Thursday, July 03, 2008
So that game sucked, and the dome sucked, and the series sucked. Unfortunately I can't say that the Rays sucked, because they mostly did not. Playing 'Sweet Caroline' after tonight's loss was a jerkweed kind of thing to do, but I suppose they earned it.
It's not like we as Red Sox fans are in denial over the fact that the Rays are good this season (well, I probably can't speak for everyone). The fact that this particular game featured a complete collapse of the bullpen was what made it so hard to take.
I mean, can Craig Hansen even pitch at this level anymore? I want to say yes-- he's still striking guys out more than he's walking them and, uh, he doesn't have a 135.00 ERA like Fernando Rodney did earlier this season and... uh, he got a haircut, which shows, uh... dedication to the team and. Stuff. Definitely stuff. But HOLY FREAKING CATS was he HORRIFIC in this game. Sure, he came into a shitty situation, consider that fact duly acknowledged, but in 0.0 innings of work he allowed 5 runs: 2 inherited runners, and 3 all his very own. That is not 'slight meltdown', that is 'eeeaaaayyyyaaaaggghhhh gurk gurk splat wibble'
And what of Manny Delcarmen before him, who was just handing the bases to Rays all over the place without recording a single stinkin' out, what of him? Can HE still pitch at this level? Can he do so after a meltdown this intense? If he was a closer, in a way I'd feel better, because closers at least are practically trained to forget outings like this. Run-o'-the-mill middle relievers, however.... well, if they were tough enough to keep from getting psyched out by their own suck, maybe they wouldn't be middle relievers. Also maybe if they were good at throwing baseballs.
So, all of that sucked, a whole bunch of suck, infinite suckulation, but the postgame was made AWESOME by the presence of Mr. Dennis Eckersley, who reacts to bad Red Sox pitching like it's meant to specifically and personally insult him. After ranting a little about Dice K's short (5 inning) start opening the door for Bullpenplosion, they cut to commercial, and when they came back he was smiling in that 'I laugh so I don't start screaming' way he has.
Then he had to assure the audience that he was calm, he had calmed down, so the discussion could begin again.
I do not think that there is another analyst in baseball right now who takes bad pitching so personally, and, if there is, there is most assuredly no one who does it with such amazing crazy rage and pure '70s style.
Labels: baseball, Craig Hansen, Dennis Eckersley, Devil Rays, Manny Delcarmen, MLB, Red Sox