Sox-Twins Postmortem I: Horror Show

I said I wasn’t going to, but I will anyway. We’ll get to the obvious in a moment. First, the positives from tonight’s crushing 5-2 loss to Minnesota:

  • Two players much maligned on this site did quite well on a night when most hitters were flailing away. Alex Gonzalez (three hits) and Jason Varitek (HR) both gave the Red Sox crucial leads from the bottom of the lineup. Kudos to them.
  • Curt Schilling had perhaps his best start of the season on a night when the Sox should have lost in nine. Johan Santana was Roger Clemens circa 1986 out there, and the newly economical Schilling matched him zero for zero (and, unfortunately, 1 for 1).

But there was the bad.

We’ll find out soon, but I suspect Curt Schilling, whose pitch count was absurdly low by his standards, could have gone nine without approaching the danger levels we saw earlier this year. Jonathan Papelbon, blowing hitters away, could have gone three. Even Mike Timlin, fresh off the DL, was fast enough in the 11th that he could have gone two. Knowing that we have essentially no pen beyond Timlinbon, Terry Francona surprisingly didn’t do any of those.

He did bring in Julian "I’ve never pitched in a game-on-the-line situation without exploding and leaving flaming pieces of flesh all over the infield" Tavarez when better — but granted still poor — choices remained on the bullpen bench. How about Delcarmen, who acquitted himself well in a similar situation Sunday? How about Van Buren, who has pitched well in all but one game, and even that was under extenuating circumstances? How about Pauley, who has pitched well under pressure (tie game at the Stadium) before?

So Tavarez comes on: Strikeout, HBP, ground-rule double, intentional walk, grand slam on a 3-2 count (everyone in the park knew a strike was coming on the 3-2. Tavarez knew everyone knew. Yet he threw a meatball. Nuff ced). Following the poor outing in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader, following the Tampa Bay debacle, this man cannot be allowed to pitch another game for the Red Sox.

Although tonight’s horror show was in the 12th, let’s combine it with Tavarez’s line in the 9th thus far this season. Here’s how he is with the game on the line in the final frame of a ballgame: 3 outs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 HR, 10 runs. Yes, that’s a 10.00 ERA with as many home runs as outs recorded. That’s all I have to say.

15 comments… add one
  • i just hate life right now.

    beth June 14, 2006, 12:34 am
  • I went to sleep last night after the 11th, and I’m glad I did. (I have finals this week, plus I’ve been sick, so I need the sleep, which unfortunately puts a damper on my Sox time.) But anyway, I got up, saw the ten-minute recap on SportsDesk, and got really pissed. ‘Okay,’ I thought to myself, ‘Maybe those were inherited runners that grandslam scored. Maybe it was only partially Tavarez’s fault.’ Then, I came out to the living room, checked the box score, and thought I would scream. They were all Tavarez’s runners! Like, what the shit, Tito? We had the lead! You could afford to use another arm in the pen.
    Oh, and I, too was surprised not to see Schill for the ninth. It was likely to go to extras, so why didn’t Tito wait to use the pen as long as possible? At least he had the sense to put Pap in the game in the ninth, and not Tavarez or Seanez. But still. This is so annoying!
    It’s not that we lost that pisses me off. It’s the way we lost. I was in awe of Johan Santana last night, and I was thrilled to be able to watch such a hyped pitching matchup live up to the hype. But that’s not what I’m going to remember about this game. I’m going to remember Tavarez imploding. I want that guy to go away before MY head implodes. Okay, I think I’m done now. I’m the only one awake in my house. I needed a good rant.

    Laura June 14, 2006, 6:24 am
  • Paul, that’s a 90.00 ERA.

    SF June 14, 2006, 6:32 am
  • tito has fallen off. this is getting ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the play by play in the previous comments section.

    kyle June 14, 2006, 10:25 am
  • Yankees fan here…
    My first thought was that Francona made the smart move and used his closer in a tie game on the road, b/c Papelbon is his best reliever (by a mile). This is something Torre struggles with every year. Credit where it’s due: at least he didn’t go to Tavarez in the 9th and lose the game right there.
    One can ask why Papelbon didn’t pitch more than an inning, but I think it’s unfair to ask the same w/regard to a guy who just came off the DL.
    Anyway, Tavarez is to Red Sox as Farnsworth is to Yankees.

