A 10-game road trip that started off with so much promise with two wins in Detroit ended with a crashing thud in Baltimore as the Red Sox, for the third straight game, blew a 3-0 lead and dropped the two-game series to the Orioles, 6-3. The Red Sox have now lost four straight and 5 of 6. And the problems are beginning to mount.
Lots to be concerned with right now. JD Drew and Julio Lugo are both hurt, and each maybe heading to the DL. Clay Buchholz was just placed there today because of a problem with his fingernail, and outfielder Jonathan Van Every was called up from Pawtucket.
The clutch hitting seems to have disappeared, as the Red Sox had tons of opportunities in both games in Baltimore to score runs (12 hits on just three runs today, and two were on solo homers) and failed time and again. Jon Lester wasn't bad at all, allowing two runs in six innings. But the bullpen is really hurting, as Hideki Okajima once again let inherited runners score, as he gave up a grand slam to Jay (I'll Act Like a Whining Asshole to Get Traded Off This Team) Payton, who took him deep on his second pitch of the game to slam the door shut and give the Orioles the win. Okajima's numbers may look on the surface impressive, but they mask the fact he is one of the worst relievers in the AL when coming into a situation with men on base.
(The play of the day, or maybe of this year, happened in the fourth when Manny Ramirez made a fabulous running catch in left field, actually high-fived a Red Sox fan after he hit the wall, and turned and doubled off Aubrey Huff at first to end the inning. At least today wasn't a total loss.)
I kiddingly said that when the Red Sox scored just one run in the first inning, "at least it wasn't three, as I bet they are sure to lose if they did." Well, today they waited until the sixth to get that 3-0 lead, and let it slip away yet again.