These are the kind of games that drive me crazy. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches another good game, allows just a B.J. Upton home run in the sixth, one of just two hits he allowed. But the offense wastes tons of opportunities to score runs against a 3-12 pitcher (Edwin Jackson), and the league's worst pitching staff and bullpen.
The Red Sox left an astounding 14 men on base in a thoroughly revolting 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay last night. They were an anemic 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. The offense again stopped hitting in the clutch. This is what continues to worry me about this team. The pitching continues to be very good. There have been small bumps here and there, but you can generally count on the starters to come through almost every night.
But dropping games at the stage of the season, and in the manner the Red Sox lost last night is just unacceptable. The lead was cut back to 5 again as the Yankees won in Anaheim.
I just don't know what the offense has against Dice-K. In 12 of his last 16 starts, they have scored two or fewer runs for him. They've scored a grand total of 29 runs for him in his last 11 starts (and the Texas Rangers would have bested that with just last night's opening game). His record is now at 13-10, but it should be better than that. With a little more luck, he could easily have 17 right now. And what's going on with him and Tampa Bay? The Red Sox are 9-3 against them this season, about where you'd expect them to be in the season series at least. But all three losses have been hung on Dice-K, and two them were good efforts by him, only to have the offense not produce when it counted. And he's the only pitcher that Tampa Bay has beaten three times this season. Ugh.
As terribly embarrassing as the Baltimore Orioles 30-3 loss in the first game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers was yesterday, dropping a game to the worst team in baseball where one hit would have turned the game the other way hurts worse. You don't look back at extreme blowouts for very long. You just turn the page and come out slugging the next day.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda. You don't want to look back on games like last night in October and utter those three previous words.