As Opening Day draws near every year, fans of contenders look forward to all the best parts of a baseball season. Walkoffs, comebacks, tight division races, trade rumors, breakout seasons...there are a million things small and large to love about the months of April through September.
All that good comes at a price we do our best to ignore in the excitement leading up to the season. Even the best teams will lose 60+ games a year. And some of those losses will be like the one the Red Sox suffered tonight. Brutal, crushing losses devoid of hope. The kind that makes you feel deeply foolish for having waited all day to endure them and leaves you with a wasted night to show for it.
The chance for a Red Sox victory ended in the first. The end came on Clay Buchholz walks, on weak ground balls that found the perfect spots or bounced out of a certain first baseman's glove, and then after that on rockets either to the outfield or the seats beyond. By the time the inning ended, the Sox trailed by a touchdown, and the optimism born from Buchholz' excellent Opening Day start had given way to snark, venom, and a thousand comments on Boston's need for an "ace" that somehow managed to all come with a thousand different definitions of what does and does not an "ace" make.
It's not quite right to say that it was completely without merit. For a brief moment, the Red Sox actually looked interested in making a game of things, putting up three runs on Masahiro Tanaka in the fourth. But Tanaka struck out Ryan Hanigan and Mookie Betts with runners on second and third, and Buchholz surrendered all three runs right back to smack the Red Sox right back down.
Red Sox fans, if you happened to sleep through this one, consider yourself lucky. If your car broke down and your phone was out of batteries and you had to walk 10 miles in the dark just so you could wait five hours for a tow truck, you were spared a far worse fate.
For those who didn't see this game in all its awfulness, the Red Sox are 4-2. They're tied with the Jays for the division lead, and have won two-out-of-two road series to start the season. All is not perfect, but it's hardly a disaster. Tomorrow is a new day.