It's amazing how the context of a result makes you feel. If Hafner never hits that home run in the eighth and the Indians go quietly in the ninth, then it's a loss, but one you've seen many times before. Hopes weren't needlessly raised, and you turn off the TV after yet another loss, going about your business.
Last night's loss was special. I'll probably remember it for a lot longer than most of the other defeats, and this year, there's plenty of losses to choose from. Maybe Wickman's implosion against Cincinnati, but that was like most Wickman outings so it didn't seem so bizarre.
Carmona came out of the bullpen, struck out two hitters quite effortlessly, showing fantastic stuff. Then he got to a full count against Doug Mirabelli, and the wheels didn't just fall off, they exploded, resulting in a spectacular crash and burn that if you weren't a fan of the Indians, you'd sit and admire with your mouth open.
I'm not going to pretend to know how to deal with a pitcher who lost it like this, but it would probably be a good idea to get him some more work ASAP, preferably in a situation where the game isn't in doubt. Carmona has very good stuff, and has had success in pressure situations before. And the Indians aren't in any kind of race except one for a high draft pick, so if they've identified Carmona as a closer candidate, they need to help him through this stretch.
Of course an ending like that makes you forget that there were good things happening at the beginning and the middle. Travis Hafner put the Indians in a situation to win the game with a two-run shot off Mike Timlin, Jeremy Sowers pitched pretty well against a tough liineup, and the Indians scored three early runs off Boston's own young southpaw.
But of course you always remember, for better or worse, what you saw last in a game.