Thursday, October 06, 2005

Do teams come back from 0-2 holes?

Well I guess over the next 48 hours that we will hear a lot of nonsense about how this team doesn't care that it is 0-2, how this team knows how to get out of that type of hole... except this team doesn't - these aren't your 2004 Red Sox.

Following last night's 'invisible' thrashing, the Sox found a new way to lose tonight - decent hitting and run generation early, terrible at bats later... nice pitching and defense early, one horrible, and incredibly costly, defensive play in the 5th, costing the Red Sox the game. That isn't to say that the White Sox might not have generated more offense had they needed it late, but they didn't need to find out.

The error really was a horrible mental mistake by Graffanino - an easy ball a few paces to his side, no bad hop, just took his eye off the ball as he prepared to flip to Renteria on 2nd base. One out later, AL ROY candidate Tadahito Iguchi deposited a three run bomb into the bullpen in left, allowing the ESPN crew to rabbit endlessly about how you can't give good teams an extra out or two. Thanks guys, nice analysis pointing out the things that ordinary fans just can't see...

This is the third season in a row that the Sox have found themselves with no wiggle room in a series - they fell 0-2 to the Oakland A's in 2003 before the Athletics really decided to push the self destruct button and we all know what passed in 2004. Does this team have the ability to escape again in 2005? My heart says yes, but my head has been telling me all season that this version of the Sox has too many flaws to allow it to repeat as World Champions.

To keep themselves in this series the Red Sox need to score early on Friday and hope that the Tim Wakefield we get on the mound is the one who impressed in September - averaging 8+ innings a start with 7K and a 3+ ERA, not the guy who gave up 7 earned runs in 5 innings on Saturday. Friday's opponent, Freddy Garcia has had a decent year - a 14-8 record with an ERA just under 4, and finished the season strongly aside from a 5 inning effort in mid-September against Kansas that yielded 7 runs.

As with 2004 - the team just needs to win one, it can worry about the next one a day later.

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