Josh Beckett has pitched three good innings, but a terrible first is all that it's taken to leave the Sox down big in what is fast becoming a candidate for the worst game of the year.
What was expected to be an exceptional pitcher's duel has been one-sided from Beckett's very first pitch--a fastball grooved down the middle to Ichiro Suzuki, who put a good swing on it and sent a rocket out to right for the first run of the game. For the second straight night the first four Mariners would reach base, only this time, each and every one would round them, with Casper Wells providing the exclamation mark with his two-run shot that gave the Mariners a 5-0 lead. Given who's on the mound for Seattle, that's nearly game-ending.
The good news for Boston is that Beckett has settled down tremendously, and has only 67 pitches through the first four innings after taking 22 to get just his first out. The bad news is that, while their bullpen may not be taxed, they haven't had any chance to get back into things. Hernandez has allowed just two hits through the first four, and when it seemed like the Sox had finally broken through for a run when Jacoby Ellsbury bowled over Josh Bard at the plate on Dustin Pedroia's fly ball in the fourth, the call was reversed. Terry Francona was ejected, and the Sox are just looking dead in the water.