We lost again. But we weren’t shut out, and that’s something to be happy about. I’m glad we at least were able to put a run on the board. A loss is a loss, but dignity is also important. But perhaps more important is winning, especially against the Rays. Have you seen the standings lately?
Technically, Doubront had a good day. If he’d had the run support that Lester had, we would have won again. He gave up three runs in over six innings, and all of them occurred in the third inning alone. So he had one bad inning in the middle of several really great ones.
He induced a groundout for the first out of the inning but then gave up two consecutive singles and a sac bunt. He gave up a single that scored two and a sac fly that scored one. Other than that, he really didn’t do much to complain about. In fact, other than that one bad inning, he was pretty solid.
Two outs and a walk into the seventh, Doubront was relieved by Beato, who ended the inning and picked up the first out of the eighth followed by giving up a single. Then Thornton came out and got the second out but gave up two consecutive singles after that, scoring two more runs. Britton pitched the ninth.
All of this looked a lot worse than it could have been because we scored only one run. That’s right. Only one run separated us from being shut out again. Napoli hit a solo shot with one out in the seventh. It was the second pitch of the at-bat, a fastball clocked at ninety-five miles per hour hit toward the Monster. And it was awesome, because home runs are always awesome and because, after spending most of the game in shutout mode, it was a huge relief to at least get on the board. But it also meant that the reason we scored was that Tampa Bay made a mistake. It wasn’t like we manufactured the run. Napoli recognized a bad pitch when he saw it. And that’s great, because that’s certainly something that leads to runs, which Napoli’s home run proves. But it also indicates that we weren’t really able to break through Tampa Bay’s pitching.
Thankfully, we had ourselves a few hits, but we still collected less than half the number of Tampa Bay’s hits and lost, 5-1.