Tuesday, July 05, 2005


There are almost no words. No ways to express that game. "Rangers win over Red Sox 6-5" doesn't seem to cut it.

You know how after Game 2 last year, Pedro said, approximately, "They beat my team, not me"? How he kept them in the game, but they couldn't back him up? This is the opposite. The Rangers did not beat the Red Sox tonight. They beat Keith Foulke, plain and simple.

However shaky and nervewracking it may have been, that was in fact a quality start from Wade Miller. 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 K. And it took them a while, but the offense woke up eventuallly too. They provided a 2 run lead going into the 8th. Last year, that's all it took. That's all it should have taken tonight.

But it wasn't enough.

After a hopeful pop-up, Foulke screwed up every conceivable way a closer can screw up. He even mixed a hit batsman in there for good measure. By the time Mench hit the actual game-winning single, the mourning process had begun. There was a sick, sad inevitability to the hit. I suppose we should perhaps be grateful that we were not subjected to extra innings before the fall of the ax.

My mother, as always, made the apt comment: "It's really just more tragic than anything else, how far and how fast he's falling." And it is. I've joked. I've yelled. I've beaten the hell out of our sofa. But always with the hope, the expectation that he'd come out of it, that he'd be Foulkie again. I found myself on the verge of tears tonight, hit full-on with the possibility that he's not gonna come out the other side of this.

And the possibility of Curt's return does nothing. Because he can't pitch complete games on end, and neither can everbody else. Because he will not change Keith Foulke. That only comes from Foulkie himself.

I try to be loyal. I don't want to be one of those fickle boobirds. But I find myself, like some sort of spurned lover, straying."What if we got Billy Wagner?" Because the bullpen can't keep on like this, and Theo knows it.

I remember during the doldrums of last year's July preparing myself, lowering my expectations . Thus the late run to the postseason was a nice, and eventually brilliant surprise.

Now we face it from a different position. Where as by July we had almost been dulled to the losing, the division lead casts a different pall over games like this. Each blown save, each loss hurts more acutely. Especially on a day like today, where winning would have increased the cushion between us and the Orioles, a cushion it is increasingly clear we are going to need.

It is, as my mother said, tragic. And not just for Foulke, but for the team. The team could be so easily, the classic tragic hero: quality in so many ways, but brought down by this inevitable tragic flaw.

Let's hope I'm just full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I really hope I am.