Botched: Red Sox Fail Spectacularly, Fall To Royals In Fourteen

BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Marco Scutaro #10 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after he was out at second base to end the 12th inning against the Kansas City Royals on July 26, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

On some nights, a loss can simply be absorbed and left behind as something easily forgotten.

Other nights, it takes three hours of anger, self-pity, and the help of a certain sort of beverage before one can even bring themselves to sit down and talk about it.

And even now, I know this one is going to be tough.

The Red Sox entered Monday night's game with every opportunity to leave with a win. Jon Lester was on the mound for the Sox, Kyle Davies for the Royals. Boston had a lineup featuring some of the biggest bats in the game, while the Royals had Alex Gordon, Melky Cabrera, and Billy Butler.

And yet...

Jon Lester came out on fire, striking out five batters over his first three innings--really, pretty commendable stuff given his fresh start off the DL. He ended up running into trouble in the fifth, giving up a pair of hits and a walk to allow the Royals' first run while only recording an out due to some bad baserunning. But a man who spent twenty days on the DL must be given some leeway once the pitch count starts approaching triple digits.

In the end, that was the only run that the Sox would allow in regulation, which should be enough, except for the fact that the Red Sox had only scored once themselves on a double from Josh Reddick in the second inning which knocked home Carl Crawford.

Against Kyle Davies.

Of the 7.32 ERA--or at least it was, entering the game.

Now, credit to him, he pitched a pretty good game. He'd leave after six with six strikeouts, one walk, and just the lone earned run. Maybe credit Ned Yost or Brayan Pena, too, because often enough the Royals seemed to know exactly what to throw to exploit the Sox' greatest weaknesses. But "credit" to the Sox as well, because simply put this is a pitcher they have to hit. and they didn't.

The first eight innings of the game were bad enough, but what transpired was truly the stuff of legends. Pathetic, pathetic legends.

I'll turn to our game thread and user TheGreatMon to recap the opportunities the Sox had:

Let's review RISP we had that could have won the game at any time:
9th inning: Navarro on third, 1 out
11th inning: Gonzalez on second, 2 out
12th inning: Reddick on third, 1 out
13th inning: Ellsbury on third, 1 out
14th inning: Reddick on second, 1 out

And I will tell you what you must already know when I say not a one of those batters scored.

Part of the problem was that Kevin Youkilis was pulled from the game before the eighth, having hurt his hamstring trying to leg out a ground ball a few innings earlier for Yamaico Navarro. Another part of the problem was Carl Crawford, who proved to be completely lacking in the clutch department after delivering throughout May. And then there was Yamaico Navarro's pop-out when all he needed was a deep fly ball.

But really, Marco Scutaro steals the show with his twelfth inning disaster. Josh Reddick had reached base to start the inning, and then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt that got well away from the Royals. With one out, and the defense showing some serious difficulties, Terry Francona called for the suicide squeeze. Josh Reddick picked up the signal, and broke for home as the pitcher delivered...and found himself completely dead between third and home.

The signal hadn't made its way to Scutaro, apparently, who later told reporters he could only think that he "[expletived] it up"

Yes, Scoot, you certainly did.

Randy Williams came in, couldn't get two scoreless innings, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Or would be, if I could just stop thinking about it.

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