The Red Sox officially fell into second place in the AL East, as they could do little with Texas rookie pitcher Tommy Hunter, as the Rangers cruised into a 4-2 win in Texas.
The offense continues to be moribund, getting just two runs (including one with two outs in the ninth). Joy of Sox points out on his blog today that the Red Sox have now gone an astonishing 40 innings without putting up a crooked number on the board (just 0 or 1 in every inning in nearly five games). And this after getting four days off for the All-Star break.
It's a team-wide struggle, as only Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are batting over .300. The Sox fell behind 2-0 after the first with Josh Beckett on the mound. It almost seemed like 10-0 with the way too many of them just aren't hitting. Beckett wasn't bad, but wasn't great either, going all the way and allowing four earned runs and striking out seven.
Once again they made a rookie pitcher look like Sandy Koufax. Hunter pitched six innings, allowed just a run on four hits. The Red Sox had few opportunities to score runs. The best being in the sixth when they had two on and one out, but Jason Varitek struck out and Jed Lowrie popped up.
So now it's up to Clay Buchholz, the last Red Sox pitcher to win a game (I can't believe I just wrote that), to try to right the ship in the series and road trip finale in Texas.
The Orioles are rolling over for New York, losing 6-4 last night, putting New York in first place by one game.
Concerned? Sure. Panicked? no, not by a long shot. The knee-jerk reaction of most Red Sox fans is, "Trade for another bat!" But exactly who? And you know the price for any decent hitter is going to be extraordinarily high. Theo Epstein won't make any panic moves, but I bet he's looking for someone right now.
Keep in mind that there are 69 games still to play and 10 with New York. As usual the Yankee yahoos are out crowing that their club is in first place (they wouldn't be yahoos if they didn't). Whooptie-f'n-do! Too much baseball left to play.
The bats have to get rolling, no doubt about it. The good news is that one game is not insurmountable. Insurmountable would be more like being down 3-0 in the ALCS, a deficit no one could ever come back from.
Oh, wait a minute...