So the winning streak has been snapped. We all knew it wouldn’t last forever. The worst part is that we didn’t even put up much of a fight. It wasn’t that Beckett didn’t pitch well; it was just that Gavin Floyd pitched better. Much, much better. That’s how good Floyd was, and consequently that’s how bad our bats were.
Both Beckett and Floyd lasted six and two-thirds innings. Both Beckett and Floyd threw in excess of one hundred pitches; Beckett threw 126, which tied a career high, while Floyd threw 111. Both Beckett and Floyd threw in excess of sixty strikes; Beckett threw eighty-five, while Floyd threw seventy. Both Beckett and Floyd posted about the same number of strikes; Beckett posted eight, while Floyd posted nine. But Beckett gave up three runs on six hits, one of which was a two-run shot with one out in the fifth, and three walks, while Floyd gave up only one run on three hits and one walk. Actually, all three of Beckett’s runs were given up in the bottom of the first alone: a single, a sac bunt, an RBI single, and then the home run on a fastball. Not coincidentally, therefore, both Beckett and Floyd received a decision; Beckett got the loss, while Floyd got the win.
Beckett used all of his pitches effectively; he threw all of them for strikes at least sixty percent of the time. His best pitches were his most and least abundant: his fastball and his cutter, respectively.
So it’s too bad that he received absolutely no run support whatsoever. And when I say no run support, I mean no run support. Floyd was actually no-hitting us into the seventh, which as you can imagine was positively excruciating to endure, so I don’t know about you, but I was seething. It’s a world of embarrassment and humiliation to be on the receiving end of a no-hitter. So when Pedroia singled in the seventh to get our first hit of the night, I was absolutely ecstatic, and I thought two things: maybe their pitchers will psychologically unravel, as is wont to occur in such situations, and we’ll go on to win it, but at the very least we averted certain disaster.
Here’s how it went down. We went down in order in the first four innings. We sent four to the plate in the fifth thanks to Ross earning Floyd’s only walk. We went down in order again in the sixth, and then we scored our only run in the seventh: Sweeney struck out, Pedroia hit that single, Gonzalez struck out, Papi doubled, and Ross singled in Pedroia. That double was our only extra-base hit, and it was one of only three hits that our entire team would collect. We sent four up to the plate in the eighth thanks to Aviles earning our only other walk of the day. And, finally, we went down in order in the ninth.
Atchison, Hill, and Tazawa pitched the rest of the game. The final score was 4-1. So we didn’t have our first undefeated road trip of at least seven games since the 1970s. We still finished it six and one and can come home with our heads held high. We needed those wins. Badly. But we need to get more. Many more.