Thing about a game last night is that everyone has an incredibly strong opinion about why the outcome happened. My opinion, as discussed at length in this post, boils down to: our offense this season is not the "Cowboy Up" offense we've gotten used to, and so a game like last night's, which in my mind they should've been able to pull out by plating some runs, they lose. That might just be the way the cookie crumbles this season. But I don't look at a game like that as being lost when Beckett puts a guy on base by plunking him or even when Timlin gives up the home run. I also don't look at it as being lost when Tito essentially concedes the game by putting in Seanez, because the corollary to my opinion is that Foulke was cooked after that non-call in the 12th, we're out of pitchers, we're out of gas, and again, the offense has not come through.
I also feel strongly that regardless of the circumstances, if Foulke had been the one who gave up the winning run, it would have changed the entire discussion today, in a way that could affect Foulke's whole season. I think Francona being quoted as saying ''What I didn't want to have happen was us lose a game because [Foulke] was out of gas," lends credence to that theory.
It comes back to the offense, in my mind, and that's how I look at it. Regardless of the circumstances, our offense should've found a way to get on base, to score runs, to come back while Papelbon and Foulke gave their all to keep us in the game over five innings (if you include the ninth). That's the failure, and it's not Tito's fault or Beckett's fault that the Sox offense couldn't come through in last night's game the way they have been able to in past years. That's the weakness of our team this year, no matter which way you slice it.
But there is a counterargument, one I don't really think is necessarily wrong, either, but just a different way of looking at things than mine. That counterargument says that when Beckett plunked that guy in the bottom of the ninth before being lifted, that changed the game. Since the Toronto pitcher had plunked Gonzalez in the top of the ninth, I thought that it was a routine case of you plunk my guy, I plunk your guy, we're even...but the consensus seems to be that the Gonzalez beaning was clearly unintentional and did not warrant retaliation. Hence, the Beckett beaning was both intentional and unjust, and woke the sleeping giant, and is the reason we lost. Along with the fact that Tito lifted Foulke for Seanez--the corollary to the counterargument is that Foulke should've been allowed to pitch out of that situation, and Tito is, in fact, a bonehead for not leaving him in.
I disagree primarily with this argument because the inverse of the Beckett-beaning factor is not also true: if Beckett had not beaned the guy, does that mean the Blue Jays' offense would've just taken it easy on Mike Timlin?
It's true that even so, Beckett's beaning put a guy on base for Timlin, making the Wells homer a two-run job instead of a solo, and that is a good point.
But to me the big picture is that the Blue Jays have come to play this year. Their pitching is good and their offense can be fearsome. By the time we got into extra innings, Beckett's beaning and even Timlin's choke were water under the bridge. Tie game. Clean slate. But I definitely understand where people would not share this viewpoint. And I feel it's an important as well as interesting discussion, because sometimes a discussion like this one is as important as what took place in the game itself, in terms of how we approach the season
So what do YOU think? What side do you come down on? Or for you, is it C)None of the above? I want to hear it--let me know where you stand.