Losing a ballgame by a final score of 2-1 is both good and bad. It’s good because it means that your pitcher did really well. It’s bad because it means that your offense was worse than your pitcher was good. Had the offense been as bad as the pitcher was good, the game would have been tied and we’d still be playing. There had to have been a difference somewhere, and unfortunately it wasn’t the other way around.
Cook gave up two runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out five over the course of six innings. He threw ninety-three pitches, sixty of which were strikes, so he wasn’t as efficient as he could have been but it obviously could have been much worse. He allowed both of his runs in the fourth; thanks to two singles and a walk, he loaded the bases with nobody out. He induced a popout and then allowed a single that scored two. And then he ended the inning with two groundouts. He was fortunate not to have allowed further damage.
Actually, he was fortunate not to have allowed further damage throughout the rest of his start. His last inning was his best; it was the only inning during which he went one-two-three. But aside from that, he contended with at least one baserunner in every inning, and it was clear that the batters did not find him unreadable. That’s when a starting pitcher gets into trouble. But he managed to grind out a truly beautiful start and maintain just enough mystery to get by in a big way we haven’t seen from our other supposed aces in a long time. Miller and Aceves pitched the seventh, and Aceves took the ball for the eighth.
We scored our one and only run in the sixth, so it was the team’s best inning all around. Pedroia worked a seven-pitch walk to open the inning and was out at second on Ellsbury’s force out. Then Ellsbury stole second and scored on a double by Ross.
Like the Mariners, we had our fair share of opportunities throughout the rest of the game, including a bases-loaded situation with two out in the fourth, that we failed to convert. Except we went down in order one inning more than they did.
We managed only five hits, and Ross’s double was our only one for extra bases. Pedroia went hitless, so his hitting streak stops at fifteen.
During any other season, this is the kind of loss that you’re supposed to absorb, walk away from with your head held high because it was a close one, and say, “Hey, you win some, you lose some.” But this is not any other season, and so instead we just walk away thinking, “Hey, what else is new?”