Red Sox turn lonely eyes to Clay
This is no longer about winning the division. Terry Francona put it best before last night’s game.
"We want to win the division, but it’s not going to help us win the World Series."
Well said. What will help the Red Sox is getting their swagger back before the postseason starts. Dustin Pedroia wasn’t going to blame Eric Gagne for the loss last night. Instead, he looked at himself and the rest of the offense and said, "We’ve got to do a better job."
No Manny, no Youk. That’s difficult to overcome. But as Pedroia said, they need to find a way.
Francona’s move with Gagne last night was one of the most interesting I’ve seen all year long. I know the knee-jerk reaction back home was sure to be, "What is Francona doing? Why is he leaving him in there?" And, I can even understand that reaction in this case.
But look at it from Tito’s side of things. He isn’t just trying to win one game. He is trying to get a key part of his pitching staff back in the right physical and mental frame of mine before they truly need him, which is in October. If Gagne had gotten through that inning last night, it could have been invaluable both for his confidence and the team’s. So Tito took a calculated gamble and lost. But you have to take those gambles sometimes. Keep in mind that Okajima was not available. He’s in the middle of some structured rest right now.
Let’s see what Buchholz can bring tonight. Maybe he can give them that shot of adrenaline that they so badly need.
It will be another fascinating night at the Rogers Centre, that’s for sure. Keep the comments flowing.
In the meantime, here is tonight’s lineup: