Lester wasn't bad. He was excellent the first time through the lineup. The Rangers eventually got to him. He was charged with 4 earned runs in 6.2 innings. But 1 of those runs was scored with Mark Melancon on the mound. He was good enough, but his teammates weren't.
Speaking of the bullpen, they've been very shabby lately. As a unit they started the season poorly, then settled into a groove of dependability, and now they're back to being a problem. Had Melancon done his job, and Junichi Tazawa done his job, this game could have been a 3-3 tie that went to extra innings.
Instead, the bullpen allowed the Rangers to build some insurance.
Meanwhile, the only scoring the Sox could manage came thanks to Will Middlebrooks and his pinch hit 3 run homer. I'm sure Bobby Valentine will take credit for that one.
Apart from that Ryan Dempster shut the Sox lineup down. Carl Crawford helped by getting picked off.
The Sox were mad at the umpiring, and maybe justifiably so. But the Sox take umpire-baiting to a new level. Jon Lester gets upset with about two calls per inning, and shows it with feminine snaps of the glove and passive aggressive behavior. And none of the Sox hitters are shy about lingering in the batter's box after striking out and expressing their opinion.
Maybe the umpires are sick of the Sox' whining. I know I am. Maybe the umps make unfavorable calls because the Red Sox irritate them.
I can't blame them.
Josh Beckett takes the mound for the Sox tonight. This is a chance for him to do what he's paid to do. He hasn't made a Quality Start since July 15th and the Sox could really use one.
Once again, Beckett is up against a good opposing pitcher. Matt Harrison is 13-6 with a 3.17 ERA. He's a lefty and Carl Crawford is the only active member of the Sox to have had much success against him.
The Sox will struggle to score off this guy, so Beckett needs to pitch as well as he's capable of pitching.