Cook did not last long, which was really a shame. He ended up having a horrible start thanks to one bad inning. How often have we seen one inning completely run a man on the mound? All too often. He gave up six runs on nine hits while walking none and striking out none over four and two-thirds innings.
Cook essentially cruised through four without an incident. Even his first run was pretty low-key and not necessarily a cause for alarm; he gave up a double and a single. It was the fifth when he completely imploded and ruined everything for himself. He went down on a dime, basically. He gave up two straight singles and then an effective sacrifice. Then he gave up an RBI single followed by an RBI groundout. Then there was a wild pitch that advanced the runner. And then Cook gave up two consecutive home runs, the first for two runs and the second for one, a solo shot.
So that’s five runs in a single inning. Cook gave up all but one of his runs in a single inning. It was like seeing two completely different pitchers, the Cook who’s capable of throwing gems and the Cook who looked like he didn’t make any progress this year whatsoever. Unfortunately it looked like that implosion basically did us in.
Breslow made his first appearance and ended the fifth and pitched the sixth. Melancon came out for the seventh; he issued a walk and got the first two outs before being replaced by Miller, who ended the inning.
The irony is that we capitalized on a bad inning of our own, but not enough. We actually scored first; Ellsbury doubled and scored on a single by Ross. And we scored three runs in the sixth. Pedroia, Gonzalez, and Ross hit back-to-back-to-back singles, and Pedroia scored on a double play that Salty hit into. And then Middlebrooks singled in Gonzalez. The Tigers made a pitching change, Kalish walked, and Ciriaco singled in Middlebrooks. So think about that. Salty hit into a double play with the bases loaded, and then we kept the rally going. That says a lot about our resilience.
And then, just when we thought all might be lost with a two-run deficit, Crawford stepped up to the plate in a big way to lead off the seventh. And that’s a literal as well as a figurative statement. He went yard out to right field to bring us within one. It was a huge home run. Huge. It was powerful, and it traveled all the way out there. And it seemed like momentum swung back in our direction in a hurry, until we ended the inning by going down in order after that.
Of course, we had to give it back. Miller gave up a solo shot in the eighth and was relieved by Tazawa before the final out, and Tazawa pitched a clean ninth. And then we went down in order and lost, 7-5.
So it was the one bad inning that did us in after all. Gonzalez and Ross had two hits each, and Cook took the loss.
We battled, though. We battled like we still had a chance because we did. It just wasn’t enough.