It only took Aceves seventy-eight pitches to ruin the game for us. Seventy eight pitches, forty-seven of which were strikes. He pitched to two batters in the sixth before he was pulled in favor of Atchison, who allowed both of his inherited runners to score plus two of his own. The bottom line is that this was an outing that most definitely didn’t prompt anyone to say that either Lackey or Dice-K should try their hands in the bullpen rather than forcing Aceves back in there while he’s pitching so well. Because last night he didn’t pitch so well. He pitched like, well, Lackey or Dice-K. For Aceves the illusion of grandeur, at least temporarily, is over.
Eight runs, six of them earned (you can thank Lowrie and his fielding error for the two unearned runs), on eight hits. Three walks. Only one strikeout. Between Aceves and Atchison, the Other Sox put up two four-pots. Clearly not great. Not good. Not even decent. It was bad.
Tek got us on the board in the third with a solo shot he hooked into the bullpen on the first pitch he saw. After that, we barely threatened until the seventh, when we put two runners on base, but that didn’t amount to anything. The eighth was when we started to fight back. Reddick doubled and scored on a single by Sutton. After Gonzalez struck out, Youk singled, and then Papi crushed a ball all the way to the Monster.
After the eighth ended, we were trailing, 10-5. If we put up another four-spot we’d only be trailing by one. Five runs would tie it. Six would win it walkoff-style. And the way we’ve been swinging the bats lately, none of those were a distinct impossibility. When Lowrie led off with a walk, I had high hopes for the inning. After Drew popped up, Reddick hit a sac fly to bring in Lowrie. That was one. Sutton doubled to bring in Tek. That was two. It was almost three; it was almost a Pesky-esque home run. Gonzalez stepped up. Up to that point he’d doubled and struck out twice. And I’m thinking that this is the guy you want up there. What does he do? He strikes out on three pitches. We lost, 10-7. Aceves took the loss for the first time in forty-eight appearances since 2009. He is undefeated in his last twelve decisions.
Papi went two for four, Sutton was perfect at the plate, and Tek went three for four. Drew didn’t have any hits, but he did make that spectacular diving catch in the second.
We’re now in the middle of a three-game losing streak. Honestly, I’ve had enough of losing streaks and sweeps.