Tuesday, July 31, 2007


It was something we all remember from, oh, I don't know, anytime this season. That familiar sight of two maybe three guys in red batting helmets slowly walking off the field after an inning. The Sox did it again tonight leaving myriad runners on, including the tying runs in the ninth, as they fell to the Orioles at home, 5-2.

The Red Sox offense just never showed up tonight. Collectively the Sox had four hits on the night, and if you subtract David Ortiz, they were shut-out in the hits department until Coco Crisp's seeing eye single with one down in the ninth.

The Sox had two on and one out in the ninth down by two, but Julio Lugo continued his craptastic ways by grounding out, almost into a game ending double play. (Earlier Lugo had looked at a third strike with the bases loaded.) Now with two down, Dustin Pedroia swung at the first pitch and grounded it weakly back to the pitcher. Game over. Ortiz of the two homers and a single in four at-bats was left standing in the on-deck circle.

With Eric Gagne now in the fold and Curt Schilling returning to the team after his third successive successful rehab start, its become quite clear that this year's Red Sox team will be a pitching first, defense second, and hitting fourth team. Thats not to say the Sox can't hit, although they couldn't tonight, but as we've seen demonstrated over and over and over this season, this team can be shut out by good pitching. If the Sox pitcher doesn't have it that day, this is not an offense that can come from behind, or at least, not frequently. The '04 Red Sox this ain't.

Josh Beckett was adequate tonight, but nothing more. He gave up 5 runs in eight innings, walking two and striking out six. He allowed a lead off homer to O's second baseman Brian Roberts and the O's never relinquished the lead. The Sox bullpen held the O's scoreless in the ninth but the Red Sox just can't seem to come from behind this season.

AL East: New York and Toronto also won. Tampa lost. The Red Sox division lead is down to 7.0 games.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): The Red Sox play game two of three against Baltimore. The Red Sox website lists Julian Tavarez as the starter, though I'm slightly skeptical. We'll see. The Orioles are scheduled to send Steve Trachsel to the mound. Game time is 7:05pm EST.

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