Let’s get things straight: No one knew this would happen.
No one in their wildest dreams or nightmares could have predicted that by swinging a trade for one of the most dominant closers we’ve ever seen, the Red Sox would actually give up ground in the AL East.
Some thought the trade unnecessary. They were wrong. Hideki Okajima’s meltdown has made Gagne’s presence very necessary. If ever the Sox needed a lights-out setup man, it’s right now, with Okajima hitting the wall. Whether prescient or lucky, Theo Epstein was right on the mark in acquiring the best reliever available in case of such an event.
Others thought the trade was brilliant, locking the Sox into the division and making them prohibitive favorites for the league championship. We were wrong, too. Instead, Gagne is directly responsible for four losses, without which the Red Sox would be 6.5 games up with 10 to play, instead of 2.5 up.
No one predicted the Red Sox would both need Gagne, and that he would fail them repeatedly. But it’s happened, and we’re watching the division lead slip away before our eyes.