I’ve never had to watch my team lose the postseason in person before. It really hurts. That final out, the collective mood drop, watching the other team celebrate on our field, Red Sox Nation leaving Fenway, soaking wet, dejected, and disappointed.
In processing our grief, we’re going to try to blame players, blame Farrell, blame the weather. And to some extent, it’s all true. Farrell’s temper should be in check; he’s a grown man getting himself ejected from an elimination game. Sale shouldn’t have pitched the 8th. Kimbrel was rough from the get-go. Dustin Pedroia is past his prime as a hitter. There are plenty of people who contributed to this loss, and more than enough blame to go around.
But what will blame really accomplish? Sure, we can channel our frustration, our upset at something or someone, but it won’t really get us anywhere. It won’t make us win the ALDS or the World Series. It won’t make our team better or make us feel less upset.
Today’s game was no blowout; it was a valiant effort after a terrible start to the postseason, and there are some great moments from today that I will cherish. Seeing Rafael Devers hit his 2nd consecutive postseason game home run. Having a 3-2 lead for a large portion of this game. Singing in the rain with Red Sox Nation. Sharing today with my sister, who didn’t even know I was flying home for this, let alone that I was taking her to the game.
Today was a tough game. But in the end, the Astros played better than we did. They’re a better team, and they want it more. This is their 2013; they’re playing for their hurricane-ravaged city, and they have people who need something to believe in. I can’t begrudge them that; I remember what it was like to need something to believe in, and the Red Sox winning the World Series that year meant everything to me.
None of that means that we, Red Sox Nation, didn’t want it; it just means we were rooting for a team that wasn’t as good as their opponent. And that’s not our fault. It simply means that next year, we have to be better. We didn’t get swept like we did in the 2016 ALDS, so this is already an improvement. Can you tell I’m trying to stay positive?
I love being a member of Red Sox Nation. I love Fenway Park. And even when they break my heart, I love the Red Sox. I love them enough to sit in the pouring rain for hours, screaming until my voice is gone. I love them enough to keep believing. So here’s to next year. I’m already counting the days.