Rangers 4, Red Sox 0
The Red Sox fell to the Rangers 0-4 Monday night, picking up only four hits as a dominant C.J. Wilson shut them down for 6.2 innings.
The Red Sox gave up the first run of the game in controversial fashion, when a clean catch in right field in the third was ruled a trap by first base umpire Doug Eddings. Instead of having two outs and a man on first (or an inning-ending double play), the Sox were stuck with a runner in scoring position and one out. One single later, and the Rangers were on top.
The big blow, however, came in the sixth. With two men on, two outs, and two strikes on Mike Napoli, Bedard left a two-seam fastball up in the zone. Napoli took it out of the park, and for all intents and purposes, put the game on ice. It ruined what had been a strong game from Bedard, and completely took away any wind that may have been left in Boston's sails.
Meanwhile, C.J. Wilson was as good as he's ever been against Boston, inducing tons of weak contact and groundouts all night long. The depleted Boston offense could only mount a couple of half-hearted rallies against Wilson and the Texas bullpen, ultimately going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position to seal their fate.
To say this is a disappointing loss would be an understatement. The Rangers are, after all, a possible playoff opponent, and so far the Sox haven't proven capable of beating them even once. What's more, after three games of solid offensive production, the lineup went right back in the hole Tuesday night.
Three For The Road
The Misfortune Of Erik Bedard
It seems like Erik Bedard just can't catch a break--if it's not one thing, it's another. The baserunner who scored the first run of the game came from a walk that was not a walk at all, with the final pitch being a clear strike three. But with a small zone reminiscent of his second start, he did not get the call, leading to the "trapped" ball in right and the first run of the game. If you look deep enough into it, you can even blame the home run on this sequence of events, since Bedard was forced to throw so many extra pitches, tiring late. When these sorts of things keep going on around Bedard, it's no wonder he's losing games even with his rather impressive performances.
Morales Up, Albers Down
It was another tough outing for Matt Albers tonight. Though the former Oriole didn't allow any runs, he did give up a pair of two-out walks to load the bases before escaping the frame. Meanwhile, Franklin Morales came in and struck out two batters in a clean inning of work. I wouldn't necessarily be looking forward to seeing more of Morales, but that might be just what we get given the two players' recent results.
Lavarnway Stays Patient
There were no more hits tonight for Ryan Lavarnway, but the exciting young rookie picked up a pair of walks to do his part in a game where baserunners were a scarce commodity indeed. Patience might be a much-needed virtue for Lavarnway soon, too, as David Ortiz draws closer to returning and taking his spot as the designated hitter back.
Red Sox MVP -- Erik Bedard
Four earned runs in six innings isn't pretty, but the offense was pretty terrible, and if there's any player on the team who needs some love right now, it's Bedard. His offense never scores for him, the defense doesn't back him up in the field, the umpires are constantly taking strikes away from him, and when they're not doing that they're messing up calls in the outfield. Bedard seems to do nothing but perform well, and receive no results from it to hang his hat on.
Up Next: John Lackey vs. Colby Lewis, 8:05 p.m. EST
John Lackey has slowly become...reliable. Not the sort of reliable that you want to start in the first game of the playoffs, but the sort that makes games winnable. If the offense can support him any, then he might stand a good chance--especially with the possibility that David Ortiz and/or Jacoby Ellsbury will return to action. With Colby Lewis struggling mightily against lefties, it would be a big bonus to the Sox.