Well, you knew Jonathan Papelbon wouldn't complete this season without giving up an earned run or a blown save.
They both happened on Tuesday night at Fenway, as Papelbon gave up a two-run homer to rookie outfielder Travis Buck in the ninth (who had never played above Double-A ball before 2007), and the Oakland Athletics scored a run on back-to-back doubles to pull out a 5-4 win. It was a brutal loss for the Red Sox, who led 4-0 after three, but couldn't score again and let the A's back in the game.
Papelbon threw 35 pitches and clearly wasn't sharp at all. He got into further trouble after allowing Buck's homer, putting two runners on base, but managed to get out of it.
Curt Schilling pitched seven sharp innings, allowing just two earned runs, striking out seven and walking none. He allowed a home run to Johnson, but clearly deserved to win. Hideki Okajima pitched another lights-out eighth, and has now retired the last 36 of 41 hitters he's faced. He's been money in the bank. But Papelbon and Donnelly let it get away, and ironically both allowed their first earned runs of the season each.
These are the kind of losses that hurt. When you lose 7-0, it's a game you quickly forget and move on to the next game. This was in the Sox' back pockets but sneaked away.
Well, give the ball to Josh Beckett tomorrow night and hope he can get the Sox back on the winning track and get his sixth win of the 2007 season.