Bullpen IMPLOSION...Baltimore 6 Boston 3
This is getting old. FAST. For the third straight game, the Boston Red Sox staked themselves to a 3-0 lead, and for the third consecutive time, the Sox let the game slip away. To be more specific, the bullpen, in the form of Javie Lopez, Craig Hansen and Hideki Okajima, let the victory slip away. Lopez entered the game in the seventh inning and quickly recorded two outs. Freddie Bynum hit a grounder to Pedroia, but Pedey could not make the play. Runner on first with two outs...doesn't sound too bad, does it? Wait. Hansen was called in to relieve Lopez, and he allowed a single to the number 9 hitter, Quiroz, and a walk to Roberts to load the bases. Bye bye Hansen. Zero outs recorded...maybe you should consult Ah-nold again...soon! And then the Darkman was lit up like fireworks on the Fourth of July, a regular starburst cluster in the night sky. Okie gave up a monster grand slam slugged by Payton, and the game was effectively over. Okie has now allowed eleven out of fourteen inherited runners to score. The 'pen's ineptitude spoiled a good outing by Jon Lester, who was able to go six innings, giving up five hits and two runs. We need Lester to be able to go seven innings, however, and there's no excuse in the world NOT to. He threw 86 pitches in that six inning span, but only walked two Birds. Pedroia summed up the game and the road trip...
“It’s tough how everything ended up,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said of not only how yesterday’s game wrapped up but also the trip, with four losses in a row and five in the final six games. “We had a tough stretch. We need a good day off to rest, get ready for the homestand and start playing better baseball.”
Peter here, and tough is right. I tuned in to the NESN telecast when I returned home, JUST in time for that fateful seventh inning, and it was not a treat. But today is a much needed off-day and a bunch of home cooking before a weekend Fenway series begins with the Brewers. Boston is one half game out of first place and five games over the .500 mark, so all is not lost. It's just been very disheartening. So another page has been turned, and I'd like to go a few days without any pages entering the picture. Let's hope so. Please.
Click on the title of this post for the latest on last night's game and the current status of "DL"ed Clay Buchholz. You'll be directed to the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage. And for those of you who didn't see Manny's over the shoulder catch in left and his high five of a fan in a Sox uniform in the first row should look for a replay, ANY replay. It's worth the price of admission alone. He even had time to brace himself, turn around and throw and strike to Pedey, who nailed the runner for a double play the Sir Manny way! It was one of the few bright points of a disappointing road trip that began so promisingly. Fenway will look so good!
Thank you for stopping in yet again. Readership here is as down as the Sox are, but I expect an upturn in both. Have a great Thursday as another weekend supersonically approaches, and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are always appreciated and always answered.