On a night when Jim Rice was honored for his greatness and hard work, the Sox simply fell apart in spectacular fashion. Our short term memories may not let us remember, but there is much blame to be thrown around for this loss and it all comes out of the bullpen. Ramirez, Okajima and Pabelbon could not get through innings unscathed. Surely Pabelbon's 9th seems to ring as the worse, but Ramirez and Okajima have blame on their hands by even making it a close game. And Nick Green, don't think I've forgotten about your 0-4 and 2 error performance.
Ultimately it is never one player's fault, baseball has a knack of equaling itself out over 9 innings and certainly over six months. The fact is that this team has a lot of great parts, but is simply not a good machine working together. This, I think, has been apparent from the beginning when we referred to them as "boring" or "workman like". At the time, because they were feasting on bad, beat up and not settled teams it all seemed find and dandy.
It's nearly August and we have a very good team in Boston, but it's not a team that can contend for a World Series. Period.
Injuries are hitting the pitching staff hard. Some of the elder players are worn down (no surprise). Jason Bay left his bat in the first half. And it seems as if nobody wants to step up and become the team clown to help loosen this clubhouse up a bit, which is a critical ingredient they lost with Kotsay leaving. A few more losses like last night and we may see another Boston Massacre like in '06.
Is a Halladay trade the answer? I'm on the record as wanting to be rid of Bucholz from the beginning of the season, I think he has a bright future ahead of him, but that is all upside. You know what you get with Halladay. Either way, if the Sox want to win a World Series in '09, they have to do something dramatic before close of MLB business on Friday.