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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Van Every’

We followed Saturday night’s loss with a similar one yesterday afternoon, except that yesterday afternoon’s loss wasn’t the bullpen’s fault.  It was the starter’s fault.

The scary part is that this is very reminiscent of the losing streak we had at the beginning of the season.  We were starting to actually play well up to this point.  We moved within five and a half games of first place, and we were coming on strong.  Only to suffer losses like this, where one aspect of the team is on while the others are off.  You’ll lose ballgames every time you play an incomplete style of game.  It would be a different story had the opposing pitcher been dominant or our starting pitcher turn in a good performance.  But these were failures of a nature that makes it hard to determine whether we would in fact have come out on top.  I suspect we would have, especially on Saturday, as I said.

Lackey takes the loss and all the blame that that entails in this one.  Baseball theoretically shouldn’t be discussed in terms of faults and blame, but every once in a while you know who’s responsible, and that makes a difference in how you interpret the loss.  Had Lackey been as dominant as we’ve seen him be, our lack of offense either would’ve resulted in a loss anyway, which would’ve been more respectable and healthy for the team as a whole because we would’ve been playing our whole game but got beat by a team that happened to be better at that particular moment, or our lack of offense wouldn’t have mattered.  Maybe Lackey would’ve allowed no runs, or maybe he would’ve allowed one and we would’ve gone into extras.  It’s hard to say.  But it’s not hard to say with the performance he actually gave yesterday.

The final score was 5-1 in favor of Detroit, and all of those runs were given up by Lackey, who stayed in the game for seven innings because our bullpen was entirely shot.  He gave up five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and four walks.  All four walks occurred in the first two innings, and the third was the result of a twelve-pitch at-bat that loaded the bases.  Then a minor leaguer making his Major League debut broke his bat on a dribbler that he beat out because Lackey missed the bag with his foot.  The fourth walk was yet another bases-loaded walk awarded to Johnny Damon, of all people, but if you ask me that was yet another umpiring mistake.  Lackey, Tek, and Tito agree with me; Tito spent two whole minutes “discussing it” with home plate umpire Lance Barksdale.  (Tek also made a very strong throw and caught Damon stealing second.  It was great.) The final blow was a two-run shot in the fourth on a curveball that didn’t curve.

I’ll say this for him: eight of the nine hits he allowed were soft singles, so it wasn’t like Detroit truly had his number all the way.  But sometimes those are hard to deal with as well; you need to be in exactly the right position defensively to convert those into outs.  Boesch snuck one by Youk somehow.  Then, Scutaro flashed leather in the third when he dove for Inge’s ball; he fired well to first but wasn’t in time.  So those can be tricky.

He threw mostly curveballs and cutters, which weren’t outstandingly effective.  His two-seam was, but he only threw eight of them.  He needed only eight pitches to finish off the sixth, but fired at least thirteen in every other frame, using at most thirty-eight in the second.  He varied speeds well and kept his release point together, and his strike zone was more concise than Barksdale would have you believe; it just included some extra area on each side.  It was at least heartening that not many of his balls were way off the plate, but there were pitches thrown outside the zone on all sides.  Eventually he did recover some semblance of command, retiring ten of his last twelve batters.  But not before we were firmly in a position to lose.

That also has to do with the fact that somehow Galaraga was on.  We collected seven hits on the day but left ten men on base.  Again with the squandering of opportunities.  Van Every doubled to lead off the third; Hermida doubled him home two batters later.  That was our only run.  We loaded the bases in the seventh, but Drew struck out, which has been a theme over the course of the past few games of which I’m really not a fan.  Youk went two for four, and McDonald went two for two.  I venture to guess that it didn’t help that Beltre, V-Mart, and Pedroia all had the day off, Pedroia for the first time this year.  Pedroia may have had a sore knee and should be back in the lineup tonight.  Hall took his place at second, which was interesting to say the least.

Schoeneweis pitched a quality eighth.

Ellsbury begins rehabbing in the minors today, which means he’s on the final stretch back to the Majors.

