Sleepless from Seattle by Sterling Pingree

It was a great night and a great couple of days to be a Red Sox fan. The dramatic win on Sunday in Anaheim and the late rally Monday night vs the Mariners had me feeling optimistic. Throw the addition of left handed specialist Fernando Abad, #3 prospect Andrew Benintendi getting called up and it felt like a time to dream. Tuesday night I watched as David Price pitched like the ace I’d seen him be since 2008 and it felt great, an embarrassment of riches when you consider we still got to look forward to Benintendi making his debut on Wednesday. It was like a dream, until Tim Neverett woke me up and turned it into a nightmare. I’ll explain.

I went to bed Tuesday and turned the radio on to listen to a few innings before I fell asleep, confident that with a 3-0 lead and good David Price on the mound that I was in safe hands. When Benintendi pinch hit in the 7th, I considered turning the tv on to watch, but before I could get up he had already grounded out on the second pitch. I fell asleep about this point and was startled awake a short time later by Neverett’s call of Mike Zunino’s home run to lead off the 8th inning. Just a bump in the road, Price is cruising. 3 consecutive hits and another run and Farrell finally comes out to get Price. Now I’m wide wake as Barnes comes in and strikes out Seth Smith like it’s the final out of the 2007 World Series. Fernando Abad and Brad Ziegler warming in the pen, means that John Farrell is going use his new toys to play chess with Cano and Cruz due up. Abad comes in to face Cano who is 1 for 10 in his career with a double as his only hit, which Neverett recalls Abad said may have really been a foul ball. 4th pitch of the at bat, Cano goes deep, 5-4 Mariners. Just to rub a little more salt on the wound, Andrew Benintendi came up representing the go-ahead run with 2 outs in the 9th and struck out on 3 pitches.

Now it’s 1am and I’m wide awake and trying to figure out how this just happened. A 4-0 lead with David Price throwing a 3-hit shutout through 7 innings and you lose 5-4 in a matter of minutes. Seeing something like all I can come up with is that this just isn’t David Price’s year. The Red Sox have won games he’s pitched horrible in (Texas in June) and lost games where he was unhittable (Anaheim last week, Seattle tonight). The guy is snake bitten this season, I’ve never quite seen anything like it. Yesterday I would’ve said that this team was destined for the ALCS and a dramatic series with a shot at the Fall Classic on the line. After this game, It feels like the Red Sox will host a 1-game playoff, Price will take a perfect game and a one run lead into the 9th inning with two outs. He’ll walk the #8 hitter to lose the bid for perfection and then will give up a home run to the #9 hitter to lose the no-hit bid, the lead and the game. That’s the dramatic swings with the Red Sox this season or maybe I just dreamt this entire game in Seattle.

Sadly, not tonight. Thanks for the wakeup call Tim Neverett.


Sterling Head ShotSterling Pingree (@SterlingPingree on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at Follow The Drive on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.