Saturday, August 18, 2007

What To Do About Gagne?

Eric Gagne, who had seemed to have righted the ship after a rocky start in Boston, was handed a 5-4 lead last night in the top of the ninth. The Sox had come back from a 4-1 deficit in the eighth with four runs keyed by a David Ortiz two-run double off Francisco Rodriguez but Gagne allowed a walk and hits by Chone Figgins, old friend Orlando Cabrera, and a double by the always dangerous Vlad Guerrero, which resulted in a 7-5 lead.

Moments later, a fan hurled a bottle across the infield in the direction of Gagne, whose ERA for the season has been inflated from 2.16 (at the time of the trade, not even three weeks ago) to 4.12. His line with the Sox includes 14 H and 10 ER in 6.0 IP.

The loss -- after the tremendous comeback in the 8th, which has been rare this year -- was reminiscent of a devastating 8-7 loss to Texas in August, 2001. There, the Sox lost in 18 innings on an unearned run off Derek Lowe. More important, it marked the beginning of the end for that year's Sox team, which proceeded to lose 8 more games in a row, dropping from 4 games out of first place, to 9.5 games, and the season was effectively over.

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