Wednesday's 2-1, extra-inning Red Sox loss to Seattle was an incredibly frustrating thing to have to witness. David Ortiz continues to slump, Manny's not hitting either (they went a combined 0-for-10 today), and Daisuke Matsuzaka was simply brilliant over eight innings, allowing just one run on two hits, but the Red Sox couldn't do anything against some guy named Ryan Feierabend, who only had an ERA of 8.20 coming into the game.
And for the Love of Mike what the hell was Terry Francona thinking letting Julio Lugo, who's only been 0 for his last 30(and is now hitting .189, the lowest BA of any regular player in MLB), bat in the eighth inning with two on and two out and the game tied? I know what he'll tell the reporters after the game, words to this effect:
"If I pinch-hit either Eric Hinske or Alex Cora (the two best options off the bench and both left-handed hitters), Mike Hargrove would have brought in the left hander, so I thought I staying with Lugo would have been the better option."
Good God. The lefty in the pen was some rookie named Rowland-Jones (sounds like he should be playing cricket or something), and I'd rather take my chances with a veteran hitter against a raw rookie lefty than put up some guy who's stealing the Red Sox money right now and can't hit his hat size. Really bad decision on Francona's part. I really like him as a manager (he maybe the best Red Sox manager in my lifetime), but this wasn't one of his better moves. (And when Francona did pinch-hit Alex Cora for Lugo in the 11th, Lugo was actually miffed about it. Talk about a clueless tool.)
And Joel Pineiro continues to be a huge disappointment. As soon as I saw him warming up in the top of the 11th (Jonathan Papelbon was done after the 10th, after a great performance getting the Sox out of the 9th), I thought that the Sox better score at least two runs here, or this game would soon be over. They went down one-two-three in the eleventh.
And sure enough, Pineiro coughed it up, walking Ichiro Suzuki and giving up a game-winning double to Jose Lopez. Well, at least the Sox didn't commit to this bum beyond one year.
But they are stuck with Lugo for three more seasons. I am now convinced that this will go down as Theo Epstein's worst move as general manager (so far, that is). And it makes me angry every time I see the numbers Orlando Cabrera is putting up with the Angels (4 HRs, 44 RBI, .332 average) and it just makes me sick. (I love OC and wish him all the best though.) It is now apparent to me that not signing him was the worst move the Sox made after winning the World Series in 2004. He was asking for a similar deal that Lugo got, but the Sox passed and signed Edgar Renteria (and I wouldn't go there about that mess).
And as bad as signing Matt Clement was, at least he made the All-Star team in 2005.
I wish someone would chain Lugo to the bench for a while, and let Alex Cora have a go at SS for the forseeable future. But I bet Francona still has faith in Lugo, that he's ready to bust out any day now. He's probably the only one who feels that way.
Well, you wanted Lugo, Theo. You got him.
No do-overs on this one.