Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Three Down, One to Go

Man, the Devil Dogs are starting to own us again. The Sox lost their third straight game to Tampa Bay tonight in a contest that featured a little bit of everything, including a catcher's interference call, a shot off one of those ridiculous catwalks that should have been a 2-run homer but instead was a rally-killing out, and a straight steal of home by Devil Ray dynamo Carl Crawford. (Looked just like the picture, which shows the great Jackie Robinson swiping home). Unfortunately, each of these rare happenings went against the Red Sox and they end up 5-2 losers.

The D-Rays jumped early on erstwhile No. 5 starter Jason Johnson, and the Sox couldn't climb back. Youkilis hit a bomb in the third inning that would have been out of any park, 'cept it hit the wrong catwalk and Carl Crawford (there he is again) caught the carom for one of the toughest-to-swallow outs you'll see. After that, the Sox seemed to lose a little steam.

This No. 5 starter thing is killing us right now. No offense to Jason Johnson, but he didn't have it again tonight - and he may be a memory after the All-Star break. This is where Theo has to be kicking himself for trading Bronson Arroyo away. The jury's still out on how much of Bronson's quick start is due to the weak-sister NL, but wouldn't it be nice to have him as your spot starter/long reliever right about now? I bet the lead over the Yanks would be more like 6 or 7 than the current 3 (Yanks beat Tribe, 11-3, tonight). In Theo's defense, though, we didn't know Matt Clement was going to completely lose it, and we thought we had gotten lucky with David Wells. They had to bring up Jon Lester, and thank goodness he's been as good as he's been or we'd be in deep doo-doo.

As it is, we've got a three-game cushion over the Yankees that should be more like double-digits. They friggin' lost Matsui, Sheffield, and Cano, and now Damon's out with an injury. But the Red Sox haven't been able to twist the knife. Should be a verrrry interesting trading season this year. Sox flaws: fifth starter, 6th and 7th inning relief, offense off the bench (Reggie Sanders?)

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