I will try to do what the allegedly non-fan objective baseball analyst types do. I will try to dissect this game without emotion. At the moment, I am emotionally spent, so this might be one of the few windows of opportunity for to ever try such a thing.
The ball that hit Vlad got away from Delcarmen. It was not intentional. Sure Vlad was pissed, but like so many of the Mickey Hatcher school, he sits on top of the plate and then is surprised when he gets hit. Figgins, Kendrick, they spent a lot of time on the DL this season because Hatcher has them on the plate. Vlad a few days and some diminished ability, but really, we would not get pitched inside as much if we were not on top of the plate. We would not, then of course, have a .284 team batting average, so the answer, once again, is to sacrifice batting average, back off the plate and have a masher who augments the offense with power.
The fan who grabbed the ball was the dorkiest sweetcheeks closet case on the East Coast, but every fan on Earth has the right to dive for that ball and if I were sitting next to an Angels fan who did just that to an opposing catcher I would be buying him all the beers he wanted that night.
We had ample opportunities to put this pathetic contest away. This game was gift-wrapped and handed to us numerous times and we resisted. The reason is the offense did not get the elusive "clutch" hit that we needed and the pitching staff did a fabulous Grant Ballfour imitation.
It is either Mathis or Escobar, but it was pretty apparent by the fifth batter that the outside corner was a wasteland and that pitches to Righties there were not going to be called a strike. And yet one or both of these players insisted on placing the ball just there, time and time again. Escobar's voluminous walks to this team were as or more unclutch as/then the offense's lack of a breakthrough hit. Kelvim is a very good pitcher, but this season he took a step back from greatness with the walk totals - and sucking up a good walk IS the Red Sox game. The Mathis/Escobar battery played right into it.
We are without our best defensive Centerfielder, our future-HOF Right Fielder can hardly field and then leaves the game early, our only middle of the order threat has PINK EYE and we rlied on Scot Shields to pitch two hitless innings. And with ALL THAT going against us, we got shutout on the road by the top Cy Young contender and then held Boston to a draw until the bottom of the 9th. A ragtag group of cripples did all that. This Red Sox team is just not that great. Be it Cleveland or, miraculously, us, they are not going anywhere.