So that’s that.  We’re going to the Bronx tonight without momentum.  And to make matters even more uncertain, Dice-K is starting.

AP Photo
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Our bats were completely silent for the entire game last night.  The entire game.  Except for one-half inning: the bottom of the ninth, when you make or break it.  We were about to make it.  We were about to tie it and then go on to win it for a winning streak and a sweep of the series and a move into third place.  Instead, we lost in the worst way for the worst reason.

Wake pitched well.  He allowed three runs on five hits, one of which was a two-run shot, over seven innings with a walk and five K’s.  He recorded his two thousandth strike out yesterday and is the fourth active player with that many, joining the likes of Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, and (I hate to say it) Andy Pettitte.  He pitched seven innings.  He threw 103 pitches.  He used his usual lack of mix of pitches, throwing almost all knuckleballs with the occasional fastball and curveball mixed in.  All of his pitches were effective.  I always like to say that Wake has one of the most effective fastballs in the game, because he disguises it so well with his knuckleball that the batters never see it coming.  It’s all cunning. He threw between ten and twenty pitches every inning.  The sides of his strike zone were pretty clear; he was light on the top and heavy on the bottom.  So good for Wake for doing really well in that spot start.  Of all the types of pitchers, knuckleballers are best able to just jump into a starting situation without being regularly scheduled and do well.  That’s a tremendous asset to the staff.

Wake was matching Marcum pitch for pitch; it was fantastic.  But Marcum took the win, and technically Wake took the loss, but that really wasn’t fair. In theory he lost, but in practice the loss falls squarely on the shoulders of one Dale Scott.

So like I said, we didn’t do anything until the bottom of the ninth.  During the first eight innings, we had only three hits, two of them by Papi.  Then Youk singled, Drew doubled in Youk, and suddenly we could taste victory.  Papi, the tying run, stepped up to the plate.  He worked a full count.  You could cut the suspense with a knife.  The fourth pitch arrived and proved to be a ball.  Somehow, in some very bizarre universe, Dale Scott ruled strike three when watching it again clearly reveals that the ball was obviously half a foot off the plate, which in baseball terms is, like, a mile.

Papi couldn’t believe it and started seeing red.  Tito couldn’t believe it and came out to argue.  What’s interesting is that Scott, at that point, didn’t eject either of them, which was probably his way of admitting that he knew he made a mistake on that call.  Then Beltre came up and checked his swing on a slider, but he was handed the same call: a strike.  He asked Scott to check with the first-base umpire, and then Tito came out again to argue balls and strikes and got ejected.

Beltre eventually singled in Drew to put us within a run, but McDonald’s popup ended it.

Papi had the only multi-hit game in the lineup; he went two for four.  That’s his third multi-hit game in eight games this month.  Over those eight games, he’s nine for twenty-nine with three homers and seven RBIs.  Overall, this game lifted his batting average to .200.

Pedroia was hit by a pitch in the third.  Nice catch of that foul popup by V-Mart, and nice avoidance of a collision with Van Every by Hermida.

Basically what I’m saying is that Dale Scott lost us the game, and I can make that claim because the game did in fact come down to one run in the bottom of the ninth at home with our hottest hitter of the day at the plate.  There are just some games in a season where a bad call says it all.  Of course, in the long run, it happens to other teams you play as well so it evens out.  But that doesn’t make you any less frustrated when it happens.  If you look at a plot of his strike zone, you can see that it was inconsistently liberal on the sides.  If it were consistently liberal on the sides, it would be a different story; that would just be his strike zone, and we’d have to grin and bear it.  But a professional umpire can’t afford to be inconsistent.  He really can’t.  Consistency is kind of the whole point of being an umpire.  I’m just saying.  Next up, Buchholz takes on the Tigers.  Hopefully the umpire will know what’s up.

The Bruins lost, 2-1, last night so it all comes down to a Game Seven showdown on Friday.  The good news is we’re coming back home.  The bad news is that we’ve lost some momentum and need to recover that spark that’s brought us to this point.

