THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 9
"IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER"...
The Sox sleep through
the season finale
1986 ... John McNamara's Red Sox team absorbed a 7-0 loss
to the Yankees, completing the first four-game sweep by New York at Fenway Park
since 1980. A crowd of 32,735 left early, and except for a far-fetched bid by
Don Mattingly to overtake Wade Boggs in the batting race, they didn't miss a
Roger Clemens will be ready
when the bell rings for real. So will Boggs and
Rich Gedman, who both sat the finale out to nurse
nagging injuries. Getting swept by New York was no
fun, but even in winning 90 games, the Yankees
still finished 5 1/2 games behind the Red Sox.
A little case of the blahs, therefore, was understandable.
The intensity level really wasn't been there as the team is so pumped up for
Tuesday to come around, that they played like they were just waiting for the
game to get over.
It was clear the Red Sox lacked it offensively. They
finished the regular season 95-66, losing five of the last six games. But after
an 18-8 spurt in September, the Sox felt they could afford a spring-training
weekend, which meant honing all the edges.
Mostly, the last four days have been for the bullpen, and
it is noteworthy that after Jeff Sellers gave up six earned runs in four innings
yesterday, four of Boston's five bullpen residents worked five innings and gave
up only one run. Joe Sambito was charged with the run, but it was he who put a
period to Mattingly's bid to make the batting race tighter with a strikeout in
the eighth inning.
The season is over, and the Red Sox are grateful. Clemens'
injury was one scare, but he survived. Tom Seaver's was another, and he did not.
Gedman caught a ball on his collarbone on Saturday, and considering that Boston
has only one other catcher on its 24-man roster, his loss would have been a
catastrophe. But he survived, too.