The city of Boston and its legions of allegedly fairweather sports fans received a long-overdue kick in the balls yesterday. Not long after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady underthrew his team to a loss in Denver, Boston Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon was doing the exact same thing in Fenway Park. Or maybe it was just before. Anyway, The Los Angeles Angels–down to their last strike in the game WITH NOBODY ON BASE–toppled the Sawks to win their American League Division Series yesterday, 7-6, in front of a stunned crowd whose tears surely would have tasted like champagne to the rest of the sporting world.
Vladimir Guerrero capped the almost surreal rally in that top of the ninth, producing a two-run single to right-center — a looping liner that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury couldn’t quite get to. With that, the Angels had their first lead of the day. This, in a game the Red Sox led 5-1 after four, 5-2 after six and 6-4 going into the ninth.
“I think things happened quick, more than anything,” said Papelbon. “I wasn’t able to stop the bleeding. Your team fights and puts you in that situation and they call upon you, and you let them down. Your team expects you to pull through and preserve that win for you and then you don’t, it’s definitely not a good feeling.” via.
Losing feels worse than winning? You don’t say? Don’t worry, Boston. Basketball starts in two weeks. That bandwagon isn’t due for service until Kevin Garnett gets injured again. Heck, you might even have four or five months before that team completely falls out of playoff contention this year. Oh, I forgot, it’s the NBA. Everybody makes the playoffs over there.