If I actually wrote a newspaper column that would be my headline. Only the good lord, and maybe Dave Wallace, know what the hell is wrong with Josh Beckett, but when you have his stuff and you give up a home run to Andy "I Must Swing As Hard As I Can At Every Pitch Or I'm Not Satisfied" Phillips, you are 'teh suck'.
Every Yankee and sub-Yankee got a hit last night. This list includes the aforementioned Phillips but also such superstars as Miguel Cairo, Melky Cabrera, and the taxidermied body of Bernie Williams, operated by strings from the mezzanine. Almost all of these hits occurred before the 4th inning no less - the tin lining is that Riske, the Jeep, and MDC only allowed three hits between them.
Beckett sucking is pretty tough but last night's loss is a killer in a lot of ways beyond that.
First off, we had a perfect opportunity to put a shiv in the side of our arch-rivals last night. Ace on the mound, Mussina not looking great this year, and the Yankees trotting out as crappy a team as we've seen in the Bronx in a decade. Even Captain Intangibles, "Brokeback" Jeter was out. The Sox should have been the ones pounding on the Spanks, not the other way around. They just haven't shown the killer instinct yet this year, and it's troubling.
Then, the 'pen. Van Buren, who has actually pitched pretty well when not utterly pimped as he was last night, is now done, and will probably be sent down. We also blew through three other relievers the night before our AA stalwart Dave Pauley has to take the mound for his first trip to the Toilet. I'm thinking this means the call-up to replace Van Buren will need to be capable of throwing a few innings, but it terrifies me to think of Alvarez pitching to the Spanks. Maybe we will see Breslow or Hertzler, who have both pitched well. Still, no matter how you slice it, Wednesday's game does not shape up well on the pitching front. Foulke and Papelbon are available, if we get that far.
Next: Ortiz and Varitek continue to struggle and the hits aren't coming in bursts for the team as a whole. Papi is now hitting .257 for the season, and looks positively disgruntled at the plate. I don't know how else to describe it. As much as he's walking already, I tend to think he is perhaps too eager to swing, to get in the game. Varitek hit into two murderous double-plays last night, and then got shamie-shamed by Mirabelli who went yard! Overall, we saw a lot of tentative at-bats last night. Mussina was not throwing hard, was missing spots, and guys were not hitting pitches they should have - in short, an exact replica of the Sox' last game against Moose. For some reason, hitters seem to give him credit for being better than he now is, and guys are not teeing off on his just-better-than-mediocre stuff the way they should.
You have to believe this team is playing hard, and we know this team wants to win. The pitching is suspect, and there have been some unfortunate injuries, but the Sox have got to beat a poor Yankee team like the one that suited up last night. They have to. Tonight's game is going to be an uphill battle, as Pauley will undoubtedly struggle, and the Sox don't tend to score bunches of runs against Wang (he just bought some property at the Great Wall of China - on the good side), but somehow they need to find a way to get it done.
Here's what I'm thinking: today is 6/6/06. If there were ever a night Rudy Seanez, here known as the Anti-Christ, should be strong, tonight is the night. If push comes to shove, and he has to cause Yankee batters to burst into flame, so be it. We need the win.