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View Full Version : "Smartball" - Was this just a bad weekend or is it foreshadowing?


miker
06-27-2005, 10:53 AM
Dropping two of three in our home park was bad enough, and then I had this thought:

Barring complete collapse, the Sox will make the playoffs. Any team we meet in the playoffs will have pitching that will be as good as Maddox and Prior were this weekend.

With their outstanding record, the Sox have shown this season that they can come back late to win games and they can beat the teams that they are supposed to beat.

But after getting shut down this weekend, what does everyone think about how they may play against a playoff-caliber team in a seven game series? Is this a potential problem or was this weekend just speedbump in an otherwise great season?

You thoughts please...

(Note: This isn't a "complaining about losing" or a "sky is falling" thread.)

Baby Fisk
06-27-2005, 10:55 AM
Stop the insanity.

CHISOXFAN13
06-27-2005, 10:58 AM
Stop the insanity.


Thank you. I guess some people fail to realize that Garcia and Garland weren't half bad either. Ill take my chances.

itsnotrequired
06-27-2005, 10:58 AM
:chickenlittle

ondafarm
06-27-2005, 10:59 AM
Good teams have bad series or even weeks. It happens, don't worry about it. Any sport where winning only 2/3s of your games is considered outstanding is going to involve losing a few 2 or 3 game stretches.

scottjanssens
06-27-2005, 11:00 AM
Sure we'll be facing better pitching staffs in the post season, but we'll probably not be starting Contreras either. Garland vs. Maddux would have resulted in a Sox win, I've no doubt. Prior on 4 days rest instead of 4 weeks may have turned out differently (or not, Prior is an excellent pitcher).

ilsox7
06-27-2005, 11:00 AM
I really think that if some people around here won a $100 Million Lotto Jackpot, they'd be pissed off b/c of the taxes they would owe.

MsSoxVixen22
06-27-2005, 11:00 AM
I think we'll be fine. Personally I think when Joe Crede's home run was stolen that kinda changed the tone of the game. That and the umps were making some bad calls and had different srike zones for different people. IMHO

wdelaney72
06-27-2005, 11:00 AM
:threadblows:

I know I should justify the picture, but I don't think I really need to.

Madvora
06-27-2005, 11:04 AM
We all know that regardless of records, the Cubs/Sox series will always be a close one.

We faced two damn good pitchers that got the better of us.
I just hope we can get out of that slump in Oakland.

TomParrish79
06-27-2005, 11:05 AM
I really think that if some people around here won a $100 Million Lotto Jackpot, they'd be pissed off b/c of the taxes they would owe.


Not me, I would be the happiest boy in the whole woirld!!



As far as this thread, in the words of Joe Dirt's father....Lighten up Buddy!


We're gonna be just fine.

miker
06-27-2005, 11:06 AM
After I sent this in, I thought would get flamed by the regulars for posting a "sky is falling" question.

Of the posters who actually offered useful content, the consensus appears to be that this all will be fine and I share that opinion.

As for the rest of you, excuse me for living...

Rocklive99
06-27-2005, 11:07 AM
Stop listening to BB if you're gonna take it seriously, they just say stupid stuff to stir up controversy and discussion.

Can someone find me a championship caliber team that has never had a letdown game? Oh that's right, nobody goes 162-0, and everyone usually goes through at least 60 losses.

Iguana775
06-27-2005, 11:09 AM
OH joy, another dark cloud post.

Iguana775
06-27-2005, 11:10 AM
I really think that if some people around here won a $100 Million Lotto Jackpot, they'd be pissed off b/c of the taxes they would owe.

I would!! how the hell are you going to live on $55 million??!!! I have a family to feed! :angry: :angry: :angry:

PatK
06-27-2005, 11:10 AM
What's this, the 4th or 5th series they've lost this season?

And aren't they are the only team with 50 wins?

People need to relax and check to see if what they're drinking is Cubine kool aid.

**edited for poor grammar**

lowesox
06-27-2005, 11:12 AM
It's odd to me that this thread is getting beaten up. Why? I mean, like many of you, I hate seeing posts that imply this season is over jsut because we lose a game or a series. But this thread poses an interesting question.

Are we a team build to win in the playoffs, or a team built to win in the regular season. Quite frankly, I'm not sure. I mean, aren't you all just a little bit nervous that we'll have a repeat of 1993 or 2000 - where we have a dynamite regular season, then make an early exit.

