“Live by the sword. Die by the sword.” To Red Sox fans tonight it became “live by the bats. Die by the bats.”
Jon Lester was great. He did basically everything you’d want your Game 1 starting pitcher to do. He got the quality start and allowed only 1 run.
The offense, on the other hand, did everything wrong. They had the bases loaded in the 6th inning and couldn’t capitalize. Once they chased Anibal Sanchez and they were only down by one run the Sox bats should have come alive. But instead they let the Tigers bullpen keep Sanchez’s no-hitter alive until one out in the bottom of the 9th. They swung at junk in the dirt and struck out looking. They drew walks but left guys on base.
The offense set the ignominious record of 17 strike outs, most in team history. There had never been a no-hitter in the League Championship Series, though you could argue that even if Daniel Nava hadn’t gotten a hit in the 9th, this wasn’t a real no-hitter because it wasn’t done by one pitcher. You could also argue about the roll of tonight’s home plate umpire, Joe West, in the lack of hits.
At the end of the long, cold, unhappy night, the Sox lost. The Tigers didn’t win and the umps didn’t blow it. The Sox just plain lost. ALCS Game 1 goes in the loss column. Can the Sox win at home tomorrow before heading to Detroit?