Well, that was just rampantly unpleasant. Of all the outcomes against all the teams by all the scores, we had to lose to the Yankees in a slugfest. I mean, they crushed us. They crushed the team, and they crushed the fans, since we generally despise the Evil Empire and everything even remotely connected to it. It was rampantly unpleasant.
Lester’s start was exceptionally terrible. He gave up eight runs on eight hits, including a three-run shot by Derek Jeterwith one out in the second on the first pitch of the at-bat, in two and two-thirds innings. It was the second-shortest start of his entire career. He walked one and struck out three. He threw fifty-five pitches, thirty-two of which were strikes. Basically, he allowed more runs than he would in about five starts in less than a third of the game on about half the pitches that he should have thrown in an entire game. He threw only seven pitches in the first – three up, three down, and a four-pitch strikeout right in the middle – and then everything went wrong. Thirty pitches in a second inning during which New York put up a five-spot that featured more sloppy defense on our part. And may I say that his cut fastball was particularly abysmal. I didn’t know he knew how to throw it that badly.
Atchison finished the third as well as the next two frames. Tazawa allowed a solo shot to lead off the sixth; he finished the sixth and almost finished the seventh. Trever Miller ended up finishing the seventh, and Bowden finished the eighth.
Let’s talk about the offense. We had one on in the first, none on in the second, one on in the third (a fantastic four-pitch walk to Ellsbury), and two on in the fourth and fifth and sixth. We did nothing with those opportunities. Jackson led off the seventh with a single and scored on a double by Crawford, our only extra-base hit of the night. Then Pedroia got on and Papi ended the inning with a groundout. We had none on in the eighth or ninth.
Thus, the final score was 9-1. After a day off followed by a bonus day off due to a rainout, that was all we could muster. And now we’ll have to go into tomorrow’s resultant doubleheader with absolutely no shred of momentum. Given the way we’re playing now, it’s pretty hard to believe that we headed into September with a Wild Card lead so large that our focus was the division because our playoff slot was locked. This is the tenth time this month that our starters haven’t been able to surpass even the five-inning mark. All we’re doing right now is fighting for October survival, a position I definitely thought we’d be in if you’d asked me in April but never thought we’d be in if you asked me in August.