Stunned, shocked, dejected, disgusted, revolted, incredulous, depressed, devastated and utterly speechless. If you're a Boston Red Sox fan, there's a great chance, following your team's un-freakin'-believable implosion vs. the New York Yankees on Saturday, that a combination of the preceding list of words accurately describes your emotional/mental state right now.
Don't get me wrong, time is on the Red Sox's side. There are 148 games left on their schedule, so there is plenty of time to turn this season around, to make this unbelievable loss a distant memory. Still, what happened to the Red Sox (4-10) on Saturday, what the Yankees (9-6) did to them, was outright disturbing.
To be up 9-0 through five innings, at home, vs. your most hated rival and someway, somehow lose 15-9 is a cruel, sick joke to play on your fans. Right now, followers of both teams should be gearing up for a Sunday-night rubber match. Instead, people tracking this series are still picking up their jaws Sunday morning, struggling to make sense out of something that was never supposed to happen.
It started innocently enough, with Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira smacking a solo home run off Red Sox starter Felix Doubront (6.0 IP, 4H, 1R) in the sixth to make it 9-1. Then, for Boston, all hell broke loose.
In the seventh, New York's Nick Swisher, batting against reliever Vicente Padilla, hit a grand slam out to left, chopping the Red Sox's lead down to 9-5. Later that inning, Teixeira got the Yankees within 9-8 when he blasted a three-run homer to left off Matt Albers.
Two swings, seven runs and seven more to come.
In the eighth, Swisher gave the Yankees their first lead with a two-run double to center, and Teixeira's two-run, ground-rule double to right put further distance between the clubs. Yet Boston's eighth-inning catastrophe wasn't over, because New York's lead then grew to 15-9--the game's final score--after catcher Russell Martin, who was one of four Yankees to homer in a 6-2 win during Fenway Park's 100th anniversary on Friday, doubled in two additional runs and scored on Derek Jeter's infield RBI single.
Two innings, 14 runs, an eight-run lead turned into a six-run deficit and eventual defeat, and countless left wondering what on earth had just happened.
Thus far, this year's Red Sox have been a reality TV show, one that has yielded infighting between manager Bobby Valentine and third baseman Kevin Youkilis, Boston fans' growing disdain for Valentine and shockingly bad, inept play. In 2011, alleged "chicken and beer" consumption during actual games by players contributed to a September meltdown that caused the offseason to arrive much sooner than expected in Boston.
What will it be in 2012? We'll see in time. Right now, though, I simply can't wait to see what happens next when the Yankees and Red Sox take the field Sunday night.