First off, you can’t win every game. Secondly, even if you win almost all your games, you’re not going to win almost every time against the Boston Red Sox. So, I can sort of file this game in the “It’s bound to happen sometime” drawer.
That all said, there are two things that I would have liked to seen happen differently in this game.
In the top of the 6th, Alex Rodriguez has to make that play on the ball hit by Alex Gonzalez. A superstar third baseman has to make that play. And, at first, it was ruled an error. (Why they later changed it to a hit, well, I can only wonder.) If A-Rod makes that play for the out, then it’s a 3-3 game heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Sure, the non-play only made the score 4-3 (in favor of the Sox). But, if Alex Rodriguez makes that play, and gets the double play, then Crisp and Loretta will lead off in the 7th inning – instead of Ortiz and Ramirez. And, if that happens, it changes the whole complexion of that inning (where Boston then scored five runs and iced the game).
Also, in that Boston 7th inning, with runners on 1st and 2nd, with one out, and the Sox up by one, I would have brought in Mike Myers to face Varitek. It makes more sense to have Varitek bat right-handed and against a pitcher that is not going to supply a lot of power. Let him try and power the ball out to Death Valley on his own merit.
If Varitek doesn’t homer in the 7th, then it’s still a close ballgame and then we never see Scott Erickson pitch.
But, this is all hindsight – so, what can you do?
At least Melky worked Papelbon for a walk in the 9th. That’s another brand name pitcher this year where he’s worked the guy for a walk. He also did it to Curt Schilling the last time in New York – and he did it to Billy Wagner in Shea this year. This kid knows the strike zone.