Posts Tagged ‘Interleague’

Smile, Red Sox Nation! We made it to the All-Star break! At the traditional halfway mark of the season, we’re sitting on top of the American League East, one game ahead of the Yankees.  We’re much more battered and bent than I thought we would be, and the standings don’t reflect the kind of dominance I thought we’d surely be exhibiting by now.  But given the way we started the season, I have absolutely no right to complain.  Instead, I’ll be thrilled we’ve made it this far, even if we didn’t make it this far in one piece.

In keeping with tradition, I’ve graded the entire team on their performance up to the All-Star break, as I do every year.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: B

He’s batting .251 with twenty-four RBIs.  He has a slugging percentage of .437; he’s hit twelve doubles, two triples, and six home runs.  He’s had ten passed balls, forty-nine stolen bases, and only sixteen caught-stealings.  His fielding percentage is .997.  He has a wicked arm.  He’s new to the club, and he’s a starter.  Given who he is as a player as well as his position, we expect him to hit fairly well and nail runners.  For the most part, he’s done the first but still needs work on the second.

Jason Varitek: A

Tek’s grade tends to be pretty consistent year-to-year.  Part of that has to do with the fact that we don’t expect as much from him as we used to.  Now that he’s technically no longer a starter, that’s even more true.  As he ages, his value to the team lies less and less in his ability to perform as a player and more and more in his ability to perform as a father figure and team leader.  And in the latter department, he excels to the utmost.  And he’s still top-notch with the pitchers and defensively, even if we consider him an out that gets easier with every passing year.

Kevin Youkilis: A

Over the course of these past few games, he’s really boosted his average, which is now up to .285.  He has forty-nine walks, which ties him for ninth in the American League.  He has twenty-six doubles, which ties him for third in the American League.  He has sixty-three RBIs, which ties him for sixth in the American League.  His average wasn’t too high before this last hot streak of his, but he’s certainly been contributing.  His fielding percentage is .967, which for him is a little low.

Dustin Pedroia: A

Earlier in the season, he was in the middle of one of the longest slumps of his still-young career.  He was getting skittish in two-strike counts, and the high inside fastball was giving him a bit of trouble.  Now, all of that is in the distant past.  His OPS is .837; his OPS over the course of the last seven days is 1.142.  As with Youk, he’s boosted his average a lot recently.  He’s now up to .284.  His fielding percentage is .990.  Even if you look at the big picture with the slump, he contributes.  If he’s not hitting, he’s walking and playing good D.  And if he is hitting, he’s still doing those things.

Marco Scutaro: B

As with Salty, consider what we expect from Scutaro.  Given the fact that our shortstops haven’t exactly been the highlight of our lineups in recent years, we expect him to hit decently but play fantastic D.  With a .259 average, six doubles, and three home runs, he has hit fairly decently, although he should be batting in more than fourteen runs.  His fielding percentage is .977; for a shortstop, I expect more.  It’s the most challenging infield position; we’re halfway through the season, and he’s already made four errors.  Last year, he made eighteen errors.  If he makes another four errors during the second half, that already would be a huge improvement.  But our standards are higher than that.  Besides, what if those four errors cost us four ballgames? We can’t afford that.

Adrian Gonzalez: A

Anyone who gives this man less than an A must have the wrong Gonzalez.  He has done everything we ever expected him to do.  He leads the American League in batting average, hits, doubles, and RBIs (ironically enough, Adrian Beltre is right behind him).  He’s third in runs and on-base percentage, fourth in at-bats, fifth in fielding percentage, and tenth in home runs.  The only thing he doesn’t do is steal bases, but we have Ellsbury and Crawford for that.  Collectively, those numbers tell us that he’s a powerful, durable, and beautifully well-rounded player capable of doing damage in any situation.  In short, he is worth every single bit of his contract.

Jed Lowrie: A

It’s not his fault he’s injured.  Before that, he was swinging a hot bat and playing well in the field.

Yamaico Navarro: B

Not great at the plate but literally flawless in the field.  He’s only been filling in temporarily anyway.

Drew Sutton: B

Sutton may be on the roster for the same reasons as Navarro, but he’s the exact opposite: not great in the field but outstanding at the plate.

