And we lost yet again. After all, that is the theme of the season, and now that we have entered the last full month of the regular season, why break the theme now? Except this time we didn’t lose because our pitching was bad. Our pitching was actually very good. It was our hitters that completely shut it down.
Buchholz pitched seven innings. He gave up four runs, only three earned, on six hits, while walking one and striking out eight. So it was a solid, quality start. He threw 109 pitches, seventy-two of which were strikes. And he was the victim of the one bad inning. How appropriate that he gave up all four of his runs in the fourth. Before and after that he cruised; he had a one-two-three second, third, fifth, and seventh. He had to contend with one baserunner in the first and two in the sixth, when he allowed his only walk. So the fourth inning was really his only blemish, and it wasn’t even a huge, insurmountable blemish; four runs should be a surmountable sum, and most of the time it is, but not when you’re playing like we’ve been playing and not when the offense produces nothing at all.
Buchholz began the inning by giving up a single and then hitting a batter. Then he allowed three consecutive scoring plays: two RBI singles and a sac fly, which brought in another run thanks to a throwing error by Ellsbury that got away from Lavarnway at home. A single put the runner at third, and then a fielding error by Iglesias on a force attempt prevented a double play and brought in the Mariners’ fourth run.
Hill and Chris Carpenter combined to pitch the eighth; combined, they issued three walks during that inning alone but managed to pitch around them.
Just as it was appropriate that the Mariners scored their four runs in the fourth, so too was it appropriate that we scored our one and only run in the first. With two out, Pedroia doubled and scored on a single by Ross.
So the final score was 4-1. That double was Pedroia’s thousandth hit. Buchholz took an undeserved loss, because even though he squandered a one-run lead, the offense should have been able to come back and at least score three runs to tie it and put up some sort of fight in extras. We are now in the midst of a seven-game losing streak and haven’t lost this many games in a row since 2001, when we had a losing streak of nine going. It’s our eighth loss on the road, our longest streak since losing ten on the road going from the end of 2010 into the start of 2011.