Curt Schilling got his 3,000th strikeout today against the Oakland A's Nick Swisher. He's one of only 14 pitchers to reach that milestone. It's about the only honor the Red Sox can hope for this year, I'm sorry to say. Schilling lost the game today, the Red Sox fifth loss in a row.
The team has gone 8-20 this month, and dropped from a half-game up on the Yankees at the All Star break to 8 games back prior to tonight's second game of a New York Yankees / Detroit Tigers doubleheader. Their most important players are sidelined by injuries, with the remarkable David Ortiz now hospitalized with some sort of ominous heart ailment.
Now there's news the Red Sox are planning to trade David Wells to the San Diego Padres for prospects. Though injured for much of the year, Wells is still strong enough to help the Padres, who play in a pitchers park and are just 3 games out of the lead in the NL West. Sources tell ESPN that there's at least an 80-20 chance that Wells will head west by the end of the week, when teams will have to set their playoff roster.
Whether or not he goes, the trade talks are the signal that the Red Sox are tossing it in for the season. They were outplayed by the Yankees, out-traded by the Yankees, and suffered more injuries to star players than I remember any other team suffering in a long time.
It was a fun season while it lasted. If only it were the Blue Jays who'd be winning the East, instead of the damn Yankees. Again.
UPDATE 8/31/06: Players and reporters that entered the Red Sox locker room today at Fenway were greeted by an empty locker at the spot where David Wells would normally dress. It was later announced that Wells had been scratched from that night's start and designated for assignment. Finally, tonight, it was announced that Wells had been traded to the Padres for a catching prospect mostly known for his defense. That's pretty much it for the season, as manager Terry Francona has admitted:
Pressed as to whether the pending loss of Wells was a sign that the club was throwing in the towel on the season, Francona defended his club's competitiveness.
"I don't think that's the way to put it," the skipper responded. "I don't think that's the proper way. Throwing in the towel means you give up. I don't think you get to this level [and] give up. That's not how you compete."
But Francona acknowledged the club needs to not only think about now but also the future. So, Thursday's move was an opportunity to get younger and deeper at a key position.
And so it will be the Yankees at the top of the division again, only this year the Red Sox won't be the Wild Card. And yes, Casey, it does suck.