JD Drew: B

Same old, same old.  Perfection in the field, mediocrity at the plate.  It’s really sad that that hasn’t changed.  Although I should mention that his highest monthly average of the season, 2.69, occurred in April, when everyone else’s monthly averages were probably at their worst.

Jacoby Ellsbury: A

Given last year’s injury and the fact that his season was therefore cut way too short, Ellsbury has had some catching up to do.  Not only has he caught up to our expectations; he has surpassed them.  He leads the American League in stolen bases.  He’s fifth in at-bats and average, sixth in runs, third in hits, and tied with Youk for third in doubles.  He’s set a new career high in home runs so far this year, and we still have half a season left to play.  Also worth mentioning is the fact that, over the course of the last seven days, Ellsbury has batted .467.  In the field, he has five assists, a new career high, and has yet to make an error.

Carl Crawford: C

I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t thinking about his contract when I gave Crawford this grade.  But the truth is that he deserves it.  The contract is simply a manifestation of the expectations that both the organization and therefore the fans have of Crawford, who has proven that he can meet and even surpass those high expectations.  So far, he’s done nothing of the kind.  Before he made his way onto the DL, he batted below .250, failed to post home runs in the double-digits, and walked and stole bases less than ten times each.  He also made two errors.  He was supposed to excel in every single one of those categories.  He was supposed to be the left-handed Adrian Gonzalez who could run.  So far, not so much.

Darnell McDonald: B

He said it himself: he’s not contributing at the level he could or should.  The added playing time helped him last year; thankfully, we have more guys healthy, so he doesn’t have as much playing time this year.  But the art of the bench player is the ability to perform when necessary, playing time or no playing time.

Josh Reddick: A

He’s just as good as we’ve ever seen him.  He performs whenever we need him; he practices the art of the bench player.  Obviously, that’s because one day he won’t be a bench player; he’ll be a starter.  In the meantime, he’s a great kid to have around.

David Ortiz: A

It’s pretty simple.  He’s batting above .300 and slugging about .575 with twenty-three doubles, nineteen home runs, and fifty-five RBIs.  He’s not supposed to field; as a designated hitter, he’s supposed to slug.  And that’s what he’s doing, and he’s doing it well.

Offense Overall: B

The team leads the Major Leagues in runs, hits, doubles, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.  Despite this and the fact that there are a good number of players performing well on an individual level, the offense as a whole doesn’t get an A because it’s streaky.  Sometimes we’ll average about seven runs a game during a stretch; sometimes we’ll be lucky to score at all.  The mark of a good, solid offense is not to sometimes average seven runs a game; the mark of a good, solid offense is to do so consistently throughout the season.  That’s not something we’ve seen yet.  Until we do, we’ll just be a lineup with great hitters in it, not necessarily a consistently great lineup.

Defense Overall: C

We lead the Major Leagues in errors with forty-four, and we’re sixth in fielding percentage with .987.  That’s not good.

Josh Beckett: A

Beckett this season has been a model of consistency in the most positive of ways.   2.27 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, eight and three record, and ninety-four strikeouts and only seven home runs.  He’s a changed man from last year; this year, he’s found his former self.

Jon Lester: A

I’m going to give him an A because his numbers are fine enough, but I expect more from him.  His ERA is 3.31; it should be under three.  His WHIP is 1.21; it should be under one.  He’s given up fourteen home runs; it should be less than ten.  But he has ten wins by the All-Star break, which means he could have twenty by season’s end, and he has more than one hundred strikeouts.  Excellent, but not as excellent as I thought he’d be.

Clay Buchholz: B

Before he was injured, he wasn’t as great as he could have been.  Unlike Lester, his numbers aren’t that sufficiently good as to warrant a better grade even though he hasn’t performed to expectations.  He has a 3.48 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP, a record of six and three, only sixty strikeouts, ten home runs, and thirty-one walks.  He’ll need to work hard in the second half in order to return to form.

John Lackey: C

Lackey’s most recent start was the only start this year in which I felt we were seeing the Lackey we signed.  During all the other starts, we saw some pitcher we’d never even think of signing.  His ERA is 6.84, and his record is six and eight.  But you don’t need the numbers to tell you how inconsistent, spotty, and unpredictable his outings are and how porous and lacking in command he’s been.  It’s gotten to the point where him being on the DL is a good thing.

