BOSTON -- In the warm glow of a World Series title, our collective memories play tricks on us. We are certain that the Sons of John Farrell in 2013 could not possibly have experienced a night as aesthetically awful as this one, that surely we would be required to return to the Bleak House of Bobby V. for a similar experience as that endured by the Red Sox and their fans in Thursday night's 14-5 loss to the Yankees.
Five errors, five unearned runs, 12 walks, three wild pitches, a passed ball, 14 Yankees runs, 14 Yankees hits, one appalling misplay after another ... and the Red Sox had the gall to rank this as a Tier 1 game in their new pricing plan, meaning the 37,356 in attendance paid a premium to suffer through this.
Although, we should point out, those extra bucks bought them the privilege of seeing Knuckleballin' Mike Carp make his professional pitching debut in the ninth inning of this fiasco. Alternating between an 80 mph fastball and his dancing knuckler, Carp, the first position player to pitch for the Sox since Darnell McDonald in 2012, walked five, including Jacoby Ellsbury with the bases loaded, and uncorked one almost 20 feet wide of the plate that one-hopped the backstop.
But let us, as a matter of perspective, remind you that it was almost exactly a year ago to the day -- April 23, 2013 -- the Oakland Athletics inflicted the worst loss of the season on the Sox, a 13-0 beatdown in which the immortal Alfredo Aceves, now a Yankees farmhand, single-handedly crafted an inning for the ages. In the span of 42 pitches, Aceves balked twice, walked three, was late covering first, then made a wild throw to the plate on the same play.
And on the flip side, while no one pines for a return to the Valentine days, the Sox in 2012 still had a winning record (53-51) entering August.
The point being that things aren't always quite what they appear. Every night last season was not splendor in the grass, just as 2012 was not six months of nightly waterboarding.
Still, while it's well and good to spin some history, there's no disguising the ugliness of the here and now. A night after John Lackey pitched what Farrell called his best game ever in a Sox uniform (11 K's, no walks in eight innings), lefty Felix Doubront unraveled in a hurry Thursday night, lasting just 2 2/3 innings for the second time this season.
Doubront departed down 7-0, and while he was not entirely responsible, middle infielders Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia both charged with errors and Ross with a passed ball, he hardly helped himself. He threw two wild pitches, bobbled a ground ball for an error, walked two and gave up Mark Teixeira's first home run of the season, a blast into the teeth of a 24 mph wind.
The tone was set for an evening that turned even more dreadful in the seventh, when the Yanks tacked on five more runs against reliever Craig Breslow -- of course, there was an error involved, this one charged to third baseman Brock Holt -- and turned into farce in the ninth, when Carp was summoned.
It made for an easy night for CC Sabathia, who struck out eight in six innings while allowing a couple of runs on three hits.
The five errors were the most by a Sox team since April 28, 2001, in a game against Kansas City, and the most in a game against the Yankees since Sept. 8, 1978, when the Sox made seven errors in a game that was part of a Yankees sweep immortalized as the Boston Massacre.
The Yankees took two of three from the Sox here after taking three of four in Yankee Stadium earlier this month. With five wins against the Sox, they're one short of their total in 2013, when they went 6-13.