I will tell you the story of this terrible game and, indeed, of this terrible season with just two innings.
First, the first. Wade Miley takes the mound minutes after the team honored the greatest pitcher who ever lived, and one day after Joe Kelly produced one of the worst first-inning performances this team has seen in memory. And, of course, he took after Kelly, putting a damper on the celebrations for Pedro Martinez.
I say of course not because Wade Miley is quite as bad as all that. It has been a season of two steps forward and one back for him. Usually that produces a pretty good overall result, but Miley's steps back have been giant leaps, and today was one of those. If it's "of course," it's because that is how the 2015 season works. If it can get worse, it will. We are not allowed to have nice things. And Wade Miley was coming dangerously close to counting as one of those.
So where Joe Kelly had surrended four runs, Miley gave up five. Four came before the second out, inspiring chants of "we want Pedro!" If we thought there could be no game worse than Monday's--if we thought that Wade Miley would be a chance for at least a solid start rather than the disaster that came from Kelly--it's our fault for still not recognizing the nature of 2015. Those of us who dared to hope for better are almost as slow to learn as the Red Sox.
So that was the first. The worst had come and gone. The Red Sox were down 5-0.
Along came the fifth, and it all got worse.
It came on a Jose Abreu fly ball. A long fly ball that sent Mookie Betts back towards the wall. The young center fielder made a tremendous grab, then tumbled over the bullpen wall.
It was, for a brief moment, a glorious bright spot in a terrible game in a terrible season. Then it was under review. Then it was a homer. Then Mookie Betts left the game. When he went over the bullpen wall, he landed hard, and the ball came out. He had, by rule, carried a fly ball into home run territory. And for his effort, he would up injured.
I can think of a lot of garbage that's happened to this team. In 2011, in 2012, in 2014, and in 2015. I can think of disasters borne of ineptitude and misfortune in equal amounts. But this play takes the cake. An excellent display of talent by one of Boston's best young talents that through the cruelty of the letter of the law and, yes, the baseball gods, produced a remarkable disaster.
Oh, and Justin Masterson pitched again. You can pretty much guess what happened there.
I hate this year. To the point of missing 2014.