Friday, August 11, 2006

It's Official: Panic Time

Schill ties A.L. record for most XBH's allowed as Sox are swept in K.C., 5-4.

Well it has come to this. Not even the Devil Rays and Royals can offer salvation to the sinking ship that is known as the Boston Red Sox nowadays. The Beantown Boys limp back to Fenway tonight having completed a wretched 1-5 road trip against the aforementioned bottom feeders of the A.L., and even though the Orioles await, the way they are playing right now it wouldn't matter if they were playing the '62 Mets.

Last night followed a pattern that is becoming all too familiar for members of The Nation: get a lead early, take it into the late innings, then blow it and suffer an excruciating loss. Just in the past week alone they have had the lead 6 times and ended up losing the game - 6 times in one week, to Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and K.C.! Ouch, babe! Last night was more of the same.
Mirabelli didn't need a police escort as he returned after missing 4 games with a sprained ankle, but he did provide an early 1-0 lead with a mammoth 3rd inning HR off starter Runelvys Hernandez. But you knew it wouldn't be enoughtonight, because even though Schill was pitching okay, locating his pitches(of his 107 pitches, 76 were strikes), he wasn't the dominant pitcher that he needed to be in this crucial game; how do I know? HE GAVE UP 10 EXTRA BASE HITS (9 doubles, 1 HR). Yes, you read that right, 10 XBHs to the Royals. He became the first Boston hurler accomplish that feat since 1957, and tied the AL mark set by Dale Gear in 1901 and El Tiante (w/ CLE) in 1969 .
After Emile Brown homered in the 6th, the score was 2-1 K.C. and the Sox needeed a spark if they were to avoid an embarrassing sweep. That spark would come from our boy Willy M0 (Bronson Who?) Pena, who hit another titanic blast (429ft.) to straightaway center with Lowell & Youk aboard to give the Sox the lead back, 4-2, through 7. (If WMP keeps hitting moon shots, batting over .300, and playing an above-average outfield and Arroyo, who hasn't won since June 19th, keeps floundering then The Nation might let the Sox brass off the hook for that trade).

Schill had been lucky enough to escape serious damage all night despite the parade of 2-baggers, and with the condition of the bully right now, he and Tito had no choice but to leave him out there for the 8th. I mean who are you gonna briing in? But it was eerily reminscent of Grady leaving Pedro in too long that fateful night in the Bronx, because you knew Schill had been skirting trouble all evening, and he had to be tiring in the damp, humid KC evening. But he trudged out for the 8th, and that is when the wheels came off for every member of The Nation.
Back-to back doubles by Sweeney & Teahen got one run back. Reggie Sanders then hit his 3rd double of the game to plate the tying run, and all of a sudden the good feelings disappeared and were replaced by that all-too-familiar feeling for RSN: dread.
What came next was a "things are definately not going your way" moment that would seal ther fate of this game and the road trip: Massive 1st baseman Ryan Shealey hit a little squibber back to the mound; Schill touched it, but couldn't come up with it, and as it rolled into no man's land near short and the winning run scampered home. Those who were not members of The Nation in the crowd cheered wildly and, the then we witnessed the ultimate indignity, WAVING BROOMS signifying the Royals flushing the Bostonians out of their city. Ironically that hit turned out to be KC's only single of the game. And it signified the crumbling of hopes in Beantown.
The Royals had their first sweep of the Beantowners at home since 1991.
If they can't dispose of these lesser teams, how on earth are they going to defeat the red-hot Stanks (although they lost to the Chisox last night) and Detroit, the two teams they face after the B'More series? Things could get ugly in the nation- Boomer Wells is on the mound tonight.
I'm glad I'm going to the Bucs preseason game!

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