I was at Fenway last night, and by looking at the crowd you never would have guessed that they were cheering for a team thats four games under .500.
Sure, there were a few extenuating circumstances in that it was a beautiful night, that it was the Sox first home game in two weeks, that it came against a team with legitimate star power and featured a tribute to Johnny Pesky. But regardless of anything that was going on, and despite the pathetic record, entitled roster and an ownership group thats more deserving of a pantsing than another sell out, the crowd really brought it last night at Americas most belovediest ballpark in the whole wide world. There was a buzz around the stadium. Very few empty seats. If no one told you (and I guess, if you were pretty drunk), you would have believed this was 2008.
The fans were ready to roll.
In return, the Sox served up a pile of garbage.
Let's get one thing straight: Ervin Santana has been awful this year. Coming into last night, he was 6-10 with a 5.59 ERA. Batters were hitting .291 against him in road starts. He had a 12.21 ERA in July! And even though he's been slightly better as of late, Santana was ripe for the picking.
Instead, he not only beat the Sox, but he shut them down. As did, for the most part, the four relievers who followed. For the night, the Sox left eight men on base. They were 0-5 with runners in scoring position (a number which is depressing for at least two reasons). They gave their fans who are somehow still there, so unwilling to let this season go exactly one reason to stand up and cheer. Literally one swing of the bat.
And now they find themselves even deeper in what looks to be an already insurmountable hole 13 games back in the East; eight games back in the Wild Card. I don't think this is what the owners envisioned when they built the AL East standings into the Green Monster.
But for now, all the seats in front of the Monster miraculously remain occupied.
Although just to be sure, let's check back in a few days when the Royals come to town.