Wednesday, July 1, 2009

what's the opposite of calling for an encore?

there are performances that defy words. they occur in all sorts of venues: musical, theatrical, culinary--just to name a few. in this case, i'm referring to sports. (of *course* i am.) sometimes it's for something incredible, like a no-hitter. and other times? it refers to a meltdown of epic proportions. it was the latter the Sox treated us to last night.

it started as a fine outing for Smoltzie, stalled out due to rain. not wanting to risk injury after a lengthy delay, Justin Masterson took over the ball and the 9-1 lead in the fifth when play resumed. i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a bit miffed that Smoltz was ineligible for a win after certainly deserving one after the way he pitched.

the about-face all began innocently enough. Masterson looked good in the fifth. in the sixth, we observed a bizarre clearing of the infield when, with two outs, five Red Sox headed for the dugout, leaving the outfield, Tek and a bewildered audience wondering what the hell was going on. i laughed, imagining a new Southwest Airlines commercial--featuring Youk, Pedey, Bailey, Lugo & Masterson: Wanna get away?

ha.

the joke, it turns out, would be on me. in retrospect, it was almost as if the Sox knew something ugly was brewing when they prematurely departed the field. at the very least, it was an omen of things, unimaginable things, to come. it seemed as if an entirely different team emerged from the visitor's dugout in the bottom of the seventh.

the final out of the sixth was recorded quicky enough, but when the Sox took the field in the seventh with a 10-1 lead, i watched a game unravel faster than a Walmart-purchased sweater tossed into a washing machine. by the time they retreated to the dugout--after recording all three outs *this* time--the lead had shrunk by five, Masterson unable to record even a single out.

in the eighth, Jeemer repeated the Masterson act (oh goody yay). Saito came in to put out *that* fire and ended up doing very little but throwing gasoline on it. with only one out in the eighth, Papelbon came in with bases loaded and a 10-9 score to protect. he teased us with an out, then blew the save. when the Sox left the field for the eighth (ninth?) time, the Orioles were on top 11-10, having completed the most insane comeback i have ever witnessed.

the Sox fizzled at the plate in the ninth, which really wasn't that surprising, given what they'd already...errr...accomplished in the game. all i could really do was laugh. i mean, what else is there when a team loses a game they once lead by nine runs?

i think we need games like these to keep us humble. you tip your cap to the opponent for never giving up. you tell yourself that the best bullpen in baseball pulled off the unthinkable: an epic disintegration in perfect unison. you look over your shoulder at the month behind you, one historically known for not-so-stellar play, and acknowledge that even with this astounding loss, the Sox would go 18-8 in the month of June. as a fellow Sox fan Twittered: "One game. Not worried. Embarrassed, but not worried."

that about sums up what i feel about that performance. i'm going to hope that the Sox got out all The Suck last night and covered the annual June Swoon in one fell swoop, rather than just postponing it til, say, July or August or some such agony. i find myself suddenly relieved that Smoltz was not in line for a win after all last night, because then i would be furious that they'd blown it for him when i so badly want to see him succeed in Boston.

and now we look forward to a Commander Kickass start this afternoon. that should put a stop to this monumental suckitude nonsense posthaste. because you know he won't be tolerating that kind of crap during his start. not without atomic wedgies being handed out and someone getting stuffed into a Gatorade cooler. (in fact, i wouldn't be shocked to learn that this was handled in "preemptive strike" fashion.) what say you we get this bitter taste out of our mouths with a little Beckett stopping action?

and just remind yourself of this: at least we weren't enduring that in The Juice Box or the Bronx Band Box last night.

silver linings, anyone?

1 with their own thoughts:

em Wednesday, July 01, 2009 10:59:00 AM  

so i really like the word "suckitude"... ;)

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