So, the Sox lost a disappointing one last night. Once again they couldn’t hit the ball at all. They managed only 5 hits but were given the gift of bases loaded on 3 walks nobody out in the bottom of the 9th and couldn’t get the runner across home plate. Wright pitched another outstanding game, giving up only 1 unearned run on a past ball, with 5 hits and 6 strikeouts. He deserved to get the win, but the offense could not come through and seems deeply mired still in a slump. To basically be given the game in the bottom of the 9th and not take it speaks volumes about how bad the offense is struggling at this point. The Sox should have won this game, without question. We can only hope they will get out of their offensive slump soon. The final was 3-1 in 10 innings.
I question how the game was managed in the 9th. First of all, why not give Shaw the chance to drive in the winning run. Why pinch hit for him when he is a better hitter than Vazquez? I guess Farrell was going with the hot hitter as Vazquez has been hitting the ball better than Shaw lately. Okay, I guess I can understand wanting to go with Vazquez if Pedroia didn’t get the job done. Still, after the 1st two batters were unsuccessful, why go with an unproven batter just called up from the minors instead of Sandy Leon. who has also been hot lately also. I can understand saving him so someone is on the bench, but isn’t the objective to win the game. LaMarre was totally over matched and stood no chance of getting the needed base hit at that point.
Another thing I would have liked to have seen was a suicide play on the high chopper that Vazquez hit to try and get the run in. If Vazquez was going to try and get the runner in with a high chopper, which he appeared to do intentionally, why not send Ramirez with the pitch so he stands a better chance of beating the throw. If he had been off with the pitch he might have got in safely. Worst case scenario is that he is out at the plate, which he was anyway. I really think he should have been off with the pitch. If nothing else, it would have been an exciting way to try to get the run in.
I can’t understand why Kimbrel has such a tough time pitching in non-save situations, as I am sure Farrell can’t either. He is lights out in a save situation. Nobody can hit him. But we have seem him give up runs and not pitch effectively several times in non-save situations. He needs to adjust his thinking some how and get a handle on things. We sometimes need him in non-save situations and he needs to be able to perform. Not that we really needed him last night. Tazawa could have gotten the job done better perhaps, given Kimbrel’s problems. We lost last night from several points that could have been managed differently. I’m not saying Farrell is a bad manager, but I would have tried the different things I mentioned at least. Still, if we had won we would all be praising him now.
Thankfully, nothing changed at all in the division standings as all 5 teams lost last night. We will just have to put off for another day our move back into 1st place. The loss doesn’t hurt us too bad, but I wish the offense could get back to early season prowess. If it’s not one thing it’s another this month. When the offense does well, the pitching stinks and when the pitching is great, the offense stinks. We need to get on the same page and do things together.,not one or the other in a continuous struggle to win games. We will get it together, I think, before too long. I can feel it coming. I think we are going to do well before this season is out. Let’s keep plugging away. Go Sox!