...and promptly handed us our ass.
I'm actually watching the game today, unlike the last two nights. So hopefully a more substantial post tomorrow.
P.S. Because I just cannot let the debates over Terry Francona GO already...
The first thing I read today to find out about the game was this article on RedSox.com. Which contained the following passage:
With two outs, Red Sox manager Terry Francona spotted a matchup he loved. Magglio Ordonez was 0-for-6 lifetime against Julian Tavarez. So out of the bullpen came the sinkerballer.
Mirabelli called for a sinking fastball on 1-0 that would hopefully ride in on Ordonez. Instead, the Tigers rightfielder walloped an all-too-meaty offering over the wall in left-center, turning a tight 3-2 game into a four-run lead for Detroit.
"I wanted Tavarez to face Ordonez, good move on my part," quipped Francona.
For whatever reason, Tavarez, a reliable setup man for the Cardinals the last couple of years, has not been able to get into that same rhythm with Boston.
"Sometimes with guys, not everything is perfect," Francona said. "If it was, it would be an easy game to play. A guy like Ordonez, who he had had a lot of success against, he let him extend his arms, and he leaned all over that ball."
Then I read a bunch of blogs demanding to know why Tavarez was pitching. And flying off the handle about how Francona continues to stubbornly use Tavarez even though according to their inside information, he sucks.
Yes, Tavarez's very non-clutch performance was highly remeniscent of his performance against us in the WS, specifically in Game 1. But according to the information available to the manager, his numbers against this guy career are ridiculous. The matchup is good. He tries it. Tavarez gets his ass handed to him. To argue that Francona was to see this coming is to argue, essentially, that Tavarez is never to be used (as it has been with Seanez), not even in the most seemingly strategic situations. Which I guess is your right, but hopefully then you won't be among those shitting on Francona for overusing Mike Timlin and putting him on the DL.
I argue about this stuff so much because my biggest fear is that if this team isn't up to our expectations this year, the grassroots campaign to throw Francona under the bus for it will begin (or has already begun). Whereas it may simply be a transition year and part of the plan--but who knows. We have another Nomar situation, another Manny situation, another period of insanity in which the papers and the fan base are just calling for the guy's head...and then he's run out of town. The winningest manager in Red Sox history in a comparable time period of his career run out of town; the manager who led the Sox to a record three straight years of playoffs and the first World Series in 86 years in another Philly situation, and gone. Because people couldn't be patient about a couple of relievers who turned out to be lemons?
P.P.S. In-game update: I may argue tirelessly for patience with Francona and Foulke, but I must state for the record that Matt Clement drives me nucking futs.
I never said I was rational.