Riddle Me This
How is it possible to get 14 hits and only two runs? How is it possible to blow a team out 12-1 one night behind your best pitcher, and then to allow five runs due to errors behind one of your shakiest the very next day?
It's not so much that the Red Sox are playing terribly right now (The Mariners--now they seem to be terrible this season), and the Devil Rays will probably stop shooting up the charts eventually. It's that they're fielding a team that gave us such paroxysms of joy in the off-season and it has turned out to be...decent. Most of the time.
But beyond the lack of perspective, the frustration comes from the fact that they're not being simply outgunned or outpitched. They're giving away runs on errors. They're leaving men on base. They're not..gulp..."Cowboying Up" when they have to.
Another conundrum is the way they perform offensively behind Schilling and Pedro as opposed to Lowe, Wakefield and Arroyo. How is it Pedro gets 12 runs in support and poor Bronson gets two? Do they perform better behind Schilling and Pedro because Schilling and Pedro inspire confidence? It's almost a guarantee, especially at Fenway, that Schilling and Pedro will give up a maximum of two runs.
Or is it that when Pedro or Schilling are pitching, they can relax? Maybe when the guys in the dugout see Bronson Arroyo struggle, they're thinking, "oh, shit! We have to hit! We have to hit! We have to hit! We have to hit!" until strike three is called.
Be that as it may, the bottom line is that at this point it's not an isolated blowout that counts, but a steady record of wins. Win one, lose two won't work. It can't go on this way for the rest of the season if we expect to go deep into the playoffs--hell, if we expect to make the playoffs.
Argue all you want about each man's statistics. Argue all you want about what kind of team this is "on paper". They still have to go out and play. This is what no one seems to be realizing; they don't get back to Game 7 at Yankee Stadium just by showing up with a certain batting average.
Maybe, after all, this is what the boys in the clubhouse are thinking, that with all the weapons in their arsenal, it simply won't continue, and someone or something will come along to fix it. Problem is, it's up to them.
Or perhaps a vast right-wing conspiracy is to blame?
It's a puzzle, all right.