But their clutch hitting again suffered; they went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and managed only two runs from two bases-loaded, no-out situations.
OK. Yes. But.
Those two runs in those bases-loaded situations came on sac flies by Jose Valentin (4th inning) and Shawn Green (8th inning, actually there was one out). Valentin's drive sent Ryan Church to within a couple of feet of the fence; Green's left George Lombard practically squashed against it.
Maybe three or four feet in all separated those two sac flies from being twin grand slams. In which case Green's sac fly would have made the score 10-3 instead of 4-3. In which case no one would have fussed overmuch about how we did with RISP (we would have been an acceptable 4 for 15, by the way), because we'd be too busy exchanging bloggy high-fives about Green showing signs of life and Valentin coming around and the offensive funk being behind us and bring on the postseason! (And in this alternate posting universe, John Maine's win in a 10-3 romp would probably have been deemed promisingly strong with a couple of moments of distraction, rather than feeling like a distracted but ultimately decent enough no-decision. Maine wouldn't have thrown a single pitch differently, but there you have it.)
Three or four feet. That's 36 to 48 inches. Not a long distance in talking about the mileage of balls struck over the course of a game. In other words, oh fellow anxious play-out-the-stringers, oh fellow travelers in the Land Without Pedro…relax.
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