The second game of the Sox/Rangers doubleheader isn’t over yet, and there’s obviously still time for the Sox to come back from a 6-0 deficit. The unfortunate and demoralizing thing is that this situation was enabled by Terry Francona from basically the first pitch on. Dave Pauley, making his third ML start, took the field with what read like a Triple-A squad in support, minus the up-and-coming talent. Not the best way to put confidence in your young starter: back him up with an offense that features Willie Harris, Doug Mirabelli, Alex Cora and JT Snow all taking hacks. Pauley must have figured he had to hold the Rangers to a pair to have any shot at a win; the five runs he gave up in the first two innings removed any chance he had at coming out with the W.
Which leads me to wonder: what is Terry Francona doing in a game like this? Is he content with a split after the shocking game 1 escape? Was the lineup set before Game 1, which would have endangered a sweep without Ortiz’ heroics? Or did Francona decide to rest everyone once the house money was on the table? Neither one says much about Francona, in my opinion. Big Papi’s walkoff homer in the opener helped make us forget a couple of questionable moves (letting Harris hit in the ninth with Nixon on the bench, only to bring Nixon up after Harris grounded out, as well as leaving Josh Beckett in too long, yanking him right after his final home run pitch). But Tito can’t hide with a lineup like this. A day off tomorrow, and he sits almost everyone. I, for one, am livid.