Red Sox Collapse Complete
“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.” -Bart Giamatti
This is a post I never wanted to write. The Red Sox lost a chance at a playoff spot tonight in Baltimore, capping off an epic September collapse.
Jonathan Papelbon blew another save in the 4-3 loss.The closer came in with a 3-2 lead. He promptly struck out the first two batters he faced. Then things fell completely apart.
Chris Davis doubled to right. Nolan Reimold brought Davis in with a ground-rule double to tie things up. Roberto Andino followed with a sinking liner to left field. Carl Crawford could not haul it in. Reimold scored to give Baltimore the victory.
Meanwhile, in Tampa Bay, the Rays came back from a 7-0 deficit against the Yankees. Minutes after Boston’s loss, Evan Longoria hit a solo homer to give the Rays a 8-7 12th inning victory. The win puts Tampa 91-71 for the season, a game ahead of the Red Sox final record.
On September 2, the Sox held a 9 games up in the wild card. Futility followed. The Rays came on strong. Tonight’s Sox collapse and the Rays miraculous victory served as a microcosm of the season’s final month.
I didn’t see the Sox collapse in 1978. Never witnessed Bucky Dent homer in the A.L. East playoff. Mercifully was a new born when Wilson’s grounder rolled through Buckner’s legs.
I watched Aaron Boone shatter the Sox’s dreams in 2003. And the euphoria of 2004. The excellence of 2007. Red Sox followers thought those championships exorcised past demons. Apparent not. September’s collapse brought the pain and agony of Red Sox’s past to a new generation of Boston fans.