Red Sox Bats Fall Silent During Clutch Moments
The Red Sox returned home riding a high after a promising road trip and things looked to get even better with the weak hitting Oakland A’s coming to town for a three game set. After game one, an 11-6 offensive outburst, the tone appeared to be set with the offense once again leading the way. But then the Oakland pitching showed up and the Sox bats fell silent, losing two in a row to the offensively challenged A’s and suddenly that panic feeling is creeping back in.
Full props to the A’s starters, Jarrod Parker and Brandon McCarthy as both pitched well in their outings. Perhaps the frustrating part for Sox fans is not that they were necessarily over matched against Parker and McCarthy but rather they failed to deliver the timely hits during clutch moments of the game. None more obvious than Wednesday night when Adrian Gonzalez had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh looking to cash in at least one run, maybe more. Gonzo went down swinging, barely putting up a fight and leaving the bases loaded. With Dustin Pedroia‘s wall ball double in the ninth, the Red Sox were a mere 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position and quite simply were not good enough.
Gonzalez again came to the plate with an opportunity to redeem himself in the ninth, only to hit a slow chopper to short, promptly ending the game. Gonzalez is now 0 for his last 14 at bats and is clearly in one of the worst slumps of his career. For the season he’s hitting just .250.
You can blame the cold weather but that’s not really an excuse. After all, look how they torched the White Sox pitching on the weekend in what were frigid conditions. So to say the weather was a factor in the Sox bats falling silent is simply ludacris. Every single Red Sox batter left at least one runner on base throughout the course of the night with Gonzo stranding four. The bats are not getting it done.
Daniel Bard gave his team to win on Wednesday despite giving up four runs on eight hits. He limited his walks to just two but only struck out one batter. The three runs he surrendered in the sixth proved to be the difference but Bard cannot be blamed for this one. No, this one hangs on the offense. The Sox record now sits at 11-13 and are rapidly losing site of the first place Rays. Is it too early to worry about losing the division?
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