I had plenty to say about last night's game as soon as I got home from Alert Reader Julia's house (she lives about half a mile away from me; last night we finally met up and shared dive-bar beers before retiring to her lovely mill-building condo to see the rest of the travesty unfold). But I decided that I'd rather, for the nonce, just go to sleep and pretend for a few more hours that it never even happened.
I mean...just thinking about it, at least right away, was like staring into the sun. Something I still can't really wrap my mind around, for example, is the fact that after Timlin game in and gave up a home run to tie the game, apparently the Red Sox dugout had been filled with carbon monoxide, because this didn't even warrant a visit from Nip, let alone Tito with his right arm outstretched, nay, waving, toward the bullpen. Timlin eventually gave up another double and walked a guy before Tito finally came out to get him. Really, I've tried mightily to solve this logical Rubik's Cube in the last 12 hours, and I just have to admit I don't get it. I don't get it, and the not-getting-it kind of hurts my brain.
You should have heard me on the phone with Sam, who was watching the Cubs game being that the Sox game was not available, and so she relied on me for the play-by-play in that terrible inning, when I began to sound like the newscaster witnessing the Hindenburg disaster--"Oh, the humanity!"
"You crack like an egg!" was Julia's observation, watching me flail about and curse on her couch. She made lots of good, intelligent observations about it being early in the season...she even launched into a brilliant theory about tomorrow's game being the textbook "bizarro game", "You know, like the time the Patriots played Miami, and everyone figured they'd wipe the floor with them? And then they won anyway--I totally thought Miami would win, just because it was one of those games. I bet tomorrow [DiNardo v. Halladay] will be like that."
It was probably a good idea, but her whole Miami game theory kind of lost me. I don't remember any game happening like that.
And while Julia is totally, totally right about it being early, and just one game, etc., and we should be happy that Manny is hitting and Papelbon aka Chucky the Killer Doll* and even Keith Foulke stood up to the pressure and even Varitek finally got a home run...and even though you could definitely argue that once Foulke got the first two outs in the bottom of the twelfth, the move to bring in Seanez was deliberate, i.e. the eventual loss was deliberate, because we were out of pitchers and it's early in the season and discretion is the greater part of valor...**
I can't help feeling that it was a watershed game. A statement game. Given the pretensions to the throne the Blue Jays are making this season--and the fact that they took two out of three from us at home--it was of the utmost importance, suddenly, when Timlin choked, and the game was tied, who eventually won the game. Whoever won the game, by the time Timlin had become a 747 dipped in gasoline crashing into a nuclear power plant, had at least thrown down a serious gauntlet. Which is not to say that the entire duel had been fought, but for the Blue Jays to come back (and suddenly develop fans!) the way they did, regardless of how it happened, puts us back on our heels for sure. Had we managed to pull the game out, meanwhile, namely by being able to plate a goddamn run to save our lives, it would have been a less emphatic but still real statement that we intend to place a boot on the neck of the AL East and leave it there.
And with those stakes suddenly set in the latter part of the game, we lost. Though our pitching held down the Jays for a great long while, the offense simply didn't come through. That's what happened--forget the Beckett plunking***. We just don't have much of an offense so far this season, and so far this season it looks like neither we or the Yankees can hang with the Blue Jays.
Say all you want about "only April", but a game like that means something, whenever it happens. It was a statement game, and it was the Blue Jays who made the statement, not us.
I had predicted that this season's most important games could turn out to be against the Blue Jays rather than the MFY. It's cold comfort to feel today like I was right.
*Which she is SO RIGHT about--WHY did I not pick up on that?!? She also came up with "The Timlinburg"--girl's good.
**Early in the season or no, the other factor making me feel like I had been punched in the stomach last night watching Keith Foulke pitch was that if Papelbon came in and got some outs and then Foulke followed that up by giving up the winning run, Keith Foulke's career as a Boston Red Sox was all but officially over. Say what you want about the decision to bring in Seanez, but today what we remember is that Foulke actually pitched very well, rather than the alternative. I don't believe for a second that this was not part of Tito's decision to take him out, and in the long run, where Foulke's mental state and our treatment of him as fans and our pitching staff's relationships with each other are concerned, this was probably the right decision under the circumstances, as well. Most will disagree with me, but that's my opinion and there you have it.
***So far, I still believe the Beckett plunking is red herring as far as the outcome of last night's game is concerned.