I'm not saying that I expect that - but it's something I think about. Because I'd hate to have such a great team and not win it all.

santo=dorf
06-27-2005, 11:12 AM
The Sox just aren't good at extending their 8 game win streaks. Didn't we follow up every 8 game win streak with a 3 game losing streak? We really need to work on the fundamentals of extending an 8 game win streak.























:rolleyes:

nebraskasox
06-27-2005, 11:12 AM
Anything can happen in a short series. We had some balls hit to the wall that could have changed the momentum and even the outcome in the two losses. Those are the breaks. I was disappointed we couldn't manufacture some runs against Prior but it didn't happen. This weekend will be forgotten if we start another win streak in Detroit. MB and FG can make that happen. The Sox have been resilient. They should be OK. I'm more concerned about the Hernandez situation. I don't want to fall into that 5th starter black hole that plagued us last year.

Jerko
06-27-2005, 11:12 AM
I would!! how the hell are you going to live on $55 million??!!! I have a family to feed! :angry: :angry: :angry:

Ok Spree.

Iguana775
06-27-2005, 11:13 AM
Ok Spree.

Better watch out! I'll choke you!


:redneck

S.S. Lumber Yard
06-27-2005, 11:15 AM
We all know that regardless of records, the Cubs/Sox series will always be a close one.

We faced two damn good pitchers that got the better of us.
I just hope we can get out of that slump in Oakland.

I hope we get out of the slump in Detroit!!

cheeses_h_rice
06-27-2005, 11:17 AM
The 2 games we lost featured a) a terrible first inning by Contreras where everything that could go wrong did, followed by him getting his act together, and the Sox hitting the ball right where the Cubs were, and b) a stellar outing from Garland capped by some simple impatience by our hitters in the 7th, 8th & 9th innings, when you had pitchers that were having difficulty finding the plate. Plus, we were playing Harris/Ozuna instead of Iguchi/Uribe, which is a much more potent offensive threat.

The Sox could easily have won 2 of 3 if not swept. I can't promise that the bats won't freeze up in the playoffs, but right now I'm not all that worried. I also won't be surprised to find another hot bat in our lineup by July 31.

gobears1987
06-27-2005, 11:31 AM
Mods, please send this **** where it belongs in the roadhouse.

miker
06-27-2005, 11:34 AM
Mods, please send this **** where it belongs in the roadhouse.

So that's your idea of constructive criticism?

Please try again with something more intelligent. Thank you.

Hokiesox
06-27-2005, 11:36 AM
I'll take 8-2 over the last 10 anytime. 2 darn losses? and you're complaining? c'mon. We're not Red Sox fans!

Sxy Mofo
06-27-2005, 11:36 AM
Smart ball is the reason the sox couldn't score? What was the reason in 2000? So long ball doesn't work, and now, apparently smart ball won't work. That's BS. I like the smart ball approach, but when you run in to prior, and prior is good already, but when he's pitching lights out, and getting a very friendly strike zone, it's hard to win. You can't win them all, and sometimes have games like this, it happens.


This series did remind me why i much prefer the current w.sox approach to the past one. Outscore the opponent 14-10 in the series, yet lose two of the three games. Thanks for the new approach Oz and KW, glad we only have to see this kind of thing once in a great while as compared to once a week.

miker
06-27-2005, 11:39 AM
Smart ball is the reason the sox couldn't score? What was the reason in 2000? So long ball doesn't work, and now, apparently smart ball won't work. That's BS. I like the smart ball approach, but when you run in to prior, and prior is good already, but when he's pitching lights out, and getting a very friendly strike zone, it's hard to win. You can't win them all, and sometimes have games like this, it happens.

The "Smartball" tag in the title did turn out to be a bit misleading - I didn't mean to say this was the reason they dropped two. Good pitching was the reason.

As you state and I agree, good fundamental baseball will result in wins.

