That was close. That was way too close for comfort. We were no-hit through seven innings. I mean, we walked a few times. But we were no hit through seven full innings. It was awful. It was awfully, awfully awful. If Big Papi didn’t start the rally that never was in the seventh, who knows what would have happened? I don’t even want to think about it.
This was, by far, Doubront’s best start of the year. It was certainly one of the best starts he’s had in recent memory. Unfortunately, it was Doubront who caved first. With two out in the fifth, he gave up a single followed by a two-run home run. It was the first pitch of the at-bat: a fastball that missed. He then gave up a double but then ended the inning, luckily.
He gave up two runs on five hits while walking only two and striking out three. That home run was a sign of a bad pitch; it was one mistake. Sure, he pitched only six innings, and we usually think of a stellar start as lasting at least seven. But he only threw eighty-five pitches in total; at that rate, he could have easily tossed the seventh and perhaps even come out for the eighth.
As for us, we didn’t really have much in the way of opportunities until the seventh. And that was when we had the opportunity. Pedroia popped up to lead it off, but then Papi, Napoli, and Nava hit back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases. But Middlebrooks and Drew provided the last two outs of the frame.
Wilson pitched the bottom of the seventh and held the fort. We did manage to cut the deficit in half in the eighth; Salty walked, Ellsbury singled, Carp flied out, and a home run would have put us on top. Instead, a wild pitch moved the runners along, and it was a fielding error that allowed Pedroia to reach and Salty scored. (I particularly enjoyed the fact that the ball rolled through the shortstop’s legs.) Papi grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Wilson allowed the Other Sox to restore their earlier lead; with two out, he gave up a run via a single-double combination. After issuing a walk, Miller came on and ended the inning. We went down in the ninth and lost, 3-1.
In other news, the Bruins are now up three-zip on the series, having taken last night’s game, 3-1.