I really thought Daisuke was going to turn the Sox' fortunes around last night. He's always done well against Cleveland. And they tend to be free swingers. I was wrong.
He wasn't awful. But in typical Daisuke fashion, even when he does well, he fails to do well for long enough. And while it was the bullpen that ultimately lost this game, Daisuke gave the bullpen a chance to lose it, by only going 5 innings.
And during those 5 innings, he nibbled. And he nibbled. He threw a joke of a 90 MPH fastball right down the middle to Choo, and it was crushed. He nibbled some more. He walked batters. He hit a batter. He allowed 10 baserunners in 5 innings.
But he didn't lose this game by himself. Not by a longshot. Ellsbury struck out 3 times and went 0 for 5. We're still waiting for him to hit. Youkilis went 0 for 4, continuing his struggles. And Varitek messed up a defensive play, turning what should have been an out into a Cleveland run. His mistake of not tagging Buck at the plate was inexcusable for a veteran and a "Captain."
Then the bullpen. That's worrying me more than anything else right now. The starting pitching is what it is. The offense will inevitably improve. Guys like Ellsbury and Youkilis are not sub-.200 hitters. They'll come around. The bullpen, however, has been nothing but a disaster so far. Dan Wheeler was supposed to be the 2nd set-up man alongside Bard. He's allowed 2 homeruns already. And Reyes was supposed to add depth. He's only added mass, and a heavy ERA.
A few bright notes from last night: Gonzalez hit his first homerun with the team. And Crawford got on base, then ran, stealing his first 2 bases of the season.
The rotoation starts all over again, and maybe that's what this club needs. Lester faces Fausto Carmona, who allowed 10 runs in 3 innings against Chicago. First pitch at 12:05 this afternoon.