And for their final series: a greatest hits album of Boston's worst failings.
Last night we received Clay Buchholz' best rendition of a Red Sox start. Taken to the extreme, yes, but in such a way that it certainly got the futility of it all across loud and clear. It was beautifully reminiscent of an awful midseason game featuring an imploding Felix Doubront, the last months of Bad Buchholz, Aaron Cook, or Josh Beckett and Jon Lester in general.
Tonight we returned to simpler times early in the year. Where some small hope still existed, and where we thought our biggest problem was going to be the bullpen as led by Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves.
The cruel reality of it, though, is that tonight the blame lies not on the shoulders of those two disasters, but the man who was supposed to save us from them, at least on some level: Andrew Bailey.
It was Bailey who entered the ninth with a miraculous two-run lead, and it was Bailey who proceeded to throw batting practice, allowing a two-run shot to Raul Ibanez and loading the bases before of all people (the surprisingly good of late) Melancon entered to clean up for him. It was Andrew Miller who would finally give up the walkoff in the twelfth, but
At least this time it only reflects badly on an area the Sox are not desperate in. Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon performing at the levels expected of them in 2013 is more a matter of luxury than necessity given the impressive depth the team has acquired there.
Still, barring a Daisuke miracle in Game 162, this team will have failed utterly in its attempts to do one productive thing with the end of its season. 3-9 in 11 games against the two teams they could have given some real trouble for their fanbase.
The 2012 Red Sox were the 2012 Red Sox to the bitter end, not so much as sniffing accomplishment. The only consolation is that tomorrow they are over and done with.