Remember when Boston used to come back to Fenway after a long road trip and you thought, “Who will we put in the torture chamber during this home stand?” After watching the Red Sox latest trudge Friday night to yet another in a series of deflating losses, it was plain to me what really killed Johnny Pesky. When the great Pesky took his final walk to first base on August 13 he apparently knew that watching this team the rest of the way wasn’t going to make him stronger.
The final score of 7-5 was not indicative of the certainty of the loss nor the air that was sucked out of a usually boisterous Fenway Park. Fans yawned. Boston was alternately cheered and booed. Some fans cheered when the Jays did well. It has come to this.
It felt like the old Fenway for a brief moment…
In the eighth inning when Dustin Pedroia hit a solo shot over the Monster to make it 5-3 Toronto and Cody Ross walked to bring James Loney to the plate the faithful were stirred to, well, half throat. Loney hit into a double play to end the inning. Back to a single fan’s cry in the silent space vacuum between Landsdowne and Van Ness Streets.
Sox starter Felix Doubront was banged around over four innings. He allowed five runs, walked two and gave up two homers. After Doubront’s departure, Boston trucked out four different relievers, a parade of guys coming back from the DL and I suspect, in some cases, intense sports psychology sessions. Chris Carpenter, the compensation for Theo Epstein, pitched the seventh. Rich Hill, coming back from Tommy John surgery, pitched the eighth.
And yes it was just like old times – in a very bad way.
Daniel Bard pitched the ninth and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches. On his first pitch to the next batter Toronto stole second on Bard. On his second pitch, the Jays stole third base. In less than three minutes Toronto had a man on third base without even swinging the bat. After getting an out Bard hung a slider to Colby Rasmus for a two-run tater that put the Jays up 7-3. When Mauro Gomez homered in he bottom on the ninth with Mike Aviles aboard to make it 7-5 Toronto and Scott Podsednik struck out to end the game, Bard’s ditch digging was simply too much for me to take. “Hello Johnny? Yeah, this is Steve. Is there any room at the inn?”
I keep looking for something I can’t get
Broken hearts lie all around me
And I don’t see an easy way to get out of this
- I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight, Cutting Crew