So, allow me to tell you a short story.
A team is cruising to victory, with almost a double-digit lead. The offense is clicking, and the future HoF starter threw 4 innings before the game was delayed for rain. A young reliever comes in, and resumes pitching brilliance for 2 innings.
Then, something disastrous happens; the opposing team forgot that they were supposed to lose this game, and the first team (our heroes) reminds us all that an entire bullpen can have an off-night. I'm not sure there's anymore I want to say about this game.
We wish for Adam Jones to be okay, and for a better day for Josh Beckett tomorrow.
If you'd like to relive the crapfest, follow along after the jump...
The longer story?
Well, John Smoltz gave us something to look forward to. I have great faith that he'd have gone at least 6 while allowing no more than one additional run given how he looked through 4.
Masterson was excellent for 2 innings, and reminded us that that should probably be the extent of his use unless we stretch him out again as a starter.
Personally? I feel like MDC should have been given a chance to get the last out in his inning. It was one hit. Every subsequent reliever did worse. That's pretty easy for me to say, though, with the benefit of hindsight.
Saito or Bard or Ramon was a tough decision for Tito, but I feel like "not Saito" should have been the easiest. He's looked pretty good, but I've thought for awhile that he's not quite up to par w/r/t feel of his stuff yet. Doesn't mean he can't get outs, but he seems like a guy to bring in at the beginning of innings right now and not during. Again, hindsight.
Good show from the offense, though Bay seems ice-cold lately. I wouldn't be entirely against shifting him down in the lineup if Papi's confidence is high enough to move back into the 3rd or 4th slot on a semi-regular basis.
Sherrill was an excellent decision for the O's in the 9th, even with R-R-R-R-R due up. Tito had to be thinking about PHing with Drew and/or Kotsay for Bailey and/or Lugo. With regard to the hitters coming up, it made no sense (CC'ers will probably agree that Sherrill isn't really a "true"? closer), but it keeps Drew and his .384 OBP on the bench. As an aside, though, Sherrill does have the best peripheral numbers in that pen.