Tragg
06-27-2005, 11:43 AM
We're not as good as our record - I'll admit that.
But losing a series isnt' a reason to freak. I believe this is the fourth series we've lost this year, although 2 were on this homestand. (Ariz, Cubs, Rangers, As).
There is no indication that we will cave it in, and with the top 3 starters we have, there is little chance of that happening. A fold job would be the only reason to worry; a slump is not (although, make no mistake, the media will characterize our first slump as a fold-job and completely over-react to it).

lukesappling
06-27-2005, 11:49 AM
This weekend I started to worry that "smartball" wouldn't work against good pitching, especially after losing to Maddux and Prior. But, don't worry, keep the faith. The Sox are still a great team. Of course we're a little concerned, but the Sox/Cubs series magnifies everything. Face it, the intensity wasn't there for the Sox, but the Cubs had to win in order to save their season. The Cubs had everything to lose, but the Sox didn't have much to gain other than bragging rights over our least favorite northside team.

daveeym
06-27-2005, 12:06 PM
Face it, the intensity wasn't there for the Sox, but the Cubs had to win in order to save their season. The Cubs had everything to lose, but the Sox didn't have much to gain other than bragging rights over our least favorite northside team. Oh lord not again, but the only thing I agree with is the above. We had a chance to kinda bury their year in the first series and could have done so again this past weekend. Just woulda been a nice feather in the cap.

Iguana775
06-27-2005, 12:06 PM
The 2 games we lost featured a) a terrible first inning by Contreras where everything that could go wrong did, followed by him getting his act together, and the Sox hitting the ball right where the Cubs were, and b) a stellar outing from Garland capped by some simple impatience by our hitters in the 7th, 8th & 9th innings, when you had pitchers that were having difficulty finding the plate. Plus, we were playing Harris/Ozuna instead of Iguchi/Uribe, which is a much more potent offensive threat.

The Sox could easily have won 2 of 3 if not swept. I can't promise that the bats won't freeze up in the playoffs, but right now I'm not all that worried. I also won't be surprised to find another hot bat in our lineup by July 31.

I did notice that the Sox hit a LOT of rocket shots right at the cubs players. Pods started off yesterday with a shot to LF but was almost right to the LF....kind of slicing but an easy play.

alohafri
06-27-2005, 12:10 PM
It almost seems like these crosstown series are fixed...in the sense that things tend to even out even when technically the best team in the major leagues should have beaten the lowly scrubs 2 out of 3. I was at the game Sat. and Sun. so could not tell what the strike zone was or what was up with Crede yesterday when he got po'ed in his last at-bat. And it looked like some bad calls several times on Sunday but without the benefit of instant replay, it was hard to tell.

I thought the Sox had a great chance against Prior--it's not like they were whiffing against him--the bats were making contact. I just wonder if Prior and the scrubs were maybe given a bit of an advantage by the umpires. Or maybe it was just the heat getting to me?


---Mrs. Aloha

Lip Man 1
06-27-2005, 12:15 PM
Before I can comment I think we need to wait and see what develops this week or in the next ten days.

If the offense continues to go through a down period Williams may try to make a move, Detroit has been hot lately and Oakland is a house of horrors, but remember pitching could also be on his list. McCarthy throws Wednesday and how he does in that start or in the next two or three (if he gets them) will also factor into Williams' thinking.

It's kind of hard to get a read right now with still a month to go before the deadline. I do think Williams will do something, I'm just not sure what.

Lip

Ol' No. 2
06-27-2005, 12:19 PM
This weekend I started to worry that "smartball" wouldn't work against good pitching, especially after losing to Maddux and Prior. But, don't worry, keep the faith. The Sox are still a great team. Of course we're a little concerned, but the Sox/Cubs series magnifies everything. Face it, the intensity wasn't there for the Sox, but the Cubs had to win in order to save their season. The Cubs had everything to lose, but the Sox didn't have much to gain other than bragging rights over our least favorite northside team.If anything, the opposite is true. Good pitching will shut down the all-or-nothing offense faster than anything. It's against good pitching that you need the ability to manufacture runs. Of course, it's hard to run a small ball offense (or any kind of offense) when you're not getting on base.

dcb33
06-27-2005, 12:20 PM
I'm not concerned.

The only team in the league with good pitching that we've failed to completely dominate is Anaheim, and we still have a winning record against them. You can't win them all, and if I had told everyone that we'd go 8-4 on the homestand, I'm sure most would be satisfied.

tebman
06-27-2005, 12:29 PM
If anything, the opposite is true. Good pitching will shut down the all-or-nothing offense faster than anything. It's against good pitching that you need the ability to manufacture runs. Of course, it's hard to run a small ball offense (or any kind of offense) when you're not getting on base.
That pretty much wraps it up. I'm as disappointed as anybody that in an 8-out-of-10 stretch, the two the Sox lose are against those guys. But the Sox still have the best record in the bigs, own first place by a healthy margin, and have a pitching staff more consistent than we've seen in years.

