Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Monday, May 05, 2014

A Series Win That Felt Like a Series Loss


One of the hottest teams in baseball came into Fenway Park this past weekend and played the Red Sox, namely the Oakland A's. And the Sox took the series, winning two of three. That should make everyone happy, right?

A mind-numbing 3-2 loss in 10 innings yesterday put a damper on the whole weekend.

Dustin Pedroia belted a grand slam in game Friday put it on ice, and Jonny Gomes hit a first inning slam to get the Sox rolling on Saturday, and Jon Lester pitched arguably the best game of his career, going eight innings, striking out 15 and allowing just one hit.

A win on Sunday would have gotten the Sox a sweep, and back to .500, in their 8th attempt of the season to reach that mark.

But the thing that has haunted this team all year so far came back to bite them yet again, and cost them another victory: lack of production with runners in scoring position.

John Lackey was terrific, going six innings, allowing just two runs. But once again, they had golden opportunities to put runs on the board, and couldn't do it:

5th inning: bases loaded, one out. Jackie Bradley bangs into a DP. Nothing.
7th inning: second and third, no outs. End up with nothing.
10th inning: man on second, no outs. A's first baseman makes a great play on a grounder, runner out at third (pictured above). DP ends game.

Oakland wins on a roller up the third base line with the bases loaded. The Red Sox finish another awful loss going 1-for-7 with RISP. Dreadful.Last year, they seemed always to find a way to win. So far in 2014, that seems to have eluded them.

They are also making too many errors and hitting into way too many double plays at key moments.

I took a look back at the first 17 losses of the season, and 8 of the 17 were close games where a single clutch hit could have made all the difference.

The Sox are fortunate right now that no one has taken control of the AL East. They remain just two back, tied for third.

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