After the Toronto and Texas games, a lot of people jumped off ship. I didn't, beacuse I knew that over the course of a season those games happen sometimes. They happen to the Red Sox, the Rays, the Yankees, and everyone else.
But it's time for me to say they don't happen this much. These kind of losses should not happen this much unless one of two things; 1. You are the Kansas City Royals. 2. Your manager is Terry Francona and he doesn't bring in Daniel Bard in the biggest game of the year.
Last night's loss really stung. At this point, they all do. But this game was in the Red Sox's hands to take. Sure, the error by Buchholz and bonehead play by Drew did not help. But they still had a chance to win the game.
But then Francona made one of the dumbest managing moves since Grady Little in 2003. He left in Clay Buchholz. I understand Buchholz was pitching a helluva game. But he had 107 pitches, and BJ Upton, who came into the game hitting .429 career vs him, hit a solo home run that sunk the Red Sox.
The difference in the game was not the players, but the manager. That should never be the case. The Red Sox hade the momentum after Martinez's home run. They should have taken advantage of it by brining in their best relif pitcher, Daniel Bard. The Rays did. They kept their momentum. And they won the game.
Another issue with this whole thing is that Jonathan Papelbon did not see this game, your biggest game of he year. They allowed the Rays to take the game brining in Atchison. Not using Papelbon in this game is likelosing a close football game and having a timeout left.
This game is not season ending, I do think that. But it is season altering. And if the Red Sox are on the outside looking in, I will be remembering this loss. Not Texas. Not Toronto.
Tampa Bay. This will be the game we look back at.