    Rob June 14, 2006, 11:09 am
  • what I don’t understand is why Papelbon didn’t pitch at least two innings. before this season he was a starter and can go more than 3 outs. Plus he is young…
    Great game though, just need to forget the outcome.Should have gone to bed after the top of the 12th.

    Cape Codder June 14, 2006, 11:14 am
  • He pitched two innings. Which was correct. I thought they should’ve stopped there and I’m glad they did.

    Devine June 14, 2006, 11:19 am
  • Rob, to compare Tavarez to Farns is ridiculous. I know Farnsworth has had difficulty in some tough spots. He’s not a headcase though. The guy has electric stuff and he’s close enough mentally to getting to the other side. A couple of weeks ago he buckled Papi’s knees with a wicked slider that got the Yankees out of the 8th unscathed. Is that a high pressure situation? You better believe it. If Farnsworth works through the few mental quirks he has, there’s nothing to stop him from being dominant.

    bloodyank78 June 14, 2006, 11:26 am
  • Yeah, I don’t think Farns has an ERA of 90 in last innings situations.
    Didn’t Tavarez do well with the Cards last year?

    Sam June 14, 2006, 11:44 am
  • Not that this does anything to reduce the giant flaming bag of shit Terry left on our pillows last night — but, for the record, Pauley was sent back to Pawtucket on Monday.

    Kluv June 14, 2006, 11:52 am
  • A “horror show” is getting drilled by 13 runs, with players injured and your top performers lost (that is, your typical Randy Johnson start.—JOKE). Losing an exta-inning game on the road to the best pitcher in baseball, after your own ace put up a great game (bode’s well!), your closer closed well (bode’s well), your setup man was effective (bode’s well), and you even took a lead in extras (on the road) before blowing it…..that, to me, is disappointing, obviously, but also in some ways encouraging. And hardly a horror.

    YF June 14, 2006, 12:32 pm
  • I can vaguely understand going with Tavarez to begin the inning (I’d certainly rather have seen Riske), but the decision to leave him in after a HBP and a double is utterly mind-boggling. With that double, the game SHOULD have been tied, the save blown. It was only by sheer luck that it bounced over the fence, holding the runner at third. At that point, the manager should quickly count his blessings and pull the plug on the guy.
    Let’s imagine that the double had stayed in the park, and the game was tied up with a runner on second. Does Francona still keep Tavarez in the game? Would any manager in baseball do such a thing? Because that’s essentially what Tito did last night. It feels like Tavarez was allowed to blow two saves in one game — no small feat.
    The only semi-rational explanation I can think of is that the Sox have already reognizedd their mistake in signing Tavarez — $3 million per year, with ANOTHER YEAR REMAINING! — and are continuing to use him in tough situations in the hopes that he will put together a couple solid outings, to make him at least slightly appealing to another team, so he can be part of a trade before the deadline.

    airk June 14, 2006, 12:40 pm
  • Don’t you have anything better to do than continue to nitpick my and Paul’s word choice? It seems like that’s been a feature of most of your retorts to us this past week and a half.
    You call it a “disappointment”, Paul calls it a “horror”. SFW. More to the point, his word choice was most likely a reference to Julian Tavarez’ scary appearance (on both a physical and practical level) than to his own emotions. That’s a reference (Tavarez as horror-movie villain) that is simply not very hard to get, and has been offered all over the place.

    SF June 14, 2006, 12:43 pm
  • Now, really, do you feel worse after a blowout than you do after a taut squeaker that suddenly goes completely wrong at the end just after you take the lead?
    I know I deal with blowouts better than these types of losses. One makes me laugh about 20 minutes after the lead becomes very big. The other brings me crashing, crashing down.

    Devine June 14, 2006, 1:38 pm
  • The horror show was the bottom of the 12th inning, YF, pure and simple. It was excruciating, it was bloody and it was horrifying. We all saw it coming, and we were powerless to stop it. And it was executed by Leatherface himself. Horror show.
    Nice job barely mentioning any of this in the Globe this morning, by the way. Wasn’t there a time when this paper had balls?

    Paul SF June 14, 2006, 2:42 pm

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.