Friday, August 13, 2010

A STUNNING RED SOX LOSS

There's no other way to put it...a stunning loss. I was speechless, sad and angry. It was maddening. John Lackey pitched great through eight innings and enjoyed a 5-2 lead. Having thrown just 98 pitches, Red Sox skipper Tito Francona left him in to pitch the complete game. Just three more outs would have done it but it wouldn't happen, not by a long shot. Toronto's leadoff hitter, Jose Bautista, lined a home run to left and that was the end of John's night. Papelbon, who has had incredible success against Toronto, came jogging in from the bullpen and all hell broke loose. Remember, it was still a comfortable Boston lead at 5-3. Here's Tito...

“He (Lackey) gave up a home run to lead off the inning. That’s normally what we do, go to Pap.”

I noticed by Jonathon's pitching location that he must have been, as he said, "groggy." Almost all of his pitches were up and hittable. I knew disaster was just around the corner, hiding in the shadows, evil personified. This is from the Boston Herald...

"Papelbon left nearly all of his pitches up, and the Blue Jays began tattooing him. Wells doubled, then Lind singled him in with a sharp single up the middle. After pinch-runner Dewayne Wise stole second, Hill lined a pitch off Papelbon’s left foot, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Papelbon struck out Travis Snider, but Edwin Encarnacion doubled in Wise to tie the game. Papelbon then intentionally walked the No. 9 batter, pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay, to load the bases - and then he was gone. In came Daniel Bard to face Fred Lewis. Two pitches later, Lewis hit a sacrifice fly to center field to knock in Hill. Ballgame over."

“Oh man, every ball he didn’t locate or left up, they hit it. There were some pitches that were flat. Not all of them, but every time he got it up, they whacked it pretty good.”

That was Red Sox manager Tito Francona once again and he's exactly right. Tatoo would be a better adjective than whacked but the result was the same, a 6-5 sudden, swift and cruel loss, the worst type. Now it's on to one hundred degree plus Texas for a trio of games. Here are the pitching match-ups with game times included...

Fri. 13** at Tex 8:05 PM ET NESN/KTXA*** Beckett (3-2) vs. Hunter (9-1)
Sat. 14** at Tex 8:05 PM ET NESN/FxSW*** Lester (12-7) vs. Lewis (9-8)
Sun. 15** at Tex 3:05 PM ET NESN/FxSW*** Matsuzaka (8-3) vs. Wilson (10-5)

It doesn't get any easier for the Red Sox and we're quickly sliding into "crunch time." Right now, I have to turn the page and erase Thursday night's foul taste from my mouth. If you'd like, simply click on this post's title to see all the highlights from Red Sox dot com. I can't do that but I inserted the link for you. Have a great Friday, a terrific weekend and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you...soon.

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