So much for the perfecta. Or such was the name I was prepared to give to the quadruple-sweep, had the Red Sox actually accomplished it -- but I probably jinxed it before it had a chance to begin with my last post.
More scientifically, the Red Sox ended their winning streak at the loathsome Trop tonight for two reasons: James Shields pitched a hell of a complete-game shutout, and, on a related note, the Red Sox bats grounded into double play after double play after double play within the first six innings, all of them inning-ending, and two of them authored by Kevin Youkilis.
Some questioned the decision to leave Wakefield in, but he pitched wonderfully, delivering more than a quality start -- 7 innings and 1 earned run. Sadly, Tim Wakefield Disease, the devastating condition in which a pitcher receives absolutely no run support from his offense, struck hard with its Patient Zero and namesake tonight. Plus, though the point is ultimately moot with the shutout going on the other side, with the way Tommy Hottovy and Alfredo Aceves added fuel to the flames, seven innings of Wake was, at worst, six of one / half dozen of the other.
That said, I don't know if Wake is long for the rotation -- reports are that the Red Sox are readying Pawtucket's Andrew Miller to start in Boston soon.
In the meantime, let's hope the Commander can restore order tomorrow night. 9-0 may be a lost dream, but with Beckett slated to pitch against a kid it looks like he could easily beat in a bar fight as well as on the field, and Buch to follow, I can still believe in 8-1.
P.S. I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't mention all the Carl Crawford hoopla, but really, I'm not all that into it either way. But let's face it -- the Red Sox are indistinguishable from the Yankees to many of the fan bases in the league. Then, let's think back to Johnny Damon's return to Fenway with the Yankees. Yeah. So, I'd actually be a little sad if he hadn't been booed at least a little bit -- with a pathetic average attendance going this season, the least the Rays fans who do show up can do is act like a real fan base.