Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tony Massarotti, prophet of doom

"Personally, I think they're cooked. And deep in their heart of hearts, you can only wonder if the Red Sox know it. "
Boston Herald Reporter Tony Massarotti, 9/20/2005

The Red Sox, from that point, went 7-4 in their last 11 to win the Wild Card by 2 games over Cleveland, and finish tied with the Angels and Yankees for the 2nd best record in the AL. Well, Tony's got more this morning.
The Red Sox played uninspired baseball during the middle of September, so much so that they may be paying the price now. Because the Sox extended themselves to Game 162 before securing a playoff spot, they opened the postseason yesterday behind the member of their starting rotation who had been pitching the worst.

You know, I'm not certain what's the difference between "uninspired," which would seem to imply some mental failure of will, and "slumping." I didn't see anything in the Red Sox' September play that would make me lean towards the former over the latter.

And I'd also point out to Tony that they actually played better in September (and the first two days of October), at least by winning percentage, than they had in the months leading up to it. I do think that they were dragging during that first couple of weeks, as that stretch of 30 days without an off-day wore down, but on the whole, it wasn't any Red Sox failure, no "choke" or "collapse" that kept them from clinching - it was over-their-heads, out-of-this-world stretches from both the Yankees (16-4) and Indians (16-2).

There is still a great deal of baseball to be played in this American League Division Series between the opposite Soxes, but already the shortage of Boston pitching is beginning to show.

The Red Sox may or may not have a pitching shortage, but all yesterday showed was one awful start from a starter who gives you those on occasion. Period.

Said Angels manager Mike Scioscia Monday, prior to last night's series opener between the Angels and Yankees: "I think setting your rotation is very big and we were able to do that this year."
Admittedly, the Red Sox do not really have an ace comparable to Angels right-hander Bartolo Colon, but that is hardly the point.

Particularly as Colon gave up 4 runs in the first two innings and lost to the Yankees, who were, like the Red Sox, scrambling to the end of the season. They did clinch early though - 1 game before the end of the season...



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