The fall of the 2016 Red Sox is complete. The Sox were the feel-good story of our summer, but it seems that it all went away when they held their division-clinching toga party in the Bronx after an embarrassing 5-3 walkoff loss at Yankee Stadium Sept. 28.Since this is Shank, someone needs to be blamed and run out of town. Any guesses?
The Red Sox rightfully won the American League East, sweeping through Baltimore and Tampa, winning 11 straight games during the most critical stretch of September. And then everything stopped. A day after clinching, manager John Farrell “rested” Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts and pulled David Ortiz after a couple of at-bats, triggering a losing pattern that carried straight through the playoffs. The Sox lost their way during an interminable series of heartfelt sendoffs for David Ortiz and had nothing left when the championship tournament started last week.A paragraph later, Shank has a moment of clarity:
The ignominious sweep no doubt will crank up the “Fire Farrell” bandwagon that rolled across New England for much of the spring and summer.
It’s certainly not Farrell’s fault that Rick Porcello and David Price spit the bit in their starts in Cleveland. It’s not Farrell’s fault that the Sox — who led the majors with 878 runs — scored seven runs in three games and hit .214 in this series. A team that went 20-24 in one-run games during the regular season lost two more one-run games in the playoffs.