Wow. Just wow. Just for the record this is definitely not a good wow, it’s more like a what-the-hell-just-happened wow. So much for warm fuzzy Easter Sunday baseball. This game was a grind. In 11 innings, the Red Sox and Tigers scored 25 runs on 35 hits. And unfortunately for Boston fans, two blown saves in the 9th and 11th innings put the Sox on the losing end once again. I don’t like this.
The good news (if there is any out of this afternoon’s game) — the offense isn’t the problem. The Red Sox scored 12 runs. Normally 12 runs is going to win the game. Every starter except Kelly Shoppach had at least 1 hit and Nick Punto, David Ortiz and Mike Aviles all had three. Adrian Gonzalez hit his first homerun of the season. Offense looks pretty good.
The bad news? What we thought was just a problem with the bullpen seems to have oozed into the starting rotation. Clay Buccholz continued the starter’s struggles giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning and 7 runs in his 4 inning outing. There was a glimmer of hope today when Vicente Padilla relieved Buccholz in the 5th and pitched 4 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 hits.
After the Tigers went up 4-0 in the first, the Red Sox chipped away over the next few innings and scored 5 in the top of the 3rd on an RBI double by Ortiz, RBI singles by Aviles and Jacoby Ellsbury, a balk and a sacrafice fly. But Detroit tied it up in the bottom of the 4th at 7-7.
Adrian Gonzalez hit his first homerun of the year, a 2-run shot scoring Ellsbury to retake the lead at 9-7 and they scored again in the top of the 9th. Alfredo Aceves came in for the save and failed miserably. After giving up singles to the first two batters, Miguel Cabrera smashed his 3rd homerun of this young season to tie the game at 10 and deny Aceves his save. *bangs head repeatedly on desk*
Franklin Morales pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th to give the Red Sox offense another chance to take the lead. And that they did, taking a 12-10 lead on a Cody Ross walk and singles by Aviles, Punto and Dustin Pedroia. My optimism started to bloom. Surely this was a sign. Maybe the Easter Bunny was on our side today.
And then the proverbial shit hit the fan. Mark Melancon came in for the second save attempt of the day and didn’t appear to be fooling anyone. After singles by Cabrera and Prince Fielder, a Melancon wild pitch and a sacrafice fly, Alex Avila just barely squeaked one over the fence for a 2-run, walk-off homer. *stabs own eye with sharp stick*
After the game, Melancon sounded defeated. He needs to snap out of that real quick if he’s ever going to be effective this season.
“I need to stay agressive and not let these affect me and keep going. If I can ever sleep… yeah.”
I honestly don’t know what to think about this pitching staff, but right now, I just have a bad feeling in my guts. I’ll be interested to see how Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard do in their starts against the (first place) Blue Jays this week. I keep telling myself that it’s too early to panic. It’s not working.