The best news out of this game is that Mark Melancon's scoreless 8th inning brought his ERA down to 33.00. Beckett labored in the 1st, and the offense did nothing. This was a team loss. Apart from Scott Podsednik, everyone in a Sox uniform can share responsibility for this defeat. Which is the 7th loss in 8 games for the streaky Sox.
The Sox managed 5 hits. Podsednik had 3 of them. Pedroia had a double and Ryan Sweeney hit a single. And of course, none of these hits came with runners in scoring position. That's exactly what the opposition would be expecting.
The Sox offense has been streaky this season because it's been supported by secondary players. Guys like Mike Aviles, Cody Ross, and Daniel Nava have taken up the slack as Youkilis and Gonzalez have struggled, and Ellsbury has been injured. But now reality is starting to sink in. Aviles is mired in a 2 for 17 slump (.118). He's hitting .228 in June. He was very productive in April with 5 homers and 17 RBI. He was solid in May with 15 RBI. But in June he's slowed to a crawl.
It's hard to believe that the Sox will continue to perform this poorly on offense. But I'm sure by the time they heat up, the starting pitchers will start to struggle. Then Aceves will blow a few saves. There might be a few overlapping games when starters, relievers, and hitters are all clicking. But for the most part, this team is seemingly built in layers of mediocrity to prevent any lengthy stretch of consistent play.
The 1st inning summed up the Sox' shortcomings very nicely. They had 2 on with 0 outs, and couldn't take advantage of the opportunity. Then in the bottom of the inning, the Marlins scored a run thanks to a leadoff triple. Then they did some damage with 2 outs. They took full advantage of Gonzalez's poor fielding and inexperienced throwing in right-field. They wound up scoring 3 runs in the inning. And that was more than enough.
As a sidenote, how long until John Henry and Larry Lucchino hire some dancers to shake their stuff on the Green Monster? Or maybe install an aquarium between the bullpens at Fenway? How about a petting zoo on Yawkey Way?
Buchholz faces Mark Buehrle tonight. Buehrle has struggled lately, and some of the Sox have hit well off him in the past (Ortiz has a .345 average against him, Pedroia's is .375, Podsednik's is .364), so maybe they can score a few runs.