Obviously our previous series against the Rangers ended better. We won that one. We didn’t win this one. Lackey decided to take a step back.
Six runs on eight hits say he regressed yesterday. He walked three, struck out only one, and lasted only five innings. He threw 103 pitches, which for him is efficient. Sixty-one of them were strikes. His slider, curveball, and two-seam were strong. Everything else was weak; his fastball may have gotten up to ninety-two miles per hour, but that doesn’t help much when you don’t control it or don’t locate it or just generally execute it well. Same for the changeup. Honestly, he didn’t allow any hits in the first, but when you saw that all three outs were made on very well-hit line drives, you knew that it wasn’t going to go well. And he can thank Conor Jackson from preventing a home run in the third by knocking the ball down for a triple, which is better than nothing, I guess. (Jackson crashed into the wall to make that play and had to leave the game with a bruised right knee, which is why McDonald came in.)
As on Saturday, the bullpen was porous, only this time we didn’t have a mountain of runs to protect us. Lackey led off the sixth with three consecutive singles, a wild pitch, and a walk, so Tito finally took him out. So Doubront inherited a total mess and allowed three runs. Albers, for one and two-thirds innings, allowed no runs. Bowden allowed two solo shots.
Big opportunities for our lineup were few and far between. There was a baserunner here, maybe runners on first and second there, but nothing that jumped out at you and gave you the impression that we were on the verge of something big. That’s probably why we lost. We didn’t even get on the board at all until the seventh. McDonald lined out to lead it off, Crawford followed with a single, Salty doubled, and Scutaro singled them both in. Gonzalez led off the eighth inning with a walk, Youk followed with a double, Papi singled in Gonzalez, and Youk scored on a sac fly by McDonald.
That was it. That was the extent of our offensive production. Four runs. Four runs on nine hits, three of which were for extra bases. We left seven on base and went two for nine with runners in scoring position. Youk went two for four and Papi went two for three for the only multi-hit performances in the lineup. Pedroia and Lackey both made throwing errors. We lost, 11-4.