The Red Sox really flushed one down the loo last night, as they let a 4-0 lead go down the drain in Oakland, as the A's scored a run in the 10th and won, 5-4.
Tim Wakefield may very well have made his last Red Sox start (ever?) as he got rapped around for four in the third, which included a passed ball on the knuckler that allowed one run to score. He went six innings. Clay Buchholz returns today, and Josh Beckett's back on Friday, so Wakefield goes back to the pen. It now seems to me the Red Sox career record for wins, which Wake is now 14 away from, is beyond his reach. He now only appears to be good for two or three innings as a pitcher. He's just not a consistent starting pitcher anymore.
I would hate to see him struggling on just to try to reach that. He's been one of the classiest people ever to wear a Red Sox uniform, and I'm really hoping he decides to call it a career after this season. Wake turns 44 in a couple of weeks, so maybe it's finally time.
A lot more not to like about last night. The Red Sox left the bases loaded twice after the game was tied and came away with nothing. The A's bullpen went nearly six innings allowing the Sox nothing. The Sox outhit Oakland, 12-6, and left 12 men on base. I am also hoping the Red Sox will reassign Tim Bogar after this year, as he made another bonehead decision at third, sending in David Ortiz in the first inning on a double and he was thrown out. The more you talk about your third base coach, the more he doesn't belong there. The Sox sure miss DeMarlo Hale down there.
And of course, Balkin' Bob Davidson, the home plate ump, figured in the final run scoring in the 10th, as his odd balk call on Ramon Ramirez sent the winning run to second. The call got John Farrell tossed, and Kevin Kouzmanoff's single won it for Oakland. (Damn, how many times have we talked about umpire calls making a big difference in games this year, and not just Red Sox games? Too many it seems to me.)
New York and Tampa Bay both lost last night, so a golden opportunity to gain ground on both was lost last night. That's what hurts the most about last night's excruciating loss.
Jed Lowrie returns to the lineup today, along with Buchholz returning from that hamstring injury. Yep, the injured troops are returning. Hopefully they get their butts in high gear and take the series from the A's this afternoon.