It’s not like Lester didn’t have anything. Maybe he didn’t have all of it, but he had some of it. He definitely had enough of it to carry a lineup like ours through. It’s not his fault the lineup couldn’t score at least four runs. We should be able to score at least four runs in our sleep. The saddest part of all is that this situation is way too familiar for comfort. Lately it’s always the same story.
Lester pitched seven inning and fired 107 pitches. He gave up four runs on five hits, including a two-run home run with two out in the first. He walked four, struck out five, and threw sixty-three strikes. The bottom line is that his start, for him, was mediocre. It was one of his good bad days. His cut fastball didn’t have that lethal bite to it, and his sinker, changeup, and curveball weren’t as precise as they can be. As for his inning efficiency, he was kind of all over the place. He threw twenty-one pitches in the first, only six in the second, seventeen each in the third and fourth, twenty-five in the fifth, only seven in the sixth, and thirteen in the seventh.
On the bright side, Bard dominated in the eighth again with twelve pitches and eight strikes. Morales pitched a scoreless ninth.
Meanwhile, the offense was busy not doing much of anything. We went down in order in the first. We went down in order in the second. We scored our first two runs in the third with an RBI double and a sac fly. We stranded two in the fourth and one in the fifth. We stranded another two in the sixth. Our last run scored in the seventh on a groundout. We went down in order in the eighth. We stranded one in the ninth.
We went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and lost, 4-3. What makes this particular loss so frustrating is that it didn’t necessarily have to be a loss. Never mind the fact that we should have scored more than three runs. If Ellsbury hadn’t been caught stealing third to end the fifth, that could have been another run. If Scutaro’s bunt in the seventh inning hadn’t resulted in an out at second when there’d been two on with nobody out, that inning could have won us the game. If Papi’s fly ball in the eighth had just a little more on it, we’d have been able to fight it out in extras. But if we just played better baseball, period, we wouldn’t even have to have this conversation in the first place.