In the wake of yet another Daisuke Matsuzaka monumental meltdown, a likely trip to the DL and an offensive sleepwalk resulting in a 6-1 loss to the Oakland As Monday night, Jon Lester and the Red Sox had nowhere to go but up.
After leaving the cozy confines of Fenway Park, a home stand in which the Sox won nine of eleven games and resembled a team ready to bust out of their season-long inconsistency, they’ve once again hit the skids. Boston split their series with the ever-awful Seattle Mariners and dropped Monday night’s contest in grotesque fashion to move their recent road record to 2-3.
Why the angst? These are the As and Mariners, fourth and fifth respectively in the AL West. They possess a combined record of 74-89 (.454 winning percentage). Good teams eat these guys for lunch. Going into Tuesday Night’s game they were batting .215 on this road trip. To date this edition of the Old Towne Team is not a good one.
In game two of the series with the As, Boston faced a familiar foe in Bartolo “Sure-I’ll-Have-Another-Slice-of-Pie” Colon. It was Colon’s first game back from the DL, a right oblique strain,presumably from an overzealous abuse of the five second rule after dropping and quickly snatching up a curly fry.
Although not a repeat performance of The Wreck of the Dice, things didn’t start out much better for Lester, who on the third pitch of the game allowed light-hitting Coco Crisp to go yard for his third homer of the year and then issued a free pass to Jemile Weeks . After back-to-back strike outs of Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes, Lester was able to get Chris Carter to fly out to end the inning and avoid further damage but it took 31 pitches to do it.
As has been Lester’s pattern the last few years of giving up up runs in the early innings and then settling down he was true to form. Lester pitched 6.2 innings of shutout ball thereafter, striking out nine, giving up four hits and walking just one. But to do so he’d thrown 107 pitches so the balance of the game was once again left to Boston’s bullpen.
Boston got the run back when Jarrod Saltalamacchia took Colon deep in the top of the second to tie the game 1-1. In the top of the fourth Salty struck again. He scorched a hot grounder to first base that bounced off the glove of Chris Carter to score David Ortiz and put Boston on top 2-1.
The game was turned over to Alfredo Aceves in the ninth inning. Aceves blew the save after putting two on with one out and giving up a game-tieing single to pinch-hitter Brandon Moss. The Sox might have had a play at the plate had Ryan Kalish not looked up to check Carter’s progress rounding third and bobbled the ball. As 2, Sox 2.
At least on Tuesday night, Sox killer Coco Crip did it again with a sac fly to Kalish that scored Cliff Pennington for the winning run.For the third time on this road trip Boston suffered a deflating walk off loss.
The team will need to regroup against Oakland’s strong pitching staff for a 4:10 July 4 game to salvage a shred of dignity and right a ship badly listing to the bad side.
I need somebody
Not just anybody
You know I need someone
- Help, The Beatles