The Sox had the game under control and it looked like another win until the bottom of the 8th. The bullpen, which had been so good lately, was sure to hold the Royals and give us the win. Unfortunately it was the pen that fell apart and resulted in the loss last night. Barnes started the inning and quickly walked the first 2 batters since he couldn’t seem to find the strike zone. Then Scott came in and we are still thinking all will be fine as he will get the job done. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the strike zone either and promptly walked the next batter and then gave up a grand slam homer that turned a 4-2 victory into a 6-4 loss. We have not seen the pen perform so poorly even once this season before last night, so we can only hope they are not setting a precedent for future games. If they have, we are in big trouble as they have been a big reason for any success we have had this year. If they are going to pitch like that now, the season is over.
I don’t think it is time to panic. I think the performance by Barnes and Scott is just an aberration and they will get back to business in the future. Still, we ended up loosing the series when, if all had goon as usual, we would have won. The Yankees won last night, so our stint in first place was for only one day. I didn’t really expect the Yankees to lose 8 straight, so it was important that we win. It was not to be so. Who knows when we will get the chance to be no. 1 again. It may come right away or not for a long time. We will have to see.
Porcello is on the mound tomorrow night so we are probably in for a rough game. It would be great to see him finally get it together and pitch a good game. It’s not that he isn’t capable, he just hasn’t had what it takes to win this season. We can hope that tomorrow night will be different, but we can’t really expect it. We will probably have to score a lot of runs to make up for a less than quality start. I hope the pen can bounce back and give us what they have been giving us all season. Offense and the pen are the two factors that will determine the outcome of the next one, unless Porcello completely blows up and gives up 6 or 7 runs. We might have to overcome that, so the offense needs to click. We will see what happens.
Petey should be back for the next one. He will be sore and probably not at 100%, but he may lead the team into a better performance at any rate. We need his veteran presence on the field and nobody plays a better second base. He can hit too and sometimes comes through with the clutch hit when needed. If we could just fill the void at third base, we would be in pretty good shape. Actually, I like Marerro at 3rd as he does great defensively. What I would like to see is him hit his stride offensively, but I guess that isn’t going to happen this season. He needs some more time in the minors to polish that aspect of his game, if he ever can. We are fine with him at third, though for now. I prefer him to Rutledge as the later hasn’t done much offensively either.
Well, let’s see how we do against the Angels going forward. If we can win or sweep the series with them, we will be doing okay. Too bad we didn’t get to 10 over .500 with a win last night, but I am sure we will have other chances. We just need to keep playing good baseball and the pieces will fall into place. Can we say division championship for the second year running! I think I can hear that result already. Let’s just keep plugging away. Anyway, Go Sox!