I would like to see two things, even if just once, but preferably on a consistent bases. First of all, I would like to see one of our wins be the start of a real winning streak. Not that five or six games isn’t a winning streak. But I want to see a long winning streak, like ten or eleven or twelve games. And secondly, I would like to see Dice-K deliver a start the likes of which is what we expected from him on a startly basis when he was first signed.
Since that’s what’s on my mind, you can deduce that we lost yesterday and that Dice-K pitched terribly. The final score was 6-1, and Dice-K was horrific. He lasted only one inning; he sent down only three hitters for the third time in his career. The last time, ironically enough, was also against the A’s in 2009. He gave up five runs on four hits, two of which were home runs. Josh Reddick of all people hit a solo shot with two out in the first, and then Brandon Moss hit a three-run shot with no out in the second. Dice-K walked two, struck out none, threw twenty-eight pitches (a new career low, both literally and figuratively) and only sixteen strikes, and was replaced by Mortensen not after that three-run home run but rather after two more at-bats, both of which resulted in men on base. Mortensen loaded the bases with a walk, induced a popup, and then allowed one of his inherited runners to score on a sac fly.
It turns out that Dice-K had a sore neck. He was in pain before his start, which is why he didn’t through a side session. But he thought he could pitch through it. It turns out that he was obviously and horribly wrong. I’m pretty comfortable in predicting that he’s headed back to the DL.
Mortensen then pitched the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. Some innings were better than others, but he didn’t give up any of his own runs. Melancon replaced him for the eighth and ninth, which proceeded without incident.
Unfortunately, so did most of our opportunities at the plate. Our only run was scored in the first. Nava hit the third pitch of the game for a double, and Pedroia singled him in. That was it. There’s nothing like a falsely auspicious start to a game to get your hopes up for naught.
Both teams put up six hits. That double was our only one for extra bases, and Pedroia went two for four for the team’s only multi-hit performance. Not a great way to start a series. Not a great way to continue the road trip. Certainly not a great way to make progress in our momentum, our morale, or the standings.