Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Baseball is one crazy game. After a series win in the Red Sox’ opening series in Baltimore, the reigning World Champions headed back to Boston and entered today facing a sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers. Today’s game was a matchup of aces with Jon Lester going head to head with Yovani Gallardo. The majority of the game was an intense pitching duel; however, the Red Sox’ bats never came together to really make headway into an early Brewers’ lead.
For the second straight time, the normally potent Red Sox offense went quiet with Lester on the hill. However, in this game it was less due to BABIP struggles and huge left-on-base numbers and more to a dominant performance by Yovani Gallardo. While Lester was solid and battled throughout the day (the lefty was tagged for 4 runs (2 earned) in 7.1 innings with a 5:1 K:BB ratio), Gallardo was absolutely dominant. He tossed 6.2 shutout innings, allowing 7 hits and no walks while striking out 3 batters.
To Lester’s credit, he pitched well in front of some relatively shaky defense. The Red Sox made a couple of costly errors– a misplay by Daniel Nava which allowed an RBI single to become a two-run double and an errant throw into center field by David Ross— both of which led to runs (hence two unearned runs).
The Brewers scored their first two runs on that previously mentioned “two-run double” as, with runners on first and third, Mark Reynolds lined a clean single into right field. Right fielder Daniel Nava was caught in between catching the ball and playing the hop and wound up doing neither as the ball bounced past him, allowing Khris Davis to score from first. The Brewers grabbed another run in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Jeff Bianchi, starting at shortstop in his first game of the series, and their final run in the eighth on an RBI single to right by Aramis Ramirez.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox were having one of the most statistically unusual offensive days that I have ever seen. They had no trouble getting hits. Those hits were just scattered, and as the game finished, eight of nine players had gone 1-4 on the day. The twist? That ninth spot was David Ross, who was 1-3 when he was pinch-hit for by A.J. Pierzysnki in the ninth inning. Pierzysnki grounded out to first to end the ballgame and all nine spots in the order had technically gone 1-4 on the day.
After this sweep at the hands of the Brew Crew, the Red Sox will stay at Fenway for another three game set. The Texas Rangers come to town starting tomorrow and we’ll see a pitching matchup of John Lackey and converted starter Tanner Scheppers in the opener. The Red Sox will hope for less statistical oddities and more runs (and wins) going forward.