Pedey's face tells the story. August 14 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) in the dugout before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Once Doormats Are Now Door Knockers: Birds Spank Sox 7-1


2012 will be marked as the season the tables turned for both the Red Sox and Orioles franchises. What Sox fan could have possibly guessed at the beginning of the year that the most celebratory event that would happen all season would occur before the April 20 home opener when Fenway celebrated it’s 100th anniversary. After that high note the Sox dropped a 6-2 decision to the Yankees and Boston has since fumbled and stumbled through a series of sour notes all season long that has left fans frustrated, management red-faced and the team looking for and not finding any answers.

Nearing this season’s end the Orioles are in the thick of a pennant race while Boston has been relegated to the role of spoiler. It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings but it appears that she is clearing her throat in a big way.

On Earl Weaver’s 82nd birthday Mark Reynolds and the Birds went to work. Boston apparently left their lunch pails in Cleveland. The Oriole first baseman hit two homers, one a killer three-run job in the sixth, as the Orioles embarrassed the Sox at Camden Yards 7-1.

For the ninth time this season, Josh Beckett took both the loss and the crap end of the stick. He was better than the past four first-inning hammerings he has absorbed but in the end the result was the same. Beckett allowed six hits over 5.1 innings on Tuesday night but was chased from the bump down 3-1 with men on first and third. Mark Melancon, who has been good after coming back from an early season implosion and long stint getting his head on straight in Pawtucket, got it knocked off when he grooved a first pitch fastball to Mark Reynolds, who popped a long homer into the left field stands.

Boston’s offense had their chances against both starter Wei-Yin Chen and reliever Darren O’Day but just couldn’t cash in, the last gasp coming in the seventh with the bases loaded. Ryan Lavarnway took a called third strike that was right over the heart of the plate. The team was 1-10 with runners in scoring position.

And so it goes. The hunter has become the hunted. Baltimore is six games behind the league leading Yankees and just a half game behind the streaking second place Tampa Bay Rays (the Rays won their seventh in a row since Evan Longoria‘s return). Boston dropped to 57-60 (.487), 12.5 games out in the division and 6.5 games out of the Wild Card race.

If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me
All the things that we’ve been through
You should understand me like I understand you…
- If You Don’t Know Me By Now, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes 

 

Tags: Darren O'Day Josh Beckett Mark Melancon Mark Reynolds Ryan Lavarnway Wei-Yin Chen

  • John Fahrer

    Like the Rays, the O’s were bound to break out of the cellar at some point. It’s not like there wasn’t talent there. Adam Jones is a stud. JJ Hardy’s having a down year with the bat but has 16 homers and he’s an excellent fielder. Matt Weiters is one of the game’s better catchers (from the crop of Mauer and Posey and I believe Blake Swihart will be of that line as well). There’s excellent pitching coming up through their farm system and they’ve assembled a strong bullpen.

    Now there’s a third team in the division the Sox need to take seriously. It’ll be a busy offseason. They need to part ways with the players who’ve failed them miserably, acquire a frontline starter (Felix Hernandez) and solid middle of the rotation arm (Tim Hudson). They also need to acquire some solid OBP guys. They’ve got a SS and catcher with sub-.300 OBP. Our 3B has an OBP over .300 but only drew 13 walks this season and had a .288 average. If he has seasons of .265-.270 batting averages, that OBP could be a problem (do NOT trade Garrin Cechhini). Lavarnway and Kalish also need to step up soon.