This is the first time this year that we lost the first two games of a series. We’ve never been able to play that well against the Rangers. We still have the best record in the Majors, but I don’t want to be in the position of dreading playing a particular team. We should have strong showings against everyone we face.
We went down in order in the first. We had two on in the third with only one out but didn’t score. Salty doubled in the fourth, but we didn’t score. We went down in order in the fifth despite a walk by Drew thanks to a double play. We had two on with two out in the sixth but didn’t score. We had two runners in scoring position with two out in the seventh but didn’t score. Napoli got hit in the eighth, but we didn’t score.
I assume that, by now, you’ve guessed the pattern.
Papi led off the second with a double and scored on a single by Nava. That was our one and only offensive highlight. We were held to that one run and that one run only. That was it. Just the one run. It’s more than zero; at least we scored something and we weren’t shut out two games in a row. But that’s not that much of a silver lining, if you ask me.
Lackey’s start, technically speaking, was not a quality start. It was a real grind. Especially if his very first pitch was any indication. It was hit for a solo shot. That’s an inauspicious beginning if I’ve ever seen one. He seemed to settle down, sending the Rangers down in order in the second and third. But he got himself into a jam in the fourth and couldn’t completely pitch around it. Thanks to a single and two walks, he had the bases loaded with two out. He gave up a single that plated two runs and put a runner on third, thanks to a throwing error by Middlebrooks. He gave up another walk, but fortunately the damage ended there.
He gave up two singles in the fifth and one in the sixth. Unfortunately, our damage had already ended in the second. It was a classic case of insufficient run support. Lackey’s start was short, and those five innings were not shutout innings. However, we should have been able to score a sufficient amount of runs so as to bury the total of three that the Rangers had accumulated.
Thus, Lackey was one inning short of a quality start. He gave up three runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four over the course of five innings, not the required six. Miller pitched the sixth, and Tazawa pitched the seventh with the help of three K’s. Uehara pitched the eighth and wasn’t so on. He got a strikeout to start the frame but then allowed a single followed by a home run. Big mistake. So instead of losing by 3-1, we lost by 5-1.
In other news, the Bruins dropped one to the Leafs, 4-2.