Swiftly Sinking Sox Surrender Suddenly
The Boston Red Sox are clearly not running on all cylinders offensively. Dustin Pedroia put it best after the 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays yesterday.....
"We've got to score more than three runs," said Pedroia, who scored on a David Ortiz double in the fifth for the 2-1 lead. "If we do a better job offensively, we don't have to worry about [the eighth]."
Truer words have never been uttered. The Sox held a 2-1 lead heading into the 8th inning, and Tito called on Gagne rather than Okie to be the bridge to the 9th and Papelbon salvation. The first two outs were routine, and hope blossomed. But then the roof fell in. Frank Thomas walked on 5 pitches, Aaron Hill singled on the first pitch, Matt Stairs also walked, Gregg Zaun walked (I sense a trend here) to score the tying run and Adams doubled on a 3-2 count. 2 runs scored and Zaun was thrown out at the plate. 4-2 bad guys. A Julio Lugo homer in the 9th made the final score 4-3, and coupled with the ever so hot Yankees' 12-0 victory over the helpless and happless Orioles, the AL East lead is down to two in the loss column with 10 to play.
Here's some more bad news, which seemingly comes in bunches this month of September. Manny tried to do some running in the outfield grass before the game and had to stop because of continuing pain near the oblique. He is NOT CLOSE TO RETURNING. And Kevin Youkilis, who along with Manny represents a good portion of the power in the Sox lineup, is still nursing a very swollen wrist. The ball, thrown by a Yankee, of course, hit near the tendon, which is a very sensitive area. He might be gone for up to a week. So the power drought may continue, and with it any chance of finishing in first place in the AL East. Time will tell, but the 2007 regular season grows short. The magic number still stands at 9. But Detroit lost yesterday, so THAT magic number, for the wild card slot, was reduced. The Sox WILL be in the playoffs, but they might limp in and stagger out. I hope not.
Click on the title of this post for more on last night's heartbreaker. One of too many lately. Enjoy your hump day, and wear your lucky shirt or lucky ANYTHING for Clay Buchholz's start tonight. We need a win in the worst way.