Monday, July 21, 2008


I guess I'm glad I missed Sunday night's game after all.

I followed it on my cell phone as I played softball last night. And it was another night Tim Wakefield gave the Red Sox a quality start and he came away with nothing. The Angels rallied in the eighth against Wake and Manny Delcarmen for three runs and the Sox found themselves swept, 5-3. There's no shame in being swept by the team with the best record in baseball. But it is the fifth time this season that the Sox have been swept on the road in a three-game series. They are also now a putrid 21-32 away from Fenway Park this year.

Both are totally unacceptable for a team that has aspirations for repeating as World Series champions.

Right now, Jacoby Ellsbury is in a big slump, as are Mike Lowell and Coco Crisp. The bottom of the lineup is a gigantic black hole and destroying too many rallies. The Red Sox didn't have a single hit after the third inning last night and looked anemic against Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth, as he struck out the side. The bullpen is a mess and totally unreliable. Justin Masterson is back up to help, with David Aardsma having gone on the DL. But you can't bank on the rookie. The trading deadline is 10 days away, and they need help in the pen. (But there's not a lot of quality out there to trade for.)

It's putting doubts into my mind.

Granted, they are just 1 1/2 games out, and have a favorable schedule after the Yankees series, especially in September, when they are home for most of it (and are 36-11 at Fenway). David Ortiz returns Friday after banging the ball around in Pawtucket. But the road struggles have to be straightened out, and beginning tonight in Seattle, where Jon Lester gets the ball. The Mariners are one of baseball's bottom feeders, and a team the Red Sox should feast on. But Safeco Field has not been a welcoming place for the Sox, no matter what kind of club the Mariners put on the field. Anything less than taking at least two out of three from Seattle is unacceptable.

Time to stop screwing around and get the ship righted.

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