Okay, what the hell? Why is it that every time the Red Sox lose a game it’s because they shot themselves in the foot? Wednesday's game makes it 5 out of their last 6 losses that the Sox have had a lead and failed to hold onto it. I guess if you look at it in the sense that they are jumping out to leads most of the time, this may be a good thing. On the other hand, if it weren’t for their recent inability to protect a lead and secure a win they could be 5 games up on Toronto right now. This team has definitely gotten better over the past month, but it’s games like these ones that we’ll look at in late September and say, “Wow, I wish we could have that one back.” This one game in August is not going to make or break the season, but in a division like the AL East you can’t afford to be throwing away wins.
It all started with a home run by our beloved 40 year old Designated Hitter David Ortiz. This gave Big Papi 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s on the season, marking the 10th time Ortiz has reached the 100 RBI plateau. Papi has now passed Ted Williams for the most 100 RBI seasons in Red Sox history, and has also become the oldest player in MLB history to his 30 home runs. It is amazing what Ortiz has been able to do this year in his final season. Ortiz can’t ask for anything more from his teammates than to help him get to the postseason one last time. We all know October is when Papi’s at his best. As far as Wednesday’s game, David’s homer put the Sox up 2-0 in the first inning, leading Red Sox to believe they were in a good position to get the win.
Rick Porcello didn’t have a terrible outing, but it was not as ace-like as we’ve come to expect from him. Rick went 7 ⅔ innings and allowed 3 earned runs on 9 hits while striking out 8. Everyone needs to acknowledge the fact that this is a very good start. This would be a great day for most pitchers, and the fact that this kind of outing from Porcello seems underwhelming speaks to how spoiled we’ve become. I don’t appreciate that he shook off an outside fastball called by Sandy Leon and instead decided to hang a curveball to Longoria. However, nobody’s perfect and it's hard to hold this one mistake against him when it is in no way his fault that we lost.
Two things about this game really got to me. First of all, Andrew Benintendi left the game with a left knee sprain. If Benintendi is not okay, the Red Sox are not okay. He has provided a huge spark from the bottom of the lineup and helped cover up the lack of dependable left field options in the Red Sox organization. Hopefully his 22 year old body will recover quickly and we’ll see him back out there in the next of couple days. If he is forced to miss an extended period of time, the Red Sox will have to figure out what they’re going to do about left field for the time being. I swear that if Bryce Brentz gets the call I’m going to lose my mind. Second of all, Heath Hembree messed up. Twice. In the same play. First off, he completely botched the flip from Travis Shaw at first base. This is why you don’t go through the motions in spring training. It’s going to come up in games and it needs to be executed to perfection. He then proceeded to bounce a throw to home that Sandy Leon couldn’t corral, and that was it. Game over. Red Sox lose. Even if it doesn’t all boil down to just that play, it was the difference between a chance at a win and a loss. More importantly it is the difference between being tied with the Blue Jays or possibly being one game up on the Blue Jays.
The Sox have one more chance to get a win before going back home for a series with Kansas City. Drew Pomeranz will look to continue his recent stretch of success after racking up his first 2 wins as a Red Sox player. If they’re going to lose, I would prefer they just lose from the beginning. Please stop getting my hopes up and they letting me down. I’m just going to have to trust Pomeranz to keep the Sox in position to win. Even if he doesn’t, it’d be nice if he’d let me know early like Henry Owens did.