Knee Jerk Reactions

Just like that, the 2010 Boston Red Sox season is all but mathematically over.  Going into the weekend there were positive vibes that the Sox could turn their truck accident of a season into one in which they’d play baseball in October.  After Jon Lester baffled the Rays Friday night, the hope was affirmed.  Fans that fell off the wagon long ago were brushing the dust off of their pink hats on Saturday morning and were planning on where to watch game 2 of the series, even though they couldn’t name the starting lineup.  Saturday night is when disaster struck.

On Saturday Clay Buchholz cruised through seven innings giving up one run.   One that quite possibly should have never scored because of a mental error by JD Drew.  It was mental errors that did in the Sox in 2010.  Sure people can point to a weak bullpen, Papelbon’s struggles, the injuries, you name it.  But August 28 and August 29 were days that the Sox were uncharacteristically flawed in their approach to the game. 

On a foul ball hit into the Tampa Bay bullpen area, JD Drew made what normally would be a sensational catch.  The problem was there was a runner on third and that runner easily tagged up and scored tying the game.  It appeared JD wouldn’t be the goat, as Victor Martinez promptly launched a bomb off of Rays’ reliever Joaquin Benoit.  Then Grady Little, umm I mean Terry Francona did the unthinkable.  He got away from his formula and let Clay Buchholz go out for the eighth inning where he gave up a home run to BJ Upton tying the game. 

Then in extra innings Francona inexplicably went to Scott Atchison instead of Jonathan Papelbon.  Atchison gave up a walk off home run to the first batter he faced in light hitting Dan Johnson.  Game over.

Tonight John Lackey showed that he is nothing more than an overpaid number 4 starter at best.  Given a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning Lackey couldn’t wait to give it all back.  A base hit by Ben Zobrist (hitting .160 since the All Star break) off of Yamaico Navarro’s glove (why he was starting, I still have no idea) followed by a rocket into the bleachers by Carl Crawford and the Rays tied it up just like that.  A few batters later that same light hitting Dan Johnson struck again with what would prove to be the game winning single.  Goodbye 2010 for the Sox.

In summation the goats of the 2010 Red Sox season are JD Drew, Terry Francona, and John Lackey.  Some will say that the Sox still have a chance.  I disagree.  The Yankees and Rays are healthy and refuse to lose.  More importantly they don’t make stupid mistakes.

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