Daisuke Matsuzaka: D

I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I say that I’ve had just about enough of this.  We’ve been waiting and waiting for years now for him to show us even a small glimpse of the greatness he exhibited in Japan.  Well, guess what.  We’re still waiting.  And now he’s done for the season because he needs Tommy John surgery.  This could go one of two ways: either he won’t recover well at all and he’ll be even worse afterwards or he’ll make a spectacular recovery and it’ll turn out that the surgery corrected mechanical issues that were the root of the problem all along.  Either way, no matter how you slice and dice it, he didn’t pitch well this season.  You don’t need numbers to tell you that either.

Tim Wakefield: A

His ERA is in excess of four, and his WHIP is 1.27.  But technically his job is no longer to be a starter who can put the team in a position to win every fifth day.  His job is now to come in for an inning or two when necessary and keep the team in a position to win, and sometimes, when a starter is injured, to put the team in a position to win.  He is on the verge of making history with his long career, and age doesn’t seem to affect him at all.  He’s like the Benjamin Button of baseball.  He’s the ultimate team player; he answers the call of duty and he doesn’t complain.  Sometimes his knuckleball doesn’t dance like it should and he has a terrible night out.  But overall, when we need him to do something, he just does it.  It sounds simple enough, but not every ballplayer can do it.

Alfredo Aceves: A

Aceves has gone above and beyond.  He went from being a question mark during Spring Training to starting material.  He has an ERA of 3.41 and a WHIP of 1.22.  He has a record of four and one with one save.  How many pitchers can say that, after both starting and pitching in relief for half a season, they have a winning record as well as a save? Not many.  He can pretty much do it all, and that’s not even what he signed up for.  He can start, he can provide reliable middle relief, and he can close too.  I don’t think anyone expect him to be the versatile pitcher that the circumstances of the injuries to our staff have demanded he become.  But he rose to the occasion and continues to impress every time out

Matt Albers: A

Here’s another guy who continues to impress.  Again, during Spring Training, I don’t think anyone could have envisioned the dominant reliever he’d turn out to be.  He’s been as solid as solid gets.  2.55 ERA, thirty-for strikeouts, and almost two innings pitched per appearance.  So he’s both dependable and durable, arguably the two most important characteristics of a good reliever.  And with the way some of our starters have been pitching, if not for Albers we’d have been in desperate need of a good reliever.

Scott Atchison: B

He’s been better.  Like Morales, he’s a pitcher, and we need pitchers, so we’ll take what we can get and we’ll have to like it.  But to be honest I never like the look of a 4.70 ERA or a 1.43 WHIP.

Rich Hill: A

He’s appeared in nine games and thrown eight innings.  His ERA is zero.  That’s pretty good.

Andrew Miller: B

Yet another Spring Training question mark of whom we’ve seen much more than we ever thought he would.  He’s pitched decently.  For what we were expecting, he’s not great but not too bad.

Franklin Morales: B

Morales came into the fold when we were desperate for pitchers, period.  He hasn’t been outstanding, but he’s a pitcher, and given our circumstances that’s been good enough for us.

Dan Wheeler: B

His WHIP and his ERA are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  The good news is that he has an ERA of zero when pitching in day games.  So all we have to do is use him in relief during the day, and we’re guaranteed success.

Bobby Jenks: D

So far, Jenks is an epic fail.  Enough said.

Daniel Bard: A

Bard’s ERA is 2.05, and his WHIP is 0.80.  His ERA was zero for all of June as well as July to date.  Of the seventeen teams he’s faced in his career, he has an ERA of zero against twelve, including the Rays and the Phillies.  He has faced only five batters after throwing fifteen pitches.  Not too shabby.

Jonathan Papelbon: B

If only Paps were as consistent as Bard.  His ERA is almost four, and his WHIP is much too large for a closer.  And yet somehow he has twenty saves to his credit and has blown just one.  He’s on pace to lower his walk total from last year’s, which is definitely a good sign.  But as long as I have to hold my breath whenever he comes out of the bullpen, I won’t be able to give him an A.

