THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 9
"IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER"...
The White Sox spoil Boyd's return
August 5, 1986
... The Chicago White Sox were simply delighted in making
Oil Can Boyd the latest in a growing list of frustrated Red Sox pitchers with a
3- 1 victory that cut the Red Sox' lead in the AL East to 2 1/2 games over the
surging Baltimore Orioles.
Boyd's return to active duty
for the first time since July 8th could have been a
disaster. Instead, he turned in a a strong 7 2/ 3
innings, and for the second straight night it was a
case of a Red Sox pitcher doing well enough to win,
but not, because of an offense that fizzles and
sputters like a car on the way to an auction.
While Boyd's return was billed as one of the great moments
of a roller-coaster season, it became a secondary story to the plight of the Red
Sox offense. Boston is in a rut, the kind that destroys teams. It was held
hitless for five innings by Richard Dotson, who had not gone more than 4 2/3
innings in his last five starts, all losses. The Red Sox hit line drives, but
they were at people. After Tony Armas hit a solo home run in the sixth inning,
Rey Quinones singled and got himself thrown out at second on a controversial
Bill Buckner hit three line drives and got one single out
of it. Darryl Boston made a diving catch to rob him in the fourth. In the ninth
inning, Wade Boggs pulled a ground ball up the middle and shortstop Ozzie
Guillen was there to scoop it up and throw him out.
The crowd of 35,236, lured mostly by the return of Boyd,
was not disappointed in one sense. The Can came back, minus some of the renowned
"fire", but showing ample portions of the poise and control he had before his
July 10 emotional explosion changed his life around.
Boyd made two bad pitches, and they cost him home runs.
Carlton Fisk hit a two-run blast in the fifth inning on an 0-2 pitch. Harold
Baines did the same thing in the eighth, this time on the first pitch. But he
will win a lot of games, if that is the worst he pitches.
Boyd impressed everybody who watched him. The pressure in
recent weeks has been incredible. Yet, last night, he went about his work
without incident and left the field with a tip of his hat to the fans, who
showed by their actions they were sticking by him.
The slump continues. The seven-game security blanket of the
All- Star break is down to a fitted sheet. Boston has lost five of seven and 11
of 15. The club has scored one run in the last 19 innings. Buckner has two hits
in his last 26 at-bats; Don Baylor is 1 for 18.