The Red Sox lost 8-6 to the (tied for) first place Baltimore Orioles last night and once again claimed sole possession of the AL East basement. Since last September, this team has done nothing but fill my head with the “F” word. In my opinion it comes down to this: they got no heart, no grit, no balls. Maybe they should be watching the Celtics game in the dugout, learn what grit and balls is all about. Maybe Kevin Garnett needs to come give this team a little chest thumping pep talk.
I honestly thought their short stint out of last place would give them a fire in their bellies. It’s not that they’re not hitting, they just can’t seem to string those hits together to make something happen. They left 10 men on base last night and were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. *gags* Most days, if your pitching is spot on, six runs will get you the W. Last night was not one of those days.
Jon Lester got the start and allowed eight hits, four runs (just two of them earned) and struck out five on 99 pitches. Bobby V. lifted him with after giving up a lead-off single in the top of the seventh, bringing in Scott Atchison, who has been the best pitcher in the bullpen this season. Lights out. A miniscule ERA. Nineteen plus scoreless innings. Welp, that all ended last night. Atchison had a case of the yips — not as sharp as he’s known to be. He faced four batters in a third of an inning, gave up two hits, two runs, walked one and allowed an inherited runner to score. O’s take a 6-4 lead. He spoke about his outing after the game.
“It’s been a good run,” said Atchison. “You kind of notice it after awhile that it’s been awhile, but it’s over now. Get back out there tomorrow and try to start another one. That’s kind of the best way I think to do it, and that’s what I plan to do.”
Matt Albers pitched a scoreless 1.2 innings and Alfredo Aceves came in for the ninth to try and give the Sox a chance to get back in the game in the bottom of the inning. He set down the O’s 1-2-3. *phew*
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who is fast becoming one of my favs, came up in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and Ortiz on base. He smashed a 96 mph Jim Johnson fastball off the top of the Green Monster for a two-run home run. There was a question on whether or not it actually cleared the line but after review, the play stood. Game tied 6-6. More late inning heroics for Salty!
Aceves returned to the mound in the top of the 10th and walked the lead off batter. Never a good thing. This guy gives me a heart attack every time he takes the mound and last night was no exception. I won’t get into specifics because, well, it makes me want to stab someone, but the wheels fell of the bus, the O’s scored two and the Sox went down quietly in the bottom of the inning for the loss and yet another day in last place.
If you can stomach it, click on over here for the box, courtesy of the Red Sox. Tonight, Josh Beckett (4-5, 4.26) attempts to stop the bleeding.