Homers off Wakefield were leaving Fenway Park in stages, the baseballs shedding parts of themselves en route to low orbit, the way Saturn rocket boosters once snapped off piece by piece.
One home run sailed so far it hit someone's car in the parking lot.
In Buenos Aires.
Way to show up, Mr. Wakefield. What are you trying to do? Get yourself Bill Bucknered by Red Sox fans?
Are we sure that was Tim Wakefield pitching and not Kimbo Slice?
I don't want to say that the Red Sox are done but Roger Goodell just suspended them for the remainder of the postseason.
It's difficult to declare the Red Sox officially dead. They've been in this position before and demonstrated great courage but this time Boston's been out-worked, out-pitched, out-hustled and out-hungered by the Rays. That last one isn't a word but you get the point.
We're witnessing a young playoff team treating a group of seasoned champions like a bunch of suckers.
"Sitting through that wasn't a whole lot of fun," said manager Terry Francona.
The Rays have scored 10 homers and 31 runs in the last three games. No, I'd imagine sitting through any of that is not enjoyable for a Red Sox manager.
Spending time in a Turkish prison would be more pleasant.
|David Ortiz gets a hit in Game 4 but it doesn't make up for his horrid series. (AP)|
There's very little brawl left in Boston, very little passion. Never thought this statement would be made about these Red Sox but they look utterly intimidated by the moment.
No, they may not be officially dead but the doctors just put the defibrillator paddles over Boston's heart cavity and yelled, "Clear!"
Tampa became only the second team ever to score at least nine runs in three consecutive games in a postseason series. By the sixth inning, with the score a stunning 10-1 and Fenway eerily quiet, you just wanted to yell: Make it stop. Please. For the love of God, make it stop.
It's accurate the Red Sox have been here before but this situation is drastically different from 2004. This isn't even last season when the Red Sox trailed 3-1 to Cleveland and still won. Tampa Bay is far more talented than the Indians.
The 2004 Red Sox trailed 3-0 in the ALCS to New York and then won four straight. Those Red Sox were nasty and hungry. This group lacks the skill -- and frankly -- the passion of that team.
There are other differences between now and then:
1. This time, there's no Manny Ramirez.
2. Josh Beckett is a shell of himself.
3. Ortiz has been dreadful.
4. Last year Games 6 and 7 of the ALCS were in Boston. This time they're not.
5. And did I mention no Ramirez?
The Rays have shown no fear while the Red Sox have crumbled under pressure.
Tampa manager Joe Maddon was talking about the Rays' mystique and confidence, two words normally associated with the Red Sox. There's a point, Maddon was explaining, when "everybody starts really believing and when you really believe you can do something. You get to this particular juncture and you know you've earned the right to be here ..."
Philadelphia became the 67th team to lead a best-of-7 series 3-1. The previous 66 went 55-11 and were 20-6 in the LCS.
Boston's overcome those kinds of odds before. They've successfully tempted fate repeatedly.
This is probably one time too many.