Pitching Overall: B

Giving the pitching staff an overall rating is very complicated and in some ways not even fair.  The reason why it’s fair for the lineup and not for the pitching staff is because the pitching staff doesn’t have a responsibility to perform well as a unit in the same game.  Each pitcher has his time to shine; if he has it, great, and if he doesn’t it’s on him.  Ellsbury’s ability to get himself into scoring position may be contingent on what the hitter before him does, but Beckett’s abiltiy to secure a win has nothing to do with the fact that Jenks can’t hold it down.  But in keeping with tradition, I’ll grade the pitching staff on the whole.  Such a grade must reflect the entire staff, which unfortunately includes some very sad cases.

Terry Francona: A

Arguably one of the best managers in club history.  Certainly one of the best managers active in the game today.  It’s a travesty that he didn’t win Manager of the Year last year.  The way he manages all the personalities in this club and maneuvers through injuries, he’s Manager of the Year every year in my book.

Theo Epstein: A

Jenks and Dice-K (and Lugo and Gagne, while we’re at it) were fails, but you can’t blame him for trying.  Crawford can’t be judged yet.  Besides, for Gonzalez alone, he gets an A.  That deal is one of his masterpieces.

Team Overall: B

It’s hard to argue with the fact that we lead in so many offensive categories as well as in the American League East.  Why the B? Because we’re only in first place by one game and we’re already halfway through the season.  Granted, we’re pretty injured, and it’s hard to conquer when your staff is on the DL.  But in the grand scheme of things, many of those injuries have been fairly recent.  Nobody was injured in April.  There’s no way we should have had the start to the season that we did.  We should have been running away with the division last month, if that late.  It’s all well and good to build some momentum during Interleague and take four games from the Orioles, but any team can do that.  Our team is better than being satisfied with sweeping Baltimore.  We should be sweeping New York and Philadelphia.  We have two and a half months to get our act together and show everyone why we’ll be winning the World Series this October.  So let’s get on with it already.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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I don’t think I’m alone in not knowing what to think.  One start we’re talking about the fact that Lackey may need Tommy John surgery and the next start we’re talking about the fact that the only thing Lackey needs is a repeat performance of the one he just delivered.  It’s a totally confusing situation.  Due to the way he’s pitched so far this season, I have absolutely no idea where last night’s outing came from.

It begs all kinds of interesting questions, like where was it before, and why specifically last night, and what made it happen, and what can we do to make sure it happens consistently from now on, and is it a health issue, and can it really be a health issue that’s that severe if was able to overcome whatever it was, and is this the Lackey we should expect to see or was it just supposed to be a pleasant surprise, and all sorts of other inquiries that probably have to go unanswered until the team figures it all out first.  Lackey insists that his arm felt the same last night as it did during his previous start, so honestly I just have no idea.  As with Dice-K, it’s possible that they’re not entirely sure what’s going on either.  I’m just saying it’s possible.

He pitched six and two-thirds innings.  And they were shutout innings, too.  For once, he got the win and deserved every bit of it and the standing ovation he got when he was taken out.  He allowed only three hits and walked only one.  He struck out seven.  He threw 106 pitches, sixty-nine of which were strikes.  He executed all five of his pitches with precision and skill.  The fastball, the changeup, the curveball, the cutter, and the slider were all deadly coming out of his hand.  He used each and every one of them to lock down at least one strikeout.  He reached his highest inning pitch count in the fifth with twenty-one.  He was taken out after securing two outs in the seventh but giving up a hit and hitting a batter for the second time in the process.  He was dominant.  He basically went on autopilot and cruised.  It was awesome.  I think we all knew he had it in him somewhere.  The question again becomes where it came from.  Like I said, I have no idea.  But this outing just lowered his ERA opposite Baltimore to 2.89, meaning that he pitches better against Baltimore than he does against any other team.  (Technically that doesn’t say much, but still.)

We didn’t score until the fifth.  Alfredo Simon’s command and control had been consistently weakening as the game progressed, and at that point we just broke through for good.  Scutaro flied out to begin the inning.  Then Ellsbury tripled.  Pedroia reached base and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice while Ellsbury was out at home.  Gonzalez was intentionally walked, and then Youk knocked a double off the Monster, which brought in Pedroia and moved Gonzalez to third.  Papi was intentionally walked despite the fact that he grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the first, and both Gonzalez and Youk scored on a rocket of a double by Reddick.  Salty grounded out to end the inning.  Pedroia later led off the seventh with a double and scored on a double by Youk.

