We lost. Again. I can’t believe this. It was devastating.
Weiland gave up three runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out only one. He lasted only four innings. He threw eighty-two pitches, forty-six of which were strikes. Clearly he was inefficient and generally sub-par. Aceves came in and delivered four absolutely crucial innings. Then Paps pitched two full scoreless innings. He retired all six of his batters. It was beautiful. And then Bard gave up a run in extras and took the loss. And that was pretty much the story of the latest collective pitching fail.
Lowrie plated our first run in the second with a groundout. Then Gonzalez smacked a two-run shot in the fifth on a changeup to right. I still can’t get over the fact that every single one of his swings is quintessential. It’s textbook. All of them. He just goes up there and makes it look nice and easy.
Salty and Ellsbury smacked back-to-back jacks in the ninth, both to right field. Salty got a sinker, and Ellsbury got a slider. Salty’s was a hard-hit straight line drive back. Ellsbury’s was an enormous blast to tie it up. He had that pitch’s number all the way through.
Basically, this is what you need to know. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, we were tied at three. Heading into the bottom of the ninth, we were tied at five. Heading into the bottom of the tenth, we were tied at five. Heading into the bottom of the eleventh, we were tied at five. And then Bard came on. And he allowed a triple on his second pitch. It landed in the gap between Ellsbury and McDonald. Ellsbury called off McDonald and dove for it, but it bounced off his glove. And then there was a groundout, and then a single that won it. Evan Longoria hit that single in an 0-2 count on a ninety-eight-mile-per-hour fastball. How does he even see that?
If I sound terse and exasperated, it’s obviously because I am. Who wouldn’t be? Last night was crushing. Every time the offense battled back, the bullpen gave the lead away again. We put up nine hits, left eight on base, and went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. And we have a 6-5 loss in extras to show for it. We’re lucky it wasn’t more lopsided; the Rays had too many opportunities for comfort that they didn’t take advantage of. And we were actually poised to win; we had some good rallies going. And now Paps will be unavailable because he pitched two innings, and Aceves had to work overtime. But it’s more than that. Lately, we’re playing just like we were in the beginning of the season, and all of the injuries we’re currently dealing with doesn’t help. We’re on a four-game losing streak. Add to that the fact that now the Rays are only four and a half games behind us in the Wild Card standings, and you’d be hard pressed to find a reason why all of Red Sox Nation should not be terse and exasperated.
In other news, we extend our condolences to those who perished ten years ago today. We honor, we remember, and we reunite. When we take the field today, we take it in memory of lives lost and in celebration of the country’s patriotic spirit.