Ortiz any more. He has at least had a few hits that looked like he knew what he was doing, but this Drew guy who Theo keeps defending has simply sucked. He’s hitting .134 and has no extra base hits. Even in the best of times, Drew shows no emotion on the field, and the way he plays it looks effortless. In times like this it looks to most of us that he doesn’t give a crap that he is awful. With him hitting in the two-hole (hey-o), the guys who are hitting (that doesn’t include Youk, who is currently at .240) don’t have anyone to drive in, and the whole offense looks even more anemic.
Last night was not a cure all for the Sox, no matter how dramatic and exciting it was. It was a spark, one that we can only hope caries into tonight and starts a nice little streak. Just get us back to .500 for the year.