I don't buy the Ozzieball cliche as a certain strategic approach, but more as a philosophical approach: good pitching plus a balanced offense plus aggressive play equals more wins. The Sox have shown this year that it works. The trick is to keep it up through 162 games and the postseason, but that's the same trick every other team has turn. Given what we've seen so far, the Sox' chances look awfully good.

Enjoy the ride.

miker
06-27-2005, 12:32 PM
The thread linked below pretty much covers the same topic with more rational responses:

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=52978

JB98
06-27-2005, 12:33 PM
After the way we played this weekend, it seems like a lot of Sox fans are seeking assurances that we won't flame out in the playoffs. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. The eight best teams in baseball make the playoffs, and then the hottest team (not necessarily the best team) wins the World Series. All I can say is, let's get to the playoffs and then we'll roll the dice.

I'd like to think we have a much more veteran club than we did in 2000, and that they won't be affected by the pressure of playing in the postseason. I can tell you this much: Iguchi and Everett aren't going to be intimidated by the spotlight. One reason I don't want to trade Carl is he really knows how to dial it up in key situations. Ironically, the two hitters I worry most about are Frank and PK. They have a tendency to try to do too much.

Kenny is going to make a move. I'm not sure exactly what he's going to do, but he'll do something. Sometimes you have a tendency to get complacent when things are going this well. We could go winless on this upcoming road trip and still be on pace to win 100 games. You can argue that it ain't broke so don't fix it, but I don't think our GM is going to turn a blind eye toward the weaknesses we have. My guess is we'll get some reinforcements for our pitching staff sometime here in the next month.

TornLabrum
06-27-2005, 12:42 PM
Stupid posts: Was it just this weekend, or is this a foreshadowing?

ChiSoxRowand
06-27-2005, 12:44 PM
Maddux is an average pitcher. He pitched way over his head on Saturday.

Chisox003
06-27-2005, 12:47 PM
Maddux is an average pitcher. He pitched way over his head on Saturday.

Ha ha....he only has 300 and something wins....But its an average 300+ :rolleyes:

:threadsucks

MikeLove
06-27-2005, 01:11 PM
maddux is pretty average now, he has his good days and his bad. he didnt win 300 games in the last 2 years =P players decline as they get older.

anyways i dont know what all the hostility is towards the starter of this thread, it really is a decent question: How will the sox do against more good pitching in more big game situations? Don't think its totally out of line at all. Anyways Its a tough call, Hopefully we'll come out guns blazin in detriot.

I think i can speak for most of us when i say that the thing that bothered me about the cubs series loss isnt that we lost a series (that happens!) but that now we have to hear about how prior was seen walking across lake michigan while feeding the needy and eliminating the national defecit, while the cubs are on their way to the playoffs :angry::mad:

TomParrish79
06-27-2005, 01:13 PM
Maddux....average pitcher....riiiiiiiight.

miker
06-27-2005, 01:15 PM
anyways i dont know what all the hostility is towards the starter of this thread, it really is a decent question: How will the sox do against more good pitching in more big game situations? Don't think its totally out of line at all. Anyways Its a tough call, Hopefully we'll come out guns blazin in detriot.

Thanks for your post and helping restore my faith in the WSI community.

Now bring on Detroit!

MikeLove
06-27-2005, 01:18 PM
Maddux's numbers are very similar to Contreras' on the season, and Contreras is the worst pitcher in the AL

*shrug*

wdelaney72
06-27-2005, 01:23 PM
maddux is pretty average now, he has his good days and his bad. he didnt win 300 games in the last 2 years =P players decline as they get older.

Last year, Maddux had 16 wins and en ERA below 4.00. That is above average, in my book. Look, you might want to rephrase your statement and leave it as... "Maddux is on the downward turn of a HOF career."

I don't like the Cubs either, but you have to recognize Maddux as a good pitcher. His numbers don't lie.

dcb33
06-27-2005, 01:26 PM
anyways i dont know what all the hostility is towards the starter of this thread, it really is a decent question: How will the sox do against more good pitching in more big game situations?

