The Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) did not come back in the ninth against our All-Star closer, launching this season's rivalry in the same horrible way that it ended last year. The sky did not fall, the gates of hell didn't open beneath us, the TV didn't go dark during the climax of Two Broke Girls - nothing calamitous happened last night!... but... jeez...
Fifteen feet to the right - that's five yards, football fans - and some dirt bag schlump named Josh Rutledge would have scrawled his name onto my vendetta wall, which is running out of space. He came that close to hitting a two-out, three-run homer off Aroldis Chapman, which would have erased one of the great Yankee victories since Slade Heathcott shocked the Rays in 2015. Rutledge sent it into the left field nosebleeds, foul by fifteen feet, non-existent in the box score - but it was nearly a lifetime traumatic ding in a game where we led by three entering the ninth. When Rutledge fanned on the next pitch, instead of celebrating, El Chapo looked like a street person desperate for a cigarette. I suspect he had better control of his pistol while shooting up his garage two winters ago, than he did of his fastball last night. Still, I won't sit here and flog the juju gods. We won. We fukkin won!
The box score shows that Chappy gave up one run, picked up a save and struck out two, with fastballs that hit 100 mph on the hair dryer. But his facial expressions more resembled Nicholas Cage being broiled alive in a giant wicker man than those of the game's most intimidating closer. The last time we saw Chapman so anguished, he was pitching on fumes in Game Seven - his fifth outing against Cleveland, and the Indian batters were sending them out even harder than he was throwing. Still, the Cubs won, and last night, so did we.
Last winter, when we signed Chapman for four years, everybody understood the implications: A 29-year old guy who throws that hard is no sure bet to last for four years. But that's the new financial reality of baseball: Star players don't necessarily get more money per year; they just get longer contracts.
|Who did this remind you of?|
It's way too early to say anything about anybody, but jeez, Judge is far exceeding our wildest hopes. If this keeps up, could we might call this guy someday - gulp - "Captain?" Is he for real? Can it last? If Judge and Severino are not desert mirages, they are half of a new Core Four. I'll take that deal.
Tonight, Chris Sale. We'll probably be shut-out. But it doesn't matter. We'd split the series at Fenway. That's almost a win. The ball went 15 feet foul, and I've already forgotten it.