Sep 28, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell (53) watches the action from the dugout during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

O' No! Red Sox Blow Eighth Inning Lead In Baltimore

A few weeks or months ago, when the AL East race was close and we were all unsure of whether the Red Sox were really going to be good enough in 2013, this game might have been a heartbreaker. However, despite a disappointing loss tonight, today is a day worth celebrating as with the Athletics’ 7-5 loss to Seattle, the Red Sox have clinched home field advantage throughout the entire postseason. There’s no doubt that this was a disappointing game, but certainly not a devastating one by any means.

However, there were a few concerning points highlighted by this game. The first of these is that Jon Lester, who has been on a great run lately, was not nearly at his best tonight. He struggled throughout the outing, his quickest inning being a 15-pitch second inning. Against him, the Orioles garnered an early lead, scoring single runs in the second and third innings. However, the Red Sox’ resilient offense battled back– scoring on a David Ross single in the fourth and a Dustin Pedroia single in the fifth.

Lester gave the runs right back in the fifth, as the Orioles took a 4-2 lead again. However, the Red Sox offense continued to battle, scoring a run in the sixth on another key hit by David Ross. Then, in the clutch, the Sox would put up a big time rally in the seventh inning. Stephen Drew and Dustin Pedroia reached base to start the inning, and then the Red Sox scored a run on a Jonny Gomes single and then a Daniel Nava single (Nava would go 4-4 on the night) to take a 5-4 lead in the late innings.

However, that would be when another Red Sox weak point would be exposed– the setup role in the bullpen. Junichi Tazawa tossed an eight-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh inning but then struggled when John Farrell left him in for the eighth inning, allowing the first two batters to reach base. In a questionable move, Farrell went to Franklin Morales next, who allowed the key hit of the ballgame– a two-run double down the third base line by Steve Pearce. After that, the Red Sox were unable to muster anything significant as the Orioles went on to win 6-5 and leave the Red Sox at 97-64 through 161 games.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox

  • John Fahrer

    Really have to question if Tazawa should be shut down for the year. He just seems too worn down. Really hard to count on a worn down arm to get big outs for this team.

  • boondocker2

    It depends on how the Sox viewed this game. They may have needed a bit of a wake-up call to know they have to play better. It might have been good to see who can pitch and who can’t.
    The Sox have to stay hungry and focused. I hope they are not getting distracted. This will be where Farrell realy earns his money. There has been little if any attention payed to them this last week. All eyes and sportcasters were on Oakland, Cleveland, Texas, and the Rays.
    Cleveland, Texas, and Tampa could be battle weary or battle ready. The Sox can take no team lightly.

    • John Fahrer

      Doubt they’re getting distracted. After Oakland lost on Saturday, the Sox achieved every meaningful thing they possibly could achieve. There was no need to go out and try to win at all costs. It was a chance to treat these games like spring exhibitions and work on mechanics and get an early start on resting up for Friday.

      There will be a simulated game this week to help these guys stay sharp.