Here is a list of teams we have faced with excellent pitching staffs, our record against that team, and that team's ERA:

Anaheim, 4-3, 3.45
Minnesota, 4-1, 3.68
Cleveland, 6-3, 3.71
Detroit, 4-1, 3.88
San Diego, 2-1, 4.02
Toronto, 3-0, 4.03

As you can see, the Sox are 23-9 against the 6 best pitching staffs they've faced this year. I'd say they've done pretty darn well against good pitching.

Sxy Mofo
06-27-2005, 01:26 PM
Maddux's numbers are very similar to Contreras' on the season, and Contreras is the worst pitcher in the AL

*shrug*


If i didn't actually watch the games, read the stats, articles or anything, and only read the coversation around here... I'd be convinced that at half the positions, we have the worst players in the league.

MikeLove
06-27-2005, 01:32 PM
Anaheim, 4-3, 3.45
Minnesota, 4-1, 3.68
Cleveland, 6-3, 3.71
Detroit, 4-1, 3.88
San Diego, 2-1, 4.02
Toronto, 3-0, 4.03


wow thats really impressive, good post

Hangar18
06-27-2005, 02:03 PM
Good teams have bad series or even weeks. It happens, don't worry about it. Any sport where winning only 2/3s of your games is considered outstanding is going to involve losing a few 2 or 3 game stretches.


Well, it is troubling that when we face a team that can hit, we cant stop them. The cubs didnt hit all that well save for one game. However, we didnt hit at all for 2 games. Too many Crede/Konerko/Dye Ab's for my liking.
GoodPitching (with good hitting) always beats Good Pitching (with no hitting)

CHISOXFAN13
06-27-2005, 02:22 PM
Well, it is troubling that when we face a team that can hit, we cant stop them. The cubs didnt hit all that well save for one game. However, we didnt hit at all for 2 games. Too many Crede/Konerko/Dye Ab's for my liking.
GoodPitching (with good hitting) always beats Good Pitching (with no hitting)

Everyone sucked yesterday. The Dye bashing from you is pretty tiresome. If you recall, he had one of the to big hits in the final tweo games and is up to .266.

I'm not sure why you expect him to hit .330 with 40 and 120.

cheeses_h_rice
06-27-2005, 02:27 PM
Everyone sucked yesterday. The Dye bashing from you is pretty tiresome. If you recall, he had one of the to big hits in the final tweo games and is up to .266.

I'm not sure why you expect him to hit .330 with 40 and 120.

I think Hangar is pissed we still don't have Maggs.

:rolleyes:

mccoydp
06-27-2005, 02:30 PM
Maddux is an average pitcher. He pitched way over his head on Saturday.

There's nothing average about Greg Maddux.

MIgrenade
06-27-2005, 03:46 PM
Too many Crede/Konerko/Dye Ab's for my liking.
GoodPitching (with good hitting) always beats Good Pitching (with no hitting)

Ummmmm.....So who should be hitting? That's a third of the order and much of the power plus the best defense. Should Everett be out in right? Who can play at third while Uribe is out? Frank back at first?
Your second statement is just pointless, all I can say is "No ****."

Jurr
06-27-2005, 04:49 PM
Foreshadowing my a**. 50-24. Foreshadow that. I swear to God that some people are so paranoid around here that they can't enjoy the best start to a season they've ever experienced.

:threadblows:

balke
06-27-2005, 06:53 PM
What a weird thread. Garcia would've beat any pitcher but Prior I think. I think Buehrle would've beat Prior. Garland would beat any Cub pitcher, probably should've beat Prior Sunday. The Cubs won this series, doesn't mean they should've. But this wasn't the Sox ideal pitching matchup or anything. Sox matchup well pitching wise against any team in a playoff series.


Just imagine if the pipedream thread is true about acquiring Jason Schmidt though.... good grief that's a scary 1-4. Buehrle Garland Schmidt Garcia. Contreras beating you every 5th day.

batmanZoSo
06-27-2005, 07:31 PM
This is ridiculous.

Look, dude, we're 50-24. Nobody has done better against the opposition than us and we're not in a cakewalk division. Four of the best AL pitching staffs are in the central. And we're, what 21-5?

