***666*** (6th Inning, 6 Runs, 6 Hits)...Angels 7 Red Sox 5
It all came apart suddenly and violently for Daisuke Matsuzaka in the LA Angels' sixth inning. Two mammoth swings, one by Casey Kotchman that resulted in a fly ball that landed in the rightfield bullpen for a home run over the oustretched glove of JD Drew, and one by Torii Hunter that resulted in a ball that flew as if it had wings and an engine (maybe two?) over everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, changed what once was a 2-1 Sox lead after 5 into a 7-3 Angel lead after 6. Though Boston valiently tried to come back, scoring single runs in the eighth and the ninth, it was too little too late for the home club. What happened? Daisuke was cruising right along through the first five, and then in what seemed like an instant, everything changed and the crowd quieted somberly. Here's what catcher Jason Varitek had to say...
“I think it was a combination that we made some selection errors and also made some mistake pitches,” catcher Jason Varitek said. “It was a combination of both.”
Masterson, Hansen and Lopez followed Matsuzaka, and for those four innings the Halos scored once. But they have a very tough team...some say they're the cream of the American League crop. They have an incredible record of 40-18 against teams with over a .500 record, at home AND on the road. Here's what Tito said about them after his team's fourth loss in the last six games...
“They might be the class of the American League right now,” Sox manager Terry Francona said of the Angels. “They have tremendous starting pitching, a very good bullpen, a lot of speed, they catch the ball very well . . . I could name a lot of things. There’s a reason why they have as many wins as they do.”
The AL East standings stayed exactly the same because the (Devil) Rays and the Yankees lost...in the Yankees' loss, Moose Mussina was hit and battered to a pulp by the Baltimore Orioles, so if the Sox HAD to lose, I guess the timing was OK. But that's just one way of looking at it. The other way is to say that the Sox could have gained a game on the teams closest to them in the standings with a win. But what's done is done and the page has been turned. Sometimes that's the only thing a fan can do.
Tonight at Fenway, the always tough John Lackey goes against the still to find his "groove" Clay Buchholz. If there ever was a time for a rookie starter to have a breakthrough start, that time begins tonight at 7:05pm EDT in Boston. Here is the Red Sox pitching line from last night, and remember, if you want to read more about Monday night at the Fens, simply click on the title of this post. And before I forget to mention this, Bartolo Colon is feeling good and will make a rehab start in the next week or so. Too many starting pitchers? There is no such thing, and the Sox are taking no chances while doing the right thing. And that's good. I thank you once again for stopping in, and let's hope, against all the odds (and they are huge), Clay can defeat Lackey and his teammates tonight in what will be a beautiful evening in Boston. Here are those pitching lines as I say this...have a great Tuesday! As always, BE WELL. Forever.
IP H R ER BB K HR Season ERA
D. Matsuzaka (L, 11-2) 5.0 7 6 6 2 3 2 3.04
J. Masterson 2.0 2 1 1 0 1 0 3.68
C. Hansen 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.70
J. Lopez 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2.66