It’s true that Terry Francona sent out what was essentially a Double-A lineup against one of baseball’s best pitchers in Roy Halladay. It’s true that, after wrapping up the wild card on Tuesday night, they didn’t really have much to play for except extra padding in the win column. But still — a three-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays a week before the playoffs start?
Not exactly the kind of momentum an October-bound team wants.
“We’d all like our record to be as good as it can be,” Francona said during Wednesday’s edition of Red Sox Extra Innings, “but it’s not going to affect next week. It’s still a terrible night — you always want to play well, no matter who pitches or who plays — and that didn’t happen tonight.”
Tim Wakefield took the mound and did little to suggest he’d pitch effectively in the postseason, lasting three innings and allowing five runs on seven hits, including two home runs. It was his fourth start of the second half and essentially diffused all speculation that he’ll be in Boston’s playoff rotation this year.
Still, Francona refused to bite when asked about any roster decisions.
“One thing we’re not going to do is make our roster tonight through you guys,” he said, referring to the reporters in attendance. “That would not be a good idea.”
Meanwhile, Halladay was as good as Boston has seen him all season, throwing a complete-game shutout. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth, threw just 100 pitches, allowed three total hits and struck out six.
On a night when the only regulars in Boston’s lineup were David Ortiz and Alex Gonzalez, it may not seem all that impressive. It certainly wasn’t the Red Sox’ finest showing of the season, offensively or defensively.The Red Sox paraded out six relievers, including catcher Dusty Brown.
That pretty much tells you what kind of night it was at Fenway.
“Anytime we get to Dusty Brown pitching,” Francona said, “it’s a tough night.”
You can watch Francona’s full postgame news conference here: