What is wrong with us? It can’t be possible that opposing pitchers are having some sort of string of good days. It just can’t be possible. It has to be against all the laws of nature. Think about it. How is it that opposing pitchers, different guys, all just happen to be doing really well? It’s not possible.
But the alternative conclusion is perhaps more disturbing: if it’s not the opposing pitchers who are having really good days, then it must be our hitters who are having really bad days. And I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I say that I don’t think that makes anyone feel better about the situation. Every time we turn a corner so far this year, it seems like we then drop the ball and end up right back where we started. When are we finally going to get on the right track?
Bard gave up four runs on eight hits in five and one-third innings; he walked two, struck out one, and took the loss. He threw 101 pitches, sixty of which were strikes. And yet again, one of our pitchers gave up all but one of his runs in the inning he left the game. He had a one-two-three first, gave up one of his two walks in the second to face one over the minimum, did the same thing in the third, and gave up his first run in the fourth on a double followed by an RBI single. And then he had a one-two-three fifth before letting us down in the sixth. Josh Reddick of all people figured in the disappointment yet again; he led off the inning with a single. After a flyout, Bard gave up two consecutive doubles, which accounted for two runs. Then he hit a batter and gave up another double for his fourth and final run allowed. No command. No control. No efficiency. No rhythm whatsoever. That’s really all there was to say about it.
Of course, it takes two to tango, and we’ve overcome so much worse than a four-run deficit over the years that you may not have even been concerned about it. Until you realized that it was the bottom of the seventh and we’d failed to score. After two one-two-three innings and two innings of two baserunners on and two innings of one above the minimum, Salty led off the seventh with a single. Will Middlebrooks, who was called up because Youk – surprise, surprise – was finally placed on the DL with a low back strain, followed that with a double. Salty scored on a flyout by Byrd. One batter later, we worked two consecutive walks to load the bases for Gonzalez, the man who is so due it’s not even funny. With one swing of the bat, we could have brought ourselves within a run. But Gonzalez had other ideas. He struck out instead.
Papi led off the eighth with a double, but we did nothing with it. In the ninth, Aviles singled and scored on a double by Pedroia. And that was it. That was all we could muster. We lost 4-2. So, yet again, it didn’t matter that the relief combination of Albers and Mortensen delivered completely. We had only two multi-hit performances of two hits each, one for Papi and one for Middlebrooks, who also stole a base. At least someone was having a night to celebrate. Five of our eight hits were for extra bases, all of them doubles, and two of them Papi’s two hits. To say the least, it was extremely frustrating.
That’s way too familiar.