So we can look at last night’s loss in two ways.
On the one hand, the Sox did pretty well, considering they were playing a game without the real Josh Beckett. They managed to push to 12 innings a contest that should have been over in nine, thanks to a ridiculous failed catch on a Jacoby Ellsbury popup. The bullpen was fantastic all night long, and even Javier Lopez didn’t get tagged as the Angels’ hits found holes to score the eventual winning run.
That’s all true, but it’s hard to make this loss feel any less like a punch in the gut. The Sox now enter tonight’s Game 4 in a must-win position. They cannot go back to Anaheim for a Game 5, where their hopes will rest on the inconsistent pitching of Daisuke Matsuzaka. And they must clinch by finding another way to beat John Lackey while hoping Jon Lester has another amazing performance in him this series. It can be done, but it doesn’t seem nearly as inevitable. At this early hour of the morning, does it even seem likely?