I am disgusted with our performance last night. Simply disgusted. There is absolutely no way to sugar-coat this one. It was absurdly abysmal.
Let’s start, as usual, with the pitching. It was good to see Bedard come back, if only because it means one more healthy option. It wasn’t so great to watch him only last two and two-thirds innings and in that time give up four runs on five hits. But it was even worse to watch three of those runs be unearned. And you can thank Reddick and his third-inning-lengthening fielding error for all of them. I don’t understand this. It’s one thing to go through a stretch where your pitching isn’t great and your hitting isn’t great, but how do you go through a fielding slump? Fielding by nature is a very consistent thing. You either field or you don’t. You either do it well or you don’t. It’s not normal to go through a season with great fielding and then all of a sudden be incredibly sloppy. How do you just lose your ability to field well on a regular basis? I don’t get it.
Although I should say that Bedard issued two consecutive walks after that. He walked two and didn’t strike out anyone on seventy-six pitches. You might ask why, if most of those runs weren’t his fault, he came out of the game so early. It’s because he threw fifty-one pitches in the third. Fifty-one pitches. That’s about half the number of pitches Lester or Beckett throws in an entire game. That’s ridiculous. That is so epically worse than anything Dice-K could ever have done on even his worst day. Fifty-one pitches in less than one inning. I saw it and I still can’t believe it. I mean, wow.
Atchison and Albers combined for three scoreless innings before Bard put two on. Paps allowed all both of his inherited runners, plus one of his own, to score. Paps was the last bastion of near-perfection in the bullpen. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Before yesterday, Paps delivered a strikeout every single time he was confronted with the bases loaded. Not anymore, I guess. Not anymore.
We scored first, so before our pitching started doing us in, Gonzalez plated the game’s first run in the first inning.
The O’s put up a four-spot in the third, but we answered in the bottom of the inning. And by “we,” I mean Gonzalez, who homered with Pedroia on base on a fastball that he, like everyone else on the team who’s been hitting homers lately, put into the Monster seats. At the time, it brought us within a run. We answered with another two in the fourth, with some help from bad fielding, that put us ahead. Aviles singled in one and then scored on Gonzalez’s groundout. We got a run, but Salty was out at home. Not great hitting with runners in scoring position, I have to say.
Neither team scored going into the eighth, and we were clinging to a one-run lead. Like I always say, the longer you go in a game with a particular lead, the more it seems to stick, and the more you think it’s got a good chance to be the final score. Bard and Paps had some other ideas. As you can see, those three runs cost us the game. The relief pitchers who are supposed to be the most surefire lost us the game. Doubront got the last two outs. And we lost, 7-5. Gonzalez, Pedroia, and Aviles had good nights at the plate, but the whole thing was just a nightmare.