For the first time in six games, the Red Sox find themselves losers.
Simply put, the game was all about the pitching. Josh Beckett completely lacked control, and was punished for it early on, with the Tigers scoring two runs in the first on a walk and three straight one-out hits. While he would stop the damage there, he would never truly settle down, allowing four more walks as the night went on to reach a season-high five.
Justin Verlander, on the other hand, was Justin Verlander. The strikeouts weren't there as the Red Sox fought some very long at bats, fouling off strike after strike and building his pitch count to 132 over the 7.2 innings he pitched, but the few balls that were hit hard found gloves, and Joaquin Benoit snuffed out the Sox' last real threat in the eighth inning by getting Dustin Pedroia to fly out with runners at first and second.
These are just the games you have to swallow and move on. Aces will beat the Red Sox from time to time, loath as we might be to admit it.
Of course, as much as I tell myself that, somehow this loss doesn't feel the way it should. The Sox were 1.5 up, with a chance to go up by two. This I know. I also know that they're now up one game in the A.L. East--an extremely enviable position to ourselves not so very long ago. But somehow, it feels like they've...dug themselves even deeper into some sort of hole.
Aftereffects of an 0-6 and 2-10 start no doubt. But bothersome none-the-less. Hopefully they'll just take care of business tomorrow and we can all forget about this.