Boston Globe Staff/John Tlumacki

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Toronto is shaping up to be a sight for sore bats, as it were.  Score one, or should I say seven, for sustaining momentum.  It was the offense that carried the night, but barely so, which is right in line with the idea that starting pitching has the ability to make or break us.

Lackey got the win, but he didn’t do so well.  He gave up six runs on eight hits in six innings, the most runs since relinquishing eight to the Rays on April 19 and his shortest start since that contest, when left after three and a third.  He walked three and struck out six, which ties his season high.  He threw ninety-five pitches.  So basically he was bad.  All of his off-speeds were excellent, including his cutter, which he threw about as often as he threw his four-seam.  His strike zone was messy, as is wont to be the case when he delivers a mediocre performance, and his only easy inning was the sixth, when he threw seven pitches, all of which were strikes.  His pitch count in every other inning was above ten.  He threw thirty-three in the second, which was largely responsible for his early exit in terms of pitch count.  Of course, it was also just a bad inning; he allowed six consecutive baserunners on the paths on four hits and two walks; the Jays sent nine batters up.  In the fifth, he gave up a two-run shot to Bautista.  Thankfully, that was all.

All in all, that’s all I’ve got.  It was just a mediocre performance.  Not good but not especially horrific.  And you can take that as an indication of the fact that we’ve seen some horrific starts, so we know what they look like, and this was not one of them, which speaks to its own issue but that’s a different story.  He had good movement on all of his pitches, but then he always does.  The fact that he can maintain that movement even when he’s off is part of what makes him the good pitcher he is.  But all I’m saying is that he may have gotten the win, but his loss column would’ve gotten a lot more attention had the offense not picked him up.

And by offense, I of course include Jays pitching.  After all, we must give credit where credit is due.  The first two innings of the game alone lasted for more than an hour, but if there was one person in Fenway Park who wasn’t about to complain, it was John Lackey.

In the first, V-Mart singled in Scutaro and Pedroia, but most of the action happened in the second.  Beating the Jays at their own game, both literally and figuratively, we came up ten times and scored four runs on only one hit but six walks.  Morrow was out before the inning was over.  Roenicke came on in relief and proceeded to walk Beltre on four pitches.  That’s what I call a lack of command.  Six walks.  For all you Moneyball fans out there, this proves Michael Lewis’s point, no? Six walks in a single inning.  How ‘bout that.

As for the scoring plays themselves, Hermida scored on a bases-loaded walk to Perdroia.  Van Every scored when V-Mart grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Scutaro scored on Hill’s fielding error.  Papi singled in V-Mart.  Pedroia singled in Van Every in the third.

Scutaro walked twice.  Pedroia went two for four with a double and a walk.  Youk walked.  Beltre walked.  Hermida walked.  Van Every, of course, walked, and he made a spectacular catch, nabbing Buck’s foul popup literally against the wall in shallow right.  He was in because Drew was out with vertigo.

Okajima, Bard, and Papelbon combined for three hitless innings.  They threw seven, fourteen, and thirteen pitches, respectively, to finish their innings.  Yes, Okajima threw only seven pitches.  Seven for three groundouts.  It was a gem of an appearance, really.  Probably his best inning all season.  Reminded me of how lights-out he was in 2007, actually.  Bard faced four batters (he walked one).  Paps struck out leadoff man Lewis en route to a one-two-three ninth.  He’s converted all of his save opportunities so far this year.

Also of note: Gonzalez’s fly off the Monster in the second was at first ruled a double.  Then it was reviewed, the first time that’s happened this season.  The call still stood, though, so it was pretty anticlimactic as play reviews go.

We continue to be undefeated against the Jays.  The final score was 7-6; we won three of those four games by one run, the other by two.  Dice-K is starting tomorrow, so I’m hoping he can rise to the occasion and allow us to continue that trend.  After that, Wake is returning to the rotation for a start opposite Marcum.  Apparently, this would’ve been the case anyway because Tito intended to rest Beckett no matter what, but it just so happens that this becomes oh so convenient due to the fact that Beckett tweaked his back while taking cuts in preparation for Interleague.  And thus, the age-old debate surfaces yet again.  I love Interleague because it’s an easy boost through the standings, but I don’t want my pitchers using muscles they didn’t even know they had and getting hurt in the process.  We’ll just have to hope for the best, I guess.

