The suck stops here.
For Manny, anway. He went 2-5 with his first homer in 29 at-bats a hard, wall-ball single, and an RBI. Ya, I know it's not that big of a deal, but considering that this is his second multi-hit game in a row, I'm calling the slump officially OVER. (Even though Manny did strike out twice, causing me to have a "momentary lapse of patience" i.e. hurling a few choice and vituperative comments at the tv screen, aiming at targets including but not limited to Manny's choice of career,personal hygiene, mother and sexual preference. I've been reminding myself how he and Ortiz carried the team for the entire first half and how I should cut him a little slack, but a woman can only take so much, you know?)
Unfortunately the game tonight was a losing effort. It was kind of a whack game, honestly. It pissed down rain for about two innings, and Wakefield failed to get the memo about trying to keep balls hit by the other team from flying out of the ballpark...again. Contreras had one of his patented MeltDowns in the second inning, (walked a run in,) but then came back to give the Sox a glimpse of that "nasty stuff" he supposedly has. Down 8-5 in the ninth inning, Kevin Millar hit a two-run homer into the monster seats with one out. Bill Mueller grounds out for the second out, and suddenly the fate of the team is up to....Orlando Cabrera.
Now, I have a little encouragement technique for Cabrera that is surprisingly successful. I just say very earnestly to the tv screen: "I'm not asking, Orlando, I'm begging. Get a hit. Please." And I will sometimes bargain, like "Just a single - it doesn't have to be for extra bases - hell, it can go right into an outfielder's glove as long as he's deep enough to allow someone to score." And it's worked. Twice. I only use it under duress. Cabrera is still kind of new on the team and I don't really feel comfortable laying into him with the heavy-duty swearing yet (and I'm secretly starting to kind of like him,) so I just beg. I begged tonight, and when the ball flew off of Cabrera's bat I thought my prayers had been answered....but alas, it was the wrong prayer - you know, the one about the ball going right into the outfielder's glove instead of over the big green metal wall behind him. And the Sox lost 8-7.
The Face goes tomorrow.