The Red Sox lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 9-6 on Monday after a lengthy rain delay that pushed the game past the midnight hour. But aside from the loss that now has the Sox and Jays tied for fourth place in the AL East, lies the unsettling matter of Felix Doubront‘s sloppy outing. Reinforcing the possibility that the Red Sox may need to go out and bolster their rotation.
Doubront entered the game with an 8-3 record and an ERA of 4.55 and the once dependable lefty is suddenly in a slight slump. He allowed a four run first inning that put the Sox behind early and set the tone for the game. His line of 6.0 IP, 11 hits, 7 runs (5 earned) with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts is similar to his last start against Miami when he went 6.0 innings and gave up 4 earned runs on 9 hits.
Three of his last four outings have seen Doubront surrender at least 4 earned runs, with the 5 tonight and 6 back on June 8th against Washington.
Once a force in the rotation, Doubront has raised questions as to whether or not he’s able to be the effective, strikeout pitcher that we saw for the first two months of the season. With injuries to Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox were relying on Doubront to shoulder some of the load while the designated number two and three starters are on the shelf. After tonight’s start, it’s not so clear anymore if Doubront can be counted on as that guy. The question now becomes, should the Red Sox acquire a starter in an attempt to bolster their once again shaky rotation? More on that tomorrow when I will look at the next potential trade for the Red Sox.
Before the rains started the defense on both sides were just as sloppy as the field when the tarp was finally unrolled. Will Middlebrooks, the player who perhaps had the most eyes on him tonight, booted two balls hit to him, one that was deemed an error. In his defense, the error was a sharp ground ball that was a quick one-hop that handcuffed the newly crowned everyday third baseman. Later in the game Middlebrooks booted another ground ball but recovered nicely to make the throw in time and record the out at first.
The Blue Jays were not innocent when it came to sloppy defense, putting a 3-spot on the board under the error column.
While sloppy defense led to two of the Red Sox runs, the long ball accounted for three Sox runs when Big Papi twice went deep for his team leading 19th and 20th homers of the season.
But the long ball also scorched the Red Sox thanks to three bombs from the Blue Jays; two off Doubront and one off reliever Matt Albers. Doubront didn’t miss many bats on this night and the potent offense of the Jays reminded him that he needs to be better, much better.
On a positive note, Dustin Pedroia continues to hit well, going 2-for-4 on the night while bringing his batting average up to .271. He reached third base twice, thanks to an error by Jose Bautista in right field and a throwing error by Yunel Escobar on a stolen base by Pedey. Suffice to say the Pedroia of old is back. Let’s hope the pitching staff follows suit and finds their game on the mound.