The Bruins tanked absolutely, getting shut out by and losing by four to the Flyers.  Next game on Wednesday.  We’ve come this far; let’s go farther.

Providence Journal

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So yesterday I called for a win.  A win is not what we got.  A win is epically not what we got.  A win is so far from what we got, the entire team forgot what winning meant and had to look it up in the dictionary before preparing for tonight.  In short, yesterday’s game was exactly like Friday’s game with one important difference: it was worse.

The final score was 14-3; the Yanks scored four more runs and we recorded one less hit.  Cue the frustration and despair.  Times ten.

Buchholz was not on.  You could tell after the first at-bat that this was going to be a long afternoon.  He gave up five earned runs on nine hits over nine hits, including a home run, with five walks and one strikeout.  He threw ninety-four pitches.  He managed to keep his ERA under four because he’s been doing well up to this point, but wow.  He had absolutely no command whatsoever.  His fastball topped out at about ninety-six miles per hour, which was good, and it was decently effective for strikes, but he’s an off-speed pitcher.  And none of his off-speed pitches were very effective, period.  As far as location is concerned, there pretty much wasn’t any.  He focused on the left half of the zone, with many of his pitches ending up outside it or below it.  Five walks in five innings.  He threw almost as many balls as strikes.  He threw at least twelve pitches in every inning he pitched, throwing a game high of twenty-six in the fifth.  But his least effective inning was definitely the fourth, when less than half of his pitches were strikes.  So that was pretty much his entire problem: he lost his command completely.  And when that happens, between the walks and the hits, you’re going to relinquish a good amount of runs.  He took the loss.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there.  Delcarmen had a decent inning.  Ramirez threw three pitches, the second of which was hit out by Teixeira and the third of which was a ball to A-Rod.  He failed to record an out.  Turns out he had a right triceps strain.  Fortunately, it’s not very bad.  Not that he’s been pitching especially well this season but we need all the relievers we can get.  Schoeneweis allowed four runs on three hits with three walks and two K’s.  Bard allowed one run on two hits with a walk en route to recording an out.  Which meant that we exhausted almost the entire bullpen, and why waste a perfectly good arm at the end of a slaughter, so Van Every took the hill and tossed an inning.  He gave up two runs on two hits with one strikeout and is the proud owner of an ERA of 2.00, which is better than most of our relievers.  But that strikeout was one of the highlights of the game.  Think about it: some Yankee got struck out by a backup outfielder.  Ouch.

Again, there wasn’t much offense to speak of.  In the third, McDonald went deep to center, and V-Mart hit one into the Monster seats with Pedroia aboard.  The end.  Those were our only extra-base hits.  Youk went two for three with a walk; that was our only multi-hit game.  In another show of squandered opportunities, we left nine on base.  Lowell was in the lineup because Sabathia is a lefty, but he didn’t do much.  Tek is sore but won’t miss time.  He didn’t do much either.

With the exception of Beltre’s throwing error, we had some flashes of brilliance in the field.  McDonald recorded two assists, we turned three double plays, and we had some nice throws home.  That was the only silver lining to the whole affair that I could find.

To be honest, I thought that rain delay would give us a break.  It lasted for at least an hour and chased Sabathia, so I thought we’d just have our way with the Yanks’ bullpen.  That did not happen.  Before the delay, we were losing, 6-3, and after the delay, they just piled it on.  Seriously.  Two more in the seventh, four more in the eighth, and two more in the ninth.  By the time the bottom of the ninth rolled around, all you wanted was to make it stop because the site of seeing so many Yankees cross the plate was just excruciating.  Teixeira alone brought five of them home and went deep three times.  Teixeira, who came into the game batting only .181 with two home runs, had his way with us.  It was disgusting.  The first time up, he grounded into a double play.  The next time up was a completely different story.  (So was the fastball that was fired out of position.)