Ellsbury went three for four and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.  Youk and Reddick also each went three for four.  Pedroia only had one hit on the day, but it was enough to extend his hitting streak to eleven games.

Bard finished off the seventh and took care of the eighth.  Since we scored that fourth run, Paps didn’t find himself in a save situation but pitched solidly anyway.  It’s been way too long since we’ve had a starter go deep enough to allow those two to work their usual shifts.  The final score was 4-0.

We’re on a five-game winning streak, we’ve won nine of our last ten games, and we’re in first place.  Just recently when we were in the middle of a bad run during Interleague, who would have thought we’d be hammering the Orioles to secure a first-place lead before the All-Star break? Baseball is quite a game.  Life is good.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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That, my friends, is just about as good as it gets.  We completed the sweep, we have our four-game (and counting) winning streak, Beckett completely bounced back from his rustiness, and we’re sending four to the All-Star Game.  Gonzalez is going for the fourth time but his first as a starter, Papi is going for the seventh time, Beckett is going for the third time, and Ellsbury has received his first career bid.  All four of them deserve every minute of that trip.  Let’s not forget, by the way, that the stakes are high.  We need to secure home field advantage for ourselves come October.

Speaking of Beckett and completely deserving a trip to the All-Star Game, yesterday’s start was all the proof you could possibly need that Beckett exudes all-star status.  The game was literally almost all Beckett.  He was the reason we won.  He pitched eight innings of one-run ball.  He gave up five hits and absolutely no walks.  He was supremely efficient; he threw 102 pitches, sixty-nine of which were strikes.  That’s a strike percentage of sixty-eight.  That’s high.  But my favorite part was the season-high eleven strikeouts.

His very first batter struck out swinging on a four-seam.  The second inning was the first of four one-two-three innings; the first two batters struck out swinging, the first on a cutter and the second on another four-seam.  He began the third with his only called strike, the result of four straight four-seams, and he ended the inning with another swinging strike on a four-seam.  He began the fourth with a strikeout on a cutter and ended it with a strikeout on a curveball.  Both strikeouts in the fifth were put away with curveballs; he also gave up his only run that inning, the result of the combination of a double and a single.  He followed that inning with a one-two-three sixth, during which he achieved another strikeout using four straight four-seams and a cutter.  He locked down his last strikeout in the seventh with a curveball (and hit his next batter, but still).

The outing really was a gem of purest form.  It was a thing of beauty.  And it was the reason why, to this day, we still wonder about last season.  Beckett was so dominant that, by the time Paps took the mound, the game was still tied at one.  We scored our first run in the fourth; the bases were loaded for Tek, but all he could muster was reaching on a force attempt, which led to an error.  He hit a grounder to first base, but Brett Wallace fired home very poorly indeed, so Youk scored.  Painfully.  Carlos Corporan came down on his right ankle, which as we all know is not in the best of shape these days.  We scored the winning run in the ninth; after a walk, a single, and an intentional walk, the bases were loaded for Youk.  Youk didn’t have to do much to bring in a run.  He didn’t.  But he brought in a run anyway.  He walked on five pitches.  Five straight cutters.  How embarrassing for the Astros.

So Beckett walked away with his third win in Houston, Paps walked away with his seventeenth save, and Tito walked away having bested our former pitching coach.  What’s up, Brad Mills; thanks for intentionally walking Gonzalez in the top of the ninth while first base was occupied, because that made so much sense and didn’t backfire at all.

All in all, the road trip wasn’t our best.  On the one hand, it was Interleague, so we should have been able to win easily.  On the other hand, we were playing in National League parks, which threw off our lineup.  But now we get to go home, and just in time for the Fourth of July.  Few things are better on America’s birthday than America’s national pastime.  It’ll be a great game.

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I guess the team didn’t get that particular memo that said that last night’s game has to be better, because it wasn’t.  We may have scored something, but we still lost.  It was terrible.

The good news is that Lackey wasn’t a complete and total disaster.  Actually, on the contrary.  He pitched just like an ace.  He was one out shy of eight full innings.  He gave up two runs on eight hits, walked only one, and struck out five.  He threw ninety pitches, sixty-five for strikes.  If it were any other pitcher, I would be concerned about the eight hits, but for Lackey, it’s business as usual.

