11 Aug 2009
Being from the North Shore of Boston, I think I can legitimately compare the Red Sox past week with the Perfect Storm made famous by, the storm itself (eventually), then the book, then the movie about a crew out of Gloucester (or ‘Glawstah’ as it is properbly pronounced).
The storm was basically a confluence of circumstances perfectly timed and aligned to create a catastrophic or "perfect" storm.
Leading up to the 2-game set in Tampa Bay, the Red Sox were beset by injury and ineffectiveness. These kinds of things happen all of the time to good teams and bad, but for the Red Sox, it couldn’t have come at a worse moment as they faced their 2 biggest opponents on foreign turf, for 6 straight games.
In addition, John Smoltz, once thought of as a decent enough gamble, was putting the finishing touches on the worst string of starts in his professional (and probably amateur, little league, video game) baseball career.
While I saw only 2 of the games, the bookends, I followed the middle 4 fairly closely on-line. It just felt like the Red Sox had no chance. The energy had been sucked out of the team and the fan-base. I had no expectations of the Red Sox winning a single game in New York. It just didn’t seem possible. Everything was going wrong.
Regardless, of why or how, the Red Sox returned home yesterday and promptly regained a game on the Yankees. Jason Bay hit a home run (someone told him he was allowed to hit home runs), the offense got the opponent starter out of the game after 4 innings and 104 pitches and even Brad Penny put up a quality start.
I hope this is the point where Boston can eventually look back and say, ‘wow, those 6 games in Tampa and New York sure were tough, but we quickly re-established our footing.’ There’s too much talent for this team to just fold up and go away.
As for tonight, Junichi Tazawa makes his starting debut tonight. He has come up very quickly thus far posting: 2.57 ERA in 98 IP for Portland and 2.38 ERA in 11.1 IP at Pawtucket. But the Tigers are a good team and after making his debut in the 15th inning Friday night against the Yankees in the New Yankee Stadium, it’ll be interesting to see how Tazawa performs.