Once Doormats Are Now Door Knockers: Birds Spank Sox 7-1
2012 will be marked as the season the tables turned for both the Red Sox and Orioles franchises. What Sox fan could have possibly guessed at the beginning of the year that the most celebratory event that would happen all season would occur before the April 20 home opener when Fenway celebrated it’s 100th anniversary. After that high note the Sox dropped a 6-2 decision to the Yankees and Boston has since fumbled and stumbled through a series of sour notes all season long that has left fans frustrated, management red-faced and the team looking for and not finding any answers.
"Nearing this season’s end the Orioles are in the thick of a pennant race while Boston has been relegated to the role of spoiler. It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings but it appears that she is clearing her throat in a big way."
On Earl Weaver’s 82nd birthday Mark Reynolds and the Birds went to work. Boston apparently left their lunch pails in Cleveland. The Oriole first baseman hit two homers, one a killer three-run job in the sixth, as the Orioles embarrassed the Sox at Camden Yards 7-1.
For the ninth time this season, Josh Beckett took both the loss and the crap end of the stick. He was better than the past four first-inning hammerings he has absorbed but in the end the result was the same. Beckett allowed six hits over 5.1 innings on Tuesday night but was chased from the bump down 3-1 with men on first and third. Mark Melancon, who has been good after coming back from an early season implosion and long stint getting his head on straight in Pawtucket, got it knocked off when he grooved a first pitch fastball to Mark Reynolds, who popped a long homer into the left field stands.
Boston’s offense had their chances against both starter Wei-Yin Chen and reliever Darren O’Day but just couldn’t cash in, the last gasp coming in the seventh with the bases loaded. Ryan Lavarnway took a called third strike that was right over the heart of the plate. The team was 1-10 with runners in scoring position.
And so it goes. The hunter has become the hunted. Baltimore is six games behind the league leading Yankees and just a half game behind the streaking second place Tampa Bay Rays (the Rays won their seventh in a row since Evan Longoria‘s return). Boston dropped to 57-60 (.487), 12.5 games out in the division and 6.5 games out of the Wild Card race.
If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me
All the things that we’ve been through
You should understand me like I understand you…
– If You Don’t Know Me By Now, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes