Wow. Talk about a meltdown. Which of these men were to blame for allowing the Red Sox to live another day?
Correct answer? All three of them. Nice fat pitch to Ortiz, Balfour! Way to groove one to Drew, Wheels! Congrats on that walkoff to blow the game, Howell! You all belong in the choker’s hall of shame.
But there’s another person who deserves mention here.
Yes, you, Mr. Maddon. Crafty move starting Kazmir, but what were you thinking when you pulled him after six innings? So what if he’d thrown over 100 pitches and sat in the dugout for 31 minutes? He had a two-hit shutout going. Plus, you must have noticed Balfour wasn’t exactly lights out and yet you left him in to pitch to Ortiz instead of calling for a lefty? I know. I’m such a second guesser. But the Rays had the American League pennant sewn up. You realize that, right?
I congratulate Red Sox fans (the ones that didn’t leave Fenway when the score was 7-0) on their team’s latest miraculous comeback. It brings back painful memories of ’04, but I’m trying not to go there.
I don’t know about you, but I was really into this one, even though there wasn’t a Yankee in sight. So many storylines. Would Dice K throw a no-hitter? Did Grant “The Mad Australian” Balfour plunk J.D. Drew on purpose? Would Carlos Pena get the green light with two men on and nobody out in the eighth?
And then there was J.P. Howell’s pre-game meal, which the TBS crew felt the need to tell us about:
With a side order of:
Was all that food giving the lefty a case of heartburn and is that why Ortiz walked and Youkilis reached on an error by Crawford smacked an RBI double that glanced off Crawford’s glove?
When it was all over, I decided that the Rays reminded me of the birds that fly into my living room window by mistake and drop to the ground, stunned. Eventually, they get back up and fly away, but who knows if there’s any damage to their little bodies. The Rays were stunned tonight. Time will tell if they’ll get back up and fly again.
As for their fans?
I think they were damaged before the game started.