The lightweight Kansas City Royals came into town, the same Royals who rarely win on the road, and mounted a ninth inning counter-offensive to defeat the Sox, 10-9. KC had a comfortable 8-3 lead entering the bottom of the ninth before Jason Varitek rifled his twefth roundtripper of the season into the pen, and David Ortiz stroked two out lightning into left to put the Sox up. An inspirational comeback victory, right?
Unfortunately, sans Jonathan Papelbon (yes, subluxed would be a good Scrabble word), the bullpen couldn't hold it. After Manny Delcarmen got touched for three runs by KC, Mike Timlin surrendered a pair of Royal pains in the ninth to give the cellar-dwellers the win. Adding insult to injury, former Sox hurler Joe Nelson got the save.
Last night's debacle provided a microcosm of the late season action. Inconsistent pitching, often inconsistent hitting, and a painful loss, rendered less important by the antecedent Sox collapse.
I don't think that the Sox should be waving the white flag from the dugout, but I'm all for seeing what some of the youngsters can do.
Meanwhile, in Portland, the Sea Dogs are up 2-1 in their best-of-five Eastern League semifinal. Jacoby Ellsbury and George Kattaras, he of the Wells trade, seem to be doing the heavy lifting. Let's hope that they aren't relearning the traditional September 'salary drive' that we suffered through for most of antiquity.