Last night was one of those extra-brutal losses because we played extras, with which we have had absolutely no luck this year. It was awful. All that baseball played for naught, basically, because the whole thing was decided by one walkoff run.
Lester pitched well, but his outing was abbreviated thanks to back spasms. He gave up one unearned run on eight hits while walking one and striking out one over five innings. In the second, Lester gave up a single that turned into a double thanks to a throwing error by Ciriaco. A steal and another single later, the Yanks had scored their first run of the night.
At the time, we were still in the lead. We had scored two runs in the first. Ellsbury hit the second pitch of the game for a single and scored on a double by Pedroia, who was playing with a finger fracture and scored on a sac fly by Ross. So when Lester left, the score was 2-1 in our favor. Hill pitched the sixth, Tazawa pitched the seventh, and Breslow pitched the eighth. Loney hit the fourth pitch of the ninth inning for a solo shot; it would be the last run we’d score. It was a ninety-one mile-per-hour four-seam fastball, and he launched it all the way out to right field.
Unfortunately our two-run lead was not to be. Bailey took over for the ninth and did the one thing a closer is not supposed to do: blow a save. He gave up a single followed by a home run to tie the game at three. He then induced a groundout for the first out of the inning before loading the bases with a double and two consecutive walks, one intentional and one unintentional; thankfully, Melancon took the ball from him and got out of the ninth with no further damage caused.
Melancon also pitched the tenth. Padilla pitched the eleventh. All that time, we didn’t score. We didn’t even threaten that much. It was Miller who took the ball for the twelfth. He got the first two outs but then issued two consecutive walks and then gave up the RBI single that ended the game with a final score of 4-3. When Ellsbury made that spectacular catch that only he could have made to turn a possible walkoff home run into an inning-out in the eleventh, I was convinced that it was still possible for us to win this thing.
And as a final dose of cruelty, with last night’s loss, we have officially clinched last place for the first time since 1992.