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Roche: Hoping For A Surprise Ending

A blog by WBZ-TV's Dan Roche
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Jarrod Saltalamacchia grimaces after being hit by a foul tip on September 26, 2011 in Baltimore. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia grimaces after being hit by a foul tip on September 26, 2011 in Baltimore. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

420x316-grad-roche Dan Roche
Dan Roche is an award-winning sports anchor and reporter for WBZ-TV...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Even after growing up watching and playing the game, it amazes me what can happen in the game of baseball.

A team can be in complete control of their situation for almost an entire season and then the wheels can completely fall off.

Around here it began in Spring Training when the media and players argued whether or not the 2011 Boston Red Sox could win 100 games.

There was talk of this team maybe being the best Red Sox team ever.

However, I felt that talk was more about selling papers or magazines than about the team. But still, it was out there.

After a terrible start (0-6, 2-10), the Sox showed why they were picked by winning two out of every three games for 4-1/2 months.

And then, the wheels fell off.

Why?

The easy answer is horrific starting pitching.

The Red Sox have gone 6-19 this month and in those 25 starts the starters have gone a ridiculous 4-13 with a 7.26 ERA.

The two aces, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, have started 9 times and are 2-5 with a 5.73 earned run average.

The offense hasn’t had many timely hits, the defense has struggled at times, and the GM and manager have made some questionable decisions (although Theo and Tito aren’t high on the blame chain).

And now with two games to go the Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are tied.

Erik Bedard and Jon Lester hold the Sox fate in their hands.

I would love to see two pitching gems, but the way things have gone lately, that seems to be asking a bit much.

I think simply keeping then team in the game is about all you can hope for now.

What happens?

Who knows.

It certainly feels like we are watching an historical collapse.

It’s like watching a train that can’t stop (think the movie Unstoppable).

It’s like the Sox lost control of the brakes and it’s inevitable that this thing will crash.

Will it end in heartbreak?

Looks like it and with that will come an off-season of perhaps many changes.

And, that to me, is sad.

We’ve enjoyed an unforgettable run here in Boston that I think right now is under-appreciated.

Since John, Tom, and Larry arrived we’ve watched the lowest of lows – 2003 and the ALCS – and the highest of highs – 2004 and 2007.

And now, we are watching this come full circle with a collapse unlike any other.

A collapse that could produce the end for the GM and manager.

I hope we get the unexpected because it’s what I love about the game of baseball.

One night you’re hitting a three-run homer to win an extra inning game and the next you watch a ball just slip away as you come oh-so-close to an amazing catch in center field.

You just don’t know.

I hope we witness some special surprise ending.

It would make this journey that began in February all the more special.

Hang on, the train ride is getting ready for the final stops.

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