After slopping their way through seven innings on Tuesday night, the Red Sox seemed to be putting something special together.
Down 8-2 in the bottom of the eighth, the rally caps came out in full force. Kevin Youkilis doubled home a run. David Ortiz doubled home another. Suddenly, it was 8-4, and J.D. Drew drove a first-pitch rocket to right for a three-run homer to make it 8-7.
Then, with two men on and two out in the bottom of the ninth, Youkilis struck out looking. Game over. Put the champagne on hold once again.
“They always [try to come back when they’re down],” manager Terry Francona said during Tuesday’s edition of Red Sox Extra Innings. “They’ll play, but that’s a tough way to play when you’re down by that much.”
Sure, it’s reassuring that the Red Sox could battle back in the eighth inning down by six runs. But they didn’t win. They’ve still lost seven of nine. Should they be worried?
“We don’t really look at it like that,” Francona said. “Whatever happened nine days ago is not going to affect tomorrow. What we’re thinking about is today.”
Now, the Red Sox must wait while the Rangers battle the Angels out West. If the Rangers lose, the Red Sox can celebrate another trip to October — but will there really be anything to celebrate after a tough loss to Toronto?
We’ll soon find out.
You can watch Francona’s full postgame news conference here: