So It’s Come to This- The Red Sox Lose the Game and the Wild Card Lead

 

Jed Lowrie came to the plate in the ninth as the tying run. He took three swings and missed three times and with that, Boston red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays became tied for the American League Wild Card. Two regular season games remain. The Red Sox no longer control their own destiny. In the cruelest possible trick of fate, Sox fans must hope that the hated Yankees, playing a team of reserves, can help them reach the playoff.

Whatever fire the Red Sox brought to this game, it burnt out quick. The Sox took an early lead in the second when Marco Scutaro scored on a throwing bound for nowhere from Orioles left fielder Matt Angle. It didn’t last long. Beckett allowed a home run to Matt Wieters in the bottom half of the inning. Leading off the fourth, Jed Lowrie hit a home run to retake the lead. The Sox got just one more run, in the ninth care of Orioles pitcher Jim Johnson plunking Jacoby Ellsbury, balking then giving up a single to Dustin Pedroia. Another night of offensive futility gets added to the books.

To that point Beckett was looking pretty sharp, even in spite of the home run. He had allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out three. He lost the lead in the fifth, when an infield hit to Adam Jones and a tough walk to Mark Reynolds set up an RBI single for Chris Davis. Facing a base-loaded one out jam, he managed to dig deep and get a pop out and another K to end the threat. He would not be so fortunate in the sixth.  Once again, a hit this one to Vlad Guerrero, and another Mark Reynolds walk lead to another Chris Davis RBI single. Beckett should have gotten out the inning. The Red Sox should only trailed by a single run, but that isn’t the way things happen in September of 2011. Going back on a long fly ball, Ellsbury had the ball in his glove as hit the wall, but could hang on. Saltalamacchia couldn’t catch the relay throw and Robert Andino managed a three run inside-the-park home run. Fortunately, Ellsbury was not injured.

The Boston offense left twelve men on base in the game. They failed to score more than three runs against an Orioles team that allows almost six runs a game on average. The frustration that comes with lousy play and bad breaks and the growing fear of colossal failure is apparent. To further add to the suffering, in the eighth inning, Jarrod Saltalamacchia was injured after being hit with a foul tip. There is no word yet on the nature of the injury, but the catcher was obviously in serious pain as he left the field. 

All in all, it was another night where nothing at all went right for the Boston Red Sox. There are just two more games in the regular season and Boston now needs to win them both. Yes, this is what it has come to.

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