Carlton Fisk was on hand to witness the destruction.  So were many Yankee fans, more Yankee fans than I remember seeing a Sox-Yanks game at Fenway in recent memory.  That’s an insult to Red Sox Nation.  There’s no way we should be able to pack the house so full that there’s hardly room for anyone else.  We’ve been doing it for years.  That’s why the team has historically played so well at home.  Usually opposing cheers from the crowd aren’t even audible.  It was painful to hear, “Let’s go Yankees.” Just painful.  The whole thing in every way was just…painful.

Say goodbye to .500.  They’ve taken four of five from us this season, and the worst part is that all five of those have been at home.  Getting beaten at home by the Yanks is the worst.  On the bright side, I don’t think this will last.  The Yanks are too old and too hurt to be too good for too long.  But before we come to that point of their demise, we need to end our own demise.  Starting with tonight.  Lester will get the start opposite Burnett, and if there is one team by which we absolutely can not afford to be swept, it’s the New York Yankees.  We absolutely need this win.  This is our arch-enemy; a win tonight would galvanize the team and raise the morale a bit.  That’s important, considering they haven’t been able to sustain an ounce of momentum all season long.  We can’t keep playing like this, where we’re gold in one series and Baltimore-esque the next.  We need to snap out of it.  Starting with tonight: a strong, solid, and deep performance by Lester and a strong, solid, and deep showing of the bats will set the tone for the following week.

Plunking Gomez

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I wasn’t expecting that.  Like many of us, I’m not really sure what I was expecting from Dice-K, but I know I wasn’t expecting that.  And I hope that that was just a function of him finally returning to Major League batters and not a function of him repeating last season.

In short, he gave up six earned runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out four over four and two-thirds innings.  He also gave up two dingers, both to left field.  And he threw ninety-five pitches.  So, overall, was he efficient? No.  Did he have command? No.  Was he working the strike zone? No.  Did he mix his pitches effectively? Not really; he threw about forty fastballs and didn’t come close to that total with any of his other pitches.  And his fastball wasn’t even that exceptional, which would in part explain the loss.  It had some movement on it, but if you don’t mix it with other things, batters will read it.  I thought one of the things he was supposed to work on was diversity of pitches.  His cutter was about as effective as his fastball, but his changeup was really good and his slider was fantastic.  His two-seam and curveball didn’t do much.  But I think he could’ve used his slider and changeup more.  And he threw a good amount of pitches to the upper left and lower right corners of the zone.  His fastest pitches were those with moderate horizontal and vertical movement on them; he topped out at ninety-four, which was good to see.  But without efficiency, command, and an effective mix of pitches, it’s no wonder that he was removed from the game after putting us in a hole.  He took the loss.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story.  It was actually really good for a while.  An RBI single in the first was the only hit he allowed through four.  He was cruising and looking sharp.  Then the fifth inning hit and it went downhill from there.  Dice-K allowed six of his seven runs in that inning alone.  At one point, he was one strike away from ending the inning but couldn’t close the deal.  Despite our three-run lead through four, I might add.  He also made a throwing error, just to make sure we got the point.

Wake came on in relief and was just as bad.  Five runs (four of them in the sixth) on five hits in two and a third innings.  No walks, one strikeout, and three dingers.  Three! Two to right field, one to left.  He threw thirty-three pitches, all but two of which were knuckleballs (the other two were curveballs).  See, I would’ve thought that his status as a knuckleballer would put him a cut above the rest in the bullpen.  He doesn’t have the versatility that normally characterizes a starting pitcher, but any opposing batter who goes from a regular starter to a knuckleball reliever is going to have a tough time.  Not so last night.  No efficiency, no command, and obviously no mix of pitches, which is in some degree necessary for a relief outing.

Both of their outings were made bad by a homer by Wigginton.

Delcarmen fired a perfect inning.  He’s done well so far this season.

