Unearned runs don’t get charged to a pitcher’s ERA, but that doesn’t make them any less valid in deciding the outcome of a game.
Thanks in part to an unearned run earlier in the game, the Red Sox would eventually lose the series opener 5-4 in the 13th inning to the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
With the bullpen being very overtaxed as of late, a continuation of Felix Doubront‘s quality starts streak would’ve been a nice remedy. Unfortunately, all things come to an end. Even more unfortunate that it had to happen tonight. After allowing Nick Markakis to score the unearned run in the fifth (thanks to an RBI single by Matt Weiters to bring him in and a fielding error by current third baseman/future first baseman Will Middlebrooks to allow him on base in the first place), and following it with a walk (his only free pass on the night), Doubront was relieved after five and two-thirds innings.
Despite being so overworked in recent days (or is that weeks?), the Boston bullpen was excellent in their efforts on the night. Franklin Morales (1.1 IP), Andrew Miller (2 IP), Junichi Tazawa (1.1 IP), Craig Breslow (.2 IP), and Alex Wilson (2.2 IP) would combine for eight innings pitched, five hits, four walks, and eight strikeouts while allowing only one run (the game winner).
Being summoned up to provide some much-needed rest for the bullpen (well at least for Koji Uehara and Andrew Bailey) the same way Jose DeLaTorre did two nights ago, Alex Wilson would be the last man John Farrell would turn to tonight. After following two shutout innings, Wilson would record the first two outs in the bottom of the thirteenth. That would be the end of his good fortune on the night. Nick Markakis would draw a walk. Adam Jones followed that with a single to advance the runner to second. MVP candidate, Chris Davis, would end the night with a walk-off single.
Tonight we saw the return of the “Evil Felix”. He still struggles to improve his economy of pitches. It seems to be a problem the entire rotation as a whole. The bullpen is being heavily overtaxed and that’s not good. Ryan Dempster will be seeking his fourth consecutive quality start tomorrow. The O’s will be countering with Chris Tillman.