I was doing the Trivia at Josie Wood's pub on Wednesday night when I saw that horrible meltdown by Daniel Bard in the 8th inning that cost Tim Wakefield yet another shot at winning number 200.
Bard allowed five runs on just one hit (when was the last time you saw that scoreline?) as he walked in two runs and left with the game tied at 8. And then Terry Francona had the brilliant idea of bringing in Matt Albers, who has been a punching bag since the beginning of August, to face Edwin Encarnacion with the bases loaded. And he promptly cleared the bases with a double to make it a 11-8 game.
Where was Jonathan Papelbon, who has been virtually unhittable the last few months, in this mess of an eighth inning? Not one of Francona's better managed games on Wednesday night, that's for sure.
The Sox came back with two in the ninth, but Mike Aviles was thrown out stealing to end the game.
Wakefield did not pitch well, as he allowed 4 earned runs in 5 innings. But he left with an 8-5 lead. Wake also tied a dubious record last night, as he became just the second pitcher in history to go 7 straight starts in-between his 199th and 200th win and not get it. (Steve Carlton is the other.) Will he EVER get number 200?
An absolutely awful loss, as a golden opportunity to gain ground disappeared. New York lost to Baltimore, so the Red Sox remain 2 1/2 games back.