Monday, July 19, 2010
SUNDAY SLOPPY SUNDAY
While the Fenway crowd booed and berated homeplate umpire Gary Darling, the real blame for Sunday's loss rests on the Red Sox' shoulders. Lester was solid, but the best thing he threw was that mini-tantrum as he left the mound after the 8th. Double-steals, and bang-bang plays at the plate ultimately undid Lester's efforts, but teams can't double-steal unless the pitcher lets runners get to the corners. And Lester's 8th inning started with a double, then a walk, then a single. That's a good way to give up runs, with or without close calls at the plate.
Then there was the Red Sox' hitting. CJ Wilson was throwing well, but the Red Sox did him favors by swinging at balls. He issued 5 walks in his 6.2 innings, but had the bottom of the lineup been more patient, they may have drew more. At the very least, they could have inflated his pitch count to get him out of the game earlier.
The Sox were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
It was a rough weekend, and it ended with the Sox being 7 behind New York in the loss column, and 5 behind Tampa. And things don't look too hopeful in the immediate future.
The Sox play 20 of their next 27 games on the road, where they are 22-20 this season. They have a long trip out West, a 7 game homestand, then trips to New York, Toronto, and Texas. This team has excelled in tough stretches this season, however. And they'll get to play some poorly teams like Seattle and Cleveland on the way. So even though it looks bad, it might not turn out that way.
Daisuke vs. Ben Sheets in Oakland late night.