Another poor performance from the rotation, another night of swinging at balls out of the zone, and now the Red Sox are on the edge of elimination.
What, really, is there to say? David Price allowed four runs in the second. Two of those four were the result of soft hits (an infield single and a bloop behind second base), but two were the result of a solid single to left that started the rally and the loud three-run homer off the bat of Lonnie Chisenhall that ended it.
It was, in an inning, the entire story of tonight’s game. There was bad luck, yes, but also bad play. Both for Boston. The Red Sox did precious little that stood out as particularly good, and plenty that stood out as overtly bad. For the Indians, it was the opposite. If you write off all the noise—the line drives at Cleveland fielders and the weird bounces from one Cleveland glove to another (seriously, this happened on a ground ball to first base, turning an error into an out) along with the bloops and the choppers—the game doesn’t end up 6-0.
But it also doesn’t end up in Boston’s favor. They were outplayed, plain-and-simple. Corey Kluber spun a masterpiece game that was only in part helped along by the Red Sox’ sudden obsession with bad swings on pitches in the dirt. The Indians put together some good hitting, and sure as hell played better defense then the Red Sox, who even had Dustin Pedroia let one go through the wickets.
I sit here now at some 250 words compared to last night’s 1000+ monstrosity because that’s very much what this game was. Last night’s was complicated. A tense back-and-forth that was swung by an inch here and an inch there. This game was a dud. The Indians showed up, and the Red Sox did not.
That leaves us with only the bigger picture. The Red Sox are down 0-2. They face a must-win game on Sunday, and that would only serve to get them into another on Monday, which could earn them another on Wednesday. This is a mess. This is a disappointing mess. It’s a mess that, in all likelihood, will not end well for the Red Sox. For every 2004 ALCS—or, hell, 2003 ALDS—there’s fifty series that see a team get ahead 2-0 and then put the other team away in three or four or five. The Red Sox do not have the Indians right where they want them or any such falsely optimistic nonsense.
What they do have is a game on Sunday. That’s a better position than 22 of the other 29 teams in baseball, and right in line with at least the Rangers. Things are bad, but it’s good that they even have a chance to be bad, and it’s also certainly not yet over.