The final score was 9-12, so we slugged and slugged big but it wasn’t enough.  Anyway, we have some good news there.  Big Papi homered twice.  Both were solo shots to right field.  The first in the second inning barely cleared the Orioles dugout and got us on the board.  The second in the eighth barely stayed in the park itself.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure whether it did stay in the park.  It was an enormously powerful Papi-esque swing that he uncorked on that ball.  Take heed, all those who’ve said that Papi is done.  That last swing was for you.

Van Every got in on the action with a homer in the third of a knee-high fastball down the middle; his first hit in a Boston uniform this season put us on top by one.  He started because Hermida has a sore left quad.  And he robbed Jones of a base hit with a spectacular diving catch in left center in the bottom of the inning.

In the fourth, two doubles, one by Drew and one by Beltre, produced two more runs.  In the seventh, V-Mart singled one in, and Youk homered with V-Mart on base.  It was quite the blast.  He hit that ball hard; it only took a few seconds to find the right field seats.  So we held our own; we traded home run on fastball for home run on fastball with the Orioles, but like I said, it wasn’t enough.  Although I’m happy to see that Papi’s still hitting ‘em out and Drew’s still hitting, period.  Scutaro also had a good night, going two for four with a double.

It’s back to a losing streak now.  We’ve dropped our last two and are now eleven and thirteen.  So much for vaulting over .500 anytime soon.  And by the way, half the Orioles’ wins have been at our expense.  Half of them.  That’s just pathetic.  It’s pathetic for them, which makes it even more pathetic for us.  We’re only a month into the season, but that’s more time than you think.  A sixth of the season is now over, and you never know which games will matter in the end, so we need to start clawing our way to the top of the standings now before we wake up one morning and see that it’s too late.  Beckett at Millwood tonight, and we need to see some redemption from him.

How about those Bruins? A sudden-death win to start the series right against the Flyers, 5-4! Next game tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

SI.com

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The final score was 7-6, so we continue to win, but barely.  But to get to that point, somebody did something right and somebody did something wrong in terms of pitching.

Lackey more or less cruised.  He tossed seven, gave up three runs on ten hits, walked three, and struck out four.  Two small-ball runs in the second and a long ball in the sixth and that was it.  He threw 111 pitches; I’m waiting for at least one of our starters to go seven with only one hundred, but I’ll take wins before I’ll worry about extra pitches.  He topped out at ninety-three miles per hour; his four-seam was fantastic.  His cutters and curveballs were his next most-used pitches, and he threw them well also.  He’s got one of the tightest release points I’ve ever seen.  Not only did he redeem himself from his previous outing, but he got the win and he’s in the clear.

So is Schoeneweis.  He gave up two hits while recording two outs.  Then in the ninth inning, Ramirez gave up two runs and earned a hold, while Paps gave up a run and got the save.  One of those was a long ball; the others were small ball.  Paps finally closed it out with a splitter.  So they’re the culprits.  Luckily, we held on.  But I don’t like where this is going.  It’s like we as a baseball team can’t win, figuratively speaking, because when the starters are on, the bullpen is off.  I don’t get it.  It’s frustrating.

Thankfully, the offense was also on.  Tek homered in the fifth to the deepest part of the park; that’s already his fourth of the year.  Then Hall walked, Hermida singled, Papi struck out, and Scutaro hit a three-run shot in the seventh, our first three-runner of 2010.  That was followed by a three-run shot by Youk in the same frame.  In short, all of our runs were scored via the long ball.  Not a bad way to go.

Pedroia went two for four with a double, which means that Tito should keep him in the No. 2 spot.  The minute Pedroia started batting third, his bat went quiet.  But in thirteen starts batting second, he’s hitting .358 with five dingers and thirteen RBIs.  There’s so much extra pressure that comes with batting third; I think Pedey should just stay where he’s comfortable.  Youk finished two for four, and those were the only multi-hit games.  Hermida stole second and made a fielding error.

Reddick was demoted; Van Every came up.  We got him back for a player to be named later.

