Friday, April 25, 2008
SOX CAN'T CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MEN
A solid MLB debut for Justin Masterson went to waste last night as the Sox bullpen couldn't hold onto a lead against the Angels.
Masterson went 6 innings, allowing just 2 hits, 4 walks, and 1 run. He struck out 4, and his sinker induced 11 groundball outs and only 3 flyball outs. He threw 95 pitches, 58 of which were strikes. But then Javier Lopez came into the game.
The Sox had a 3-1 lead, and only needed to get 9 outs for a win. But Lopez walked the first man he faced, then allowed a single. Delcarmen came in, but also struggled, allowing another walk and an infield single which made it a 3-2 game. Then Okajima came in, but allowed back-to-back basehits, which knocked in 3 more runs.
Aardsma allowed another run in the 8th, then Tavarez let in one more to make it 7-3. Those runs turned out to be important, as David Ortiz hit a 2 run homer in the 9th, but the Sox still came up 2 runs short.
On the bright side, Coco Crisp is still hitting. He was 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 stolen bases. He's been a very pleasant surprise so far this season. Manny, Pedroia, and Youkilis are 1, 2, 3 in the AL batting title race. And Justin Masterson looked GREAT for someone who hasn't even pitched in AAA ball yet.
All things considered, having three scratched starting pitchers, losing 2 of 3 to Anaheim isn't that bad. The games were close, almost playoff like in that respect. But you know what helps you win close games? Middle-relief. And the Sox simply don't have much reliability in that department.
The Sox travel to St. Pete to take on the (Devil) Rays. Tim Wakefield goes against Matt Garza
AP Photo/Steven Senne