Lester Pummeled As Tampa Bay Tilts The Red Sox 9-1
After a tremendous pitching effort in game one, the Boston Red Sox have seen two terrible outings. One, of course, was from the injured and hurting Josh Beckett. And the second was from Mr. Dependable, dependable until yesterday. Jon Lester gave up five runs in only 5 2/3 innings as the Red Sox went down to Tampa Bay by a score of 9-1. It was 5-0 after Tampa Bay's top half of the third, and I'm sorry to say, against Matt Garza, it was over. Finished. Gone. Garza worked six full, giving up only one earned run on six hits, walking three but striking out five. That's a far cry from Lester's numbers, and Paul Byrd in relief was no better, although he did save the Boston bullpen from unneeded work...here's what manager Tito Francona & Jon Lester had to say after the important defeat, thoughts of Lester and Matt Garza...
“I didn’t stay away from the big inning,” Lester said in a quiet Red Sox clubhouse. “You can’t give them momentum like that.”
“It certainly wasn’t his sharpest outing,” Francona said. “But it wasn’t as bad as the numbers make it out to be - again, you put up four in an inning. Other than that, he was actually OK. Garza was throwing his fastball at times by us and that breaking ball at times that you had to respect,” manager Terry Francona said. “So that was a tough combination for us.”
The bright spots were few...Boston only managed seven base hits. So far, Jacoby Ellsbury is 0-14 for the series (ouch!) and Big Papi David Ortiz is a not much better 0-10 (oucher!!). Captain Jason Varitek has also been awful at the plate. These guys and the rest of their teammates must kick it up a notch. I watched the entire game, and by the third inning, I absolutely knew that Garza was going to be stingy with the base hits and even more so giving up any runs. The normally enthusiastic and somewhat raucus Fenway crowd was subdued and downright serious. The Sox are only two losses from the end of a 2008 season marked by injuries and then more injuries, peppered in between by more mishaps. But every baseball club goes through those kind of setbacks, and the Red Sox still managed to get to the American League Championship Series, one of only two AL teams left standing. And we're STILL standing, although with crutches. Timmy Wakefield will get his first postseason start of the season, and he'll be faced by Andy Sonnanstine, who sometimes gives Boston fits. LITERALLY! Game time and first pitch will be at 8:07pm EDT, with the pregame beginning on TBS and TBS HD at 8:00pm EDT. A win is a must...A MUST!
I thank you for stopping in yet again and I want to remind you that by clicking on this post's title, you'll be directed to the Boston Globe's Sox homepage. There, you will find all you need to know about a lost afternoon at Faithful Fenway Park. As always, BE WELL. And I must say this...GO SOX!!