Let me start off by saying something truly painful, something that I had been hoping not to have to say. I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I convey my condolences to the Pesky family. Johnny Pesky passed away on Monday after a long and fruitful life filled with family, friends, and the fraternity of this team, whose uniform he was able to wear for sixty-one years. He saw this team at its best and its worst. He was a Teammate as well as a recipient of a 2004 World Series ring. He played in Boston in an era of the game that saw its greatest players of all time; he was part of a team that came just short of glory in 1946, an experience that would become all too well known in this city until the dawn of a new millennium. To his credit, he has a career batting average of .307, an on-base percentage of .394, a slugging percentage of .386, 594 double plays, a fielding percentage of .966, an All-Star distinction, a truly diverse set of roles within the organization, a place in our club’s Hall of Fame, a proud record of military service to this country, a retired number, a foul pole at America’s most beloved ballpark, a reputation for being one of the classiest men to play the game, more than six decades of service to this organization, and the love, devotion, and loyalty of a Nation. Because he had nothing but love, devotion, and loyalty for this team and for us. Nobody loved this organization more than he did. He lived and breathed it for his whole life. As a Nation, we participated in a moment of silence yesterday, and together we grieve for this loss but know that his spirit will live on; in a way, the fact that the season continues, game after game, is a tribute to that and to him and his dedication to baseball. He touched the lives of many with his playing ability and his outstanding character. Words can not express what he has meant to this organization, to this team, and to us as fans. We miss you, Johnny Pesky. And we salute you.
We lost again yesterday. It was a complete and total mess. The Orioles basically walked all over us. Beckett allowed six runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two over five and one-third innings. He gave up a solo shot to lead off the third, another one to lead off the fifth, and then a veritable mess of runs before and after he was pulled in the sixth. He allowed a single, somehow got the inning’s first out, issued a walk, allowed both runners to advance on a wild pitch, and then gave up two RBI singles. Melancon came on in relief after that and gave up a three-run home run, which allowed his two inherited runners to score. He ended up pitching the rest of the game without incident, but that home run was really the beginning of the end for us last night. Our prospects to win this game were promising for a grand total of five and a half innings. We scored our one and only run in the fourth: Ross doubled to lead it off, moved to second on a groundout by Lavarnway, and scored on a single by Crawford. That was it. At the time, it tied the game at one. Even when Beckett gave up his second solo shot of the night, we were still only down by one. It was the one bad inning that reared its ugly head and deprived us of the win. I would say our greatest opportunities to make more of a dent came in the third, fifth, and sixth. In the third, we had two on with two out and Gonzalez flied out to end the inning. Pedroia tripled with two out in the fifth, and it was again Gonzalez who ended the inning, this time with a groundout. We had two on with two out again in the sixth, and it amounted to nothing. We had the bases loaded thanks to a single, a double, and a walk in the seventh with only one out, and it amounted to nothing. So the final score was 7-1, even though we out-hit them, 11-7.