If we go into the playoffs, we have just as good a chance as anyone. If we're hot, we'll go far. If we're cold, we won't.

MeanFish
06-27-2005, 07:38 PM
We've got the best pitching of any AL team we've seen. If we go against Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs, does anyone doubt we can take them in a best of five? How about Boston? Baltimore? Texas? We've got em beat, and we've proven it.

And as for the Cubs, Maddux and Prior usually don't pitch *that* well. They're great pitchers no doubt, but they both had comparatively phenomenal games. And we STILL almost took the series. They had a few bounces go their way, we had a few go against us. It could have easily been a different story.

I'm still confident in this team come playoff time.

MasQbellesa
06-27-2005, 07:39 PM
We all know that regardless of records, the Cubs/Sox series will always be a close one.

We faced two damn good pitchers that got the better of us.
I just hope we can get out of that slump in Oakland.


I don't think losing 2 games is really a slump.:?:

Jurr
06-27-2005, 07:42 PM
I don't think losing 2 games is really a slump.:?:
Exactly. It's one of Ozzie's favorite little jokes, but it's so true of some Sox fans.
Ozzie says, "We lose 2 games in a row, and everyone thinks it's 20. I guess we're spoiled."

chisoxt
06-27-2005, 07:50 PM
So that's your idea of constructive criticism?

Please try again with something more intelligent. Thank you.

I agree. While it's great to see the team succeed, can't anybody raise constructive criticsim once in a while without getting beat up? I guarantee you one think, I'll bet Kenny Williams is asking the same questions.

lostletters
06-27-2005, 08:48 PM
They went on an eight game winning streak. It was going to end eventually. They lose a couple of games and people see a "trend" or "dark clouds", please stop this nonsense.

Every team loses games like these on occasion. It's tough but it happens.

The sox lost a couple of games, so it was to the cubs, so what.

It is not foreshadowing. Every team has weekends where they just get aced by good pitching.

Jurr
06-27-2005, 09:13 PM
I can't believe this thread is still being discussed. Absolute hogwash.

CallMeNuts
06-27-2005, 09:34 PM
We've gottern to 50-24 by beating the snot out of the teams we are supposed to beat. No more playing down to the competition as we did so often in prior years. And we have also been above .500 and one most of our series against good teams.

The way things are going we will hopefully clinch with enough time left in the season to have our rotation lined up exactly the way we want it to be, and have all of our pitchers healthy and reasonably rested. So, I'm exceptionally optimistic about our teams ability to compete in October. In October, you don't have to play .667 ball. .600 (3-2) is good enough in the first series. .571 (4-3) is good enough in the next two series. .579 (11-8) gets you a World Championship.

But as excited as we are, we have to remember that the last 3 World Championships were won by teams that failed to win their division. Pitching wins in October. We've got the pitching. We'll just have to wait to see if the pitching is both healthy & hot at the right time.

flo-B-flo
06-27-2005, 11:20 PM
It would worry me that the Sox are far ahead and may lose their "edge". But, then I hear one guy after another state how important it is that they play EVERY game hard. No coasting. The Indians and the Tigers are greatly improved. The Twins aren't just gonna fold the tent. I think this is a good thing. The Sox would use the competition to stay sharp.

Nellie_Fox
06-28-2005, 01:32 AM
I think Buehrle would've beat Prior. How? The Sox got one hit. One. It didn't matter who was on the mound. You beat no one with one hit.

It's a loss. To a very good pitcher. It's over. Forget about it.

tebman
06-28-2005, 09:52 AM
How? The Sox got one hit. One. It didn't matter who was on the mound. You beat no one with one hit.

It's a loss. To a very good pitcher. It's over. Forget about it.:yup:

Well put. We've got a season to finish, so let's move on.

balke
06-28-2005, 10:14 AM
How? The Sox got one hit. One. It didn't matter who was on the mound. You beat no one with one hit.

It's a loss. To a very good pitcher. It's over. Forget about it.


Which is a point I made by saying Garland should've won. I'm just saying we match up well against anyone. But yeah this argument should've never been started, our pitching is awesome, and normally the hitting is there. It was just one game where there was no real plan that seemed to be in effect. Pods wasn't bunting on, players were not moved over. The sox just kept trying to even the game with HR's and it didn't work. I'm not worried about playoff match-ups at all, if anything the Sox will learn from this game.