This was one of those nights where we trotted out the staff and didn’t win because the offense didn’t do a good job of providing much support to speak of. It was one of those nights where we played mediocre baseball at best and couldn’t just be good enough to get ourselves a win. It was one of those frustrating, long nights where we all knew where it was going. In short, it was basically just like any other night.
It basically came down to the fact that we did not score a quantity of runs that could be counted on to be enough to get us through to the W. Maybe in another season when our pitchers return to their usual glory, it would have been enough, but not here and not now.
We went down in order in the first three innings and scored all two of our runs in the fourth. Ellsbury doubled, Crawford singled on a bunt, and Pedroia reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with nobody out. What we needed was a grand slam, or at least to score more than two runs. What we got was a double by Gonzalez that brought both Ellsbury and Crawford home. Pedroia tried to score but was thrown out at home. All else being equal, though, we would have lost anyway even if he scored, which doesn’t say much of anything about our pitching staff.
Speaking of, since we can move on because we went down in order in the rest of our innings except the ninth when we sent up one above the minimum because Pedroia singled, we sent out five pitchers. That’s a lot of pitchers. I mean, it’s not the most I’ve seen us roll out in a single game, but considering who’s been set free and who’s been placed on the DL, it’s still a lot. And none of them seemed to really have the answer.
Morales started and took the loss. He pitched five and one-third innings and gave up three runs on two hits. He gave up a solo shot to lead off the third, a walk and an RBI single in the fifth, and then an ugly stretch in the sixth that featured a walk, a hit batsman, a double steal, an intentional walk to load the bases, a pitching change to Miller, and then fortunately nothing more than a sac fly. It was fortunate because at least we didn’t lose by that much, thereby preserving some dignity.
So if you think about it, Morales didn’t pitch badly at all. On the contrary, if the relievers didn’t allow their runs, we would have lost only by one, all else being equal. A loss is a loss, but in terms of morale, it makes a difference.
Anyway, Melancon replaced Miller after that but then gave up a double and a sac fly in the seventh. Breslow them came on for the eighth and gave up a double and an RBI single, after which he was replaced by Mortensen, who was the only one of our pitchers to not allow a run to score, although he was only out there for one batter, so who knows? Perhaps if he’d had to pitch to additional hitters, he may have gotten in on that action.
So we lost, 5-2. We posted only eight hits. We went down in order way too much. And we just failed generally. Even our two runs were scored with a little help from the Indians; Crawford made it to first because nobody was covering, and Pedroia made it to first because the Indians took Ellsbury’s bluff down to third seriously
Oh, yeah. Look for Middlebrooks to be out for the rest of the season with a broken right wrist. That’s great. That’s just great.