I don’t believe this. Really. I am having a lot of trouble accepting the outcome of this game. This is not okay by any stretch of the imagination. It is so completely opposite of what should have transpired. I can’t fathom it.
It is inconceivable for several reasons. First of all, we lost. We lost to the Royals. Not even the Orioles should be losing to the Royals. We are the best offensive team in Major League Baseball. This game should have been a blowout by the fifth inning.
Instead, not only did we lose to the Royals, but it took us fourteen innings to do it, and it was close. The final score was 3-1.
See? Inconceivable. Completely inconceivable.
Lester made his return and looked good. This had nothing to do with him. He pitched five and a third innings and gave up only one run on seven hits while walking two and striking out six. He threw eighty-nine pitches, fifty-five of which were strikes. Considering his target for the night was eighty-five pitches, that’s good to see. He allowed a leadoff single in the sixth, followed by an RBI double, followed by a five-pitch walk, but he was pulled more because he’d surpassed his pitch count limit for the day.
His stuff was pretty good. He gave up more way more hits than he usually would, and normally his strikeout total would be higher. So he was a clearly a little rusty from his time off, and I don’t think the two-hour, twenty-one-minute rain delay helped either. His sinker was as potent as ever, his cut fastball was almost as potent as ever, and his off-speed pitches were not great. His best inning was far and away the third; it was one-two-three, ending in two consecutive swinging strikeouts. He threw sixteen pitches. His best inning pitch count-wise was the fourth; two singles followed by three consecutive outs, all on ten pitches.
Ultimately, he received a no-decision because the run he allowed tied the game. With Drew on the DL with a left shoulder impingement (how timely), Reddick started in right again. Papi walked and was out on a force by Crawford, who stole second base during Reddick’s at-bat; when Reddick doubled, he scored.
That’s right, folks. The Royals’ one run tied the game, because we scored one run in the second inning, and that was all we scored through six.
We had runners at the corners in the fifth; nothing. Same thing in the bottom of the ninth, prime for a walkoff; nothing (Crawford supposedly struck out on swing that he supposedly did not successfully check. That is false.) We had two base runners in the eleventh via a single and an intentional walk; nothing. Two singles in the twelfth; nothing. A walk and a single in the thirteenth; nothing.
Three of those two-runner opportunities in extra innings came with less than two outs. The twelfth was particularly maddening. Reddick singled, Salty flied out, and Scutaro stepped up to bat. A throwing error on a pickoff attempt of Reddick moved him to third. Tim Bogar then signed for a suicide squeeze, so Reddick started going home. Scutaro missed the sign. He missed it. He just missed it. And he let the pitch go by, and Reddick was caught in a rundown. Then Scutaro was out trying to stretch a single into a double.
Meanwhile, we’d gone through Albers, Bard, Paps, Morales, Wheeler, and finally Randy Williams, who ultimately took the loss because, in the top of the fourteenth, he allowed a double, a single, a successful sac bunt (the ball went in the air, so Gonzalez had no play because he was charging already), another single, and a successful sac fly.
Reddick doubled in the bottom of the fourteenth. We did not come back.
This is profoundly enraging. They collected twelve hits to our thirteen. We both had eleven opportunities with runners in scoring position; they took advantage of three of them; we only took advantage of one. They left nine on base; we left eleven on base. They won; we lost.
Gonzalez went two for six, Papi went two for four, and Reddick went three for six. Pedroia extended his hitting streak to twenty-two games. Youk won’t play today due to a tight right hamstring he sustained while running out a ground ball in the sixth; he left the game in the seventh. He gets points for hustling. Apparently, though we need him in the lineup, because apparently we need all the help we can get against the Royals.
The bullpen obviously gets points for pitching almost a full game’s worth of shutout innings. Salty gets points for throwing out two runners. Reddick gets points for possibly saving the game in the tenth with a forward diving catch. Crawford does not get points for striking out four times for the second time in his career.
We missed all sorts of scoring opportunities. Scutaro missed a sign. Ultimately, you could say the entire game was one huge miss. It’s thoroughly embarrassing. It’s inconceivable. I have nothing more to say.