Lackey’s keys to success? Two fastballs and a deadly slider.  He used changeups, cutters, and cuveballs too, but both fastballs and the slider were really what did the hitters in.  Despite the hits, he worked very efficiently; he actually needed only three pitches to secure two outs in the eighth inning, but he was taken out after allowing a triple that put runners at the corners.  Morales came in for the last out of the inning.

In short, this was the best stuff we’ve seen from Lackey in a long time, too long for a starter as good as he’s supposed to be.  And what does he have to show for it? A loss.  It’s just sad.  Although you have to admit that, even though we lost, at least we got to see him with good stuff.  He allowed his first run on a couple of drives; his second was a solo shot hit on a curveball.  In the spirit of justice and Interleague, he did his best to make up for it; he batted in our only run of the game.  In the fifth inning, Reddick singled and scored on a double by Lackey.  That double was one of only five total hits, and it was our only extra-base hit of the night.  Reddick actually had the best offensive night of the lineup; he went two for three.  Clearly, the move of Papi to first base and the resultant move of Gonzalez to right field for his first time in six years didn’t amount to anything.  We left five on base and were 0 for a whopping 1 with runners in scoring position.  We had a runner on first in the seventh with two out; Lackey stepped up to the plate but wasn’t so lucky.  Tito had no choice; he couldn’t pinch-hit for a pitcher only seventy-seven pitches into a great night.  He had no way of knowing that the Phillies would score their winning run a few minutes later and that that run would may as well have been a hundred.  We went on to lose, 2-1.

We’ve lost six of our last eight and four of our first five games on this road trip.  In the last five games, we have scored a grand total of only ten runs.  And I don’t need to remind you that this has disastrously disastrous effects on the standings.  It’s just pathetic to be reduced to hoping that you just don’t get swept.  But at this point, straits are pretty dire, and we’ll just have to take what we can get and like it.

AP Photo

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As of the conclusion of last night’s game, the American League has ninety Interleague wins to the National League’s eighty-four.  In my opinion, that’s way too close.  The American League needs to play better.  Starting with us.  Because being shut out is not the best way to play any game, regardless of whether it’s Interleague, and especially if it’s a series opener as well as the opener of the second series of a nine-game road trip to National League parks.  Those are nine games during which we will not have our DH.  I refuse to believe that this is the best we can do.  Putting aside the obvious fact that when we make it to the World Series, it’s entirely probable that we’ll have to face the Phillies, we just want to beat them generally because they’re good.  Like I said, a trip to October is based on winning in the first place.  And last night, that wasn’t what we did.

We lost, 5-0.  While Cliff Lee was busy pitching a two-hit, two-walk complete game, Beckett only lasted six innings and gave up five runs, one of which was the result of a sac fly by Lee, on five hits, two of which were home runs which accounted for all but one of the Phillies’ five runs.  Beckett walked one and struck out only one, a season low.  He threw eighty-four pitches, fifty-three of which were strikes.  He even made an error on a pickoff move.  Morales and Jenks were solid, but it didn’t really make that much of a difference.  Obviously a very far cry from the nearly perfect game he hurled his last time out.  I guess that enormous delay between starts wasn’t as helpful as we bargained for.  He needed the extra rest due to a nasty case of stomach flu; the rust showed.  On the bright side, we know it’s due to an illness and won’t last.

All five runs were given up on fastballs, but his fastballs were actually his best pitches.  They were decent.  It was the rest of his pitches that totally tanked.  His changeup, curveball, and cutter were profoundly sub-par.  As a result, he didn’t vary speeds well at all, and he fell behind in counts and was inefficient.  Many of his pitches ended up to the left of the zone.

However, we can take consolation in the fact that Yankee fans probably saw Lee’s performance and are now kicking themselves into oblivion.

Clearly, there was no offense to speak of.  Lee faced the minimum in seven of nine innings.  Our only extra-base hit was a double by McDonald in the eighth.  Aside from that hit, our only other hit of the night was a single by Scutaro in the sixth, our first hit of the game.  Aside from that, we gained bases twice more via the walk, one for Pedroia and one for Youk.  We left only two on base and had only three opportunities with runners in scoring position.

As you can see, this was a short post.  That’s because there wasn’t much to say because the team didn’t do much of anything at any point.  Today’s game has to be better.  It has to be.

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