One bad inning. One bad inning by Jon Lester undid an otherwise brilliant outing, and also ended up costing the Red Sox the game. The game was the pitchers duel everyone expected between David Price and Lester. The game started out with both pitchers taking control and keeping the game scoreless through two and a half innings. In the bottom of the 3rd, Darnell McDonald led the inning off by smacking a hanging curve into the Sports Authority sign overhanging the Monster Seats. Just like that, the Red Sox were up by a run. After a scoreless fourth inning, Jon Lester took the mound having thrown 4 shutout innings with 8 strikeouts. However, he had been doing some hard work to log those numbers, and was already up to 69 pitches. After a quick first out, Lester then gave up three straight singles to load the bases. The Chosen One, better known as Sam Fuld, was then able to hit a knubber to first and Gonzalez couldn't get a grip on the ball and the throw home was late. With runners on second and third, Johnny Damon was able to hit a 2-RBI single to give the Rays a 3-2 lead. Lester got out of the inning and needed the offense to get something going off of David Price. The Red Sox lineup, which didn't feature Ortiz, Drew or Ellsbury because of the lefty on the mound, couldn't oblige. It looked good when Pedroia's double to lead off the sixth was rewarded by being knocked in by a double by Jed Lowrie. Lowrie was stranded, and the Red Sox couldn't produce anymore. The Red Sox got two good innings out of Bard and Jenks, but they couldn't touch Rays pitching. They were shut down the rest of the game, and fell to 0-8 against teams who don't reside in New York City.
News and Notes
- The big bats on the bench could not come through in the bottom of the 9th. The Rays brought Kyle Farnsworth, a righty, in to close the game, and the Red Sox had three hopefully reliable left handed bats on the bench. Ellsbury came in and struck out in a horrible at bat to lead off the inning. Coming up next was JD Drew. We all know how I feel about him, and he did not disappoint my thoughts. After working the count to 3-0, which is his delight because he doesn't have to swing, Farnsworth worked back to make a full count. Drew then took a check swing on a pitch that was clearly a strike and went back to the dugout with a backwards K. What a shocker. Finally, David Ortiz came in and gave us all a split second of hope. He hit a ball hard to deep right field, but it died and was caught safely away from the wall. Bottom line is, the Red Sox need to get some production out of that threesome in that situation. They were held out of the game because of the lefty on the mound, so when they are called upon with a righty, at least one of them has to do something. They are here especially to hit righties, and they shouldn't all fail at once.
- Crawford could not produce out of the leadoff spot again. He got on base one time, when he got hit by a pitch in the 1st inning. He was off base as soon as he was on. He started towards second on Price's pickoff move and was caught in a rundown. Crawford needs to improve if the Red Sox want to score early. They need their leadoff hitter to get on base and cause havoc on the base paths.