For now, as long as music plays downstairs at Fenway, I’m happy.  Eventually, we’re going to have to start manufacturing runs and working the small ball as well.  Seventh innings packed with homers does not a long-term success make in baseball.  For now, it’s good though.  I actually think it’s better for us to win via the long ball at this stage because it gives the team confidence that they can hit big.  Manufactured runs will come in time, but you have to start hitting home runs early.  Wakefield attempts to build a new winning streak this afternoon.

we did it…

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We lost majorly, by a score of 9-2.  If all I knew about last night’s game was that final score, you would’ve been hard-pressed to convince me that Masterson was the starter.  Masterson is brilliant.  He’s masterful, as his name would imply.  He’s not someone who gives up six runs on eight hits in just over six innings.  Six strikeouts, sure, but add to that three walks and you’ve got yourself just another mediocre pitcher up from the minors.  But that’s not who Masterson is.  Masterson is better than that.  But in his last two starts he hasn’t shown it.  Last night was his first loss at Fenway Park, and trust me, it unfortunately was most definitely a loss.

And the relief corps didn’t help either.  Jones and Lopez combined to give up three runs on five hits with two walks and a K in 2.2 innings.  Those runs were exclusively procured by the use of the long ball.  So Masterson takes the loss and his record becomes two and two.  Great.  He was supposed to be sure-fire.  And against Carl Pavano! You don’t get much more sure-fire than that! But as is often the case in baseball, it is what it is, you win some and lose some and dress for all of them.  But that doesn’t mean it’s okay, and that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.

An RBI for Van Every, and Bay also scored.  Van Every went two for three, and Tek was perfect at the plate.  No home runs, no steals, no errors.  That’s it for the run spread.  Seriously.  I know; I can’t believe it either.

Dice-K has one more minor league start left in his rehab, and then he’s back.  I think he’ll be the better for that break in Pawtucket.  He’ll come back healthy, well-rested, and ready to go.  And he’ll be relieving Masterson in the rotation at what seems like just the right time.  Speaking of Pawtucket, Michael Bowden had a no-no going through 6.2 innings but then lost everything, the no-hitter, the shut-out, and even the decision.  Bowden threw ninety-three pitches, fifty-three of them strikes, and lowered his ERA to 1.01.  He walked four.  I say we have him replace Javy Lopez in the bullpen.

We need to play better.  That’s the only thing you can say after a loss like that.  And if we have to lose, we shouldn’t be losing by inordinate amounts of runs.  We need to play better.  We need to pitch better and hit better.  The fielding was good, so there’s nothing to complain about there from last night.  But we need to improve.  We’re a deep, solid, and dominating team and it’s time we act like it consistently.  We’re two games out of first now with Toronto ahead of us.  It’s time to finally overtake them in the standings and reach our rightful place in first.  Just sayin’.

And last but certainly not least, Jerry Remy.  Remdawg quit smoking just this year and had a small cancerous area removed from his lung in November but then developed an infection coupled with pneumonia right before he left for Spring Training.  He went down to Fort Myers anyway and it became worse.  He continued work in the booth and it became even worse.  So he’s been under the weather for the last few games and is now taking a leave of absence for an indefinite period so that he can fully recover.  On behalf of every citizen of Red Sox Nation, I’d like to wish Remdawg good luck and a speedy recovery.  We’re all rooting for you and we want you healthy and back in the booth as soon as possible.  And if anyone can beat this, we’re pretty sure you can.

In other news, the Bruins lost Game Three of Round Two to Carolina in sudden death overtime by a score of 3-2.  It was brutal.  We need to do better on the power play; last night we allowed our first power play goal in seven playoff games.  I will say that the whole series so far has been very well-played, but we clearly dominated that third period and most of the overtime.  And now the Hurricanes lead the series, 2-1.  But this was a bigger win for them than it was a loss for us.  We can come back from this.  Carolina wouldn’t have been able to come back from a loss.  So a win would’ve been very nice for us, but it wasn’t completely necessary.  Game Four is Friday at 7:30PM.  We got this one.

Boston Magazine

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