We went for the sweep, but Gavin Floyd said no. Emphatically. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
All good things must come to an end, but today's loss was a bit more deflating than the average winning streak snapper.
It could have been because Josh Beckett had a bad outing had he not turned it around after an Adam Dunn homer cost him a three-run first. Thankfully, however, Beckett was fantastic after that, piling up eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings with no more than those first three runs. Of course, he did end up throwing 126 pitches since Bobby Valentine was intent on pulling one of his Grady Little stunts, but Scott Atchison managed to save him from any further damage in the seventh with a very quick third out.
Maybe it was the offense's ineptitude, but frankly that's just the sort of thing Gavin Floyd has done against the Sox throughout the years, and with a wide outside corner (no complaints--it was there for both pitchers consistently), remarkable command, and a very strong curveball, it's no surprise he was capable of doing it again. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other man, and Floyd deserves it today, holding the Sox without a baserunner for five, and without a hit for six before Dustin Pedroia finally broke things up.
No, today it's about a few things. To a lesser extent, it's about Rich Hill showing some rust and combining with Junichi Tazawa for a run in the eighth. That's two parts of the pen we've been putting some hopes on not showing at their best.
More than that, however, there's the record. .500 is an important mark psychologically, perhaps just for the fans but I expect for the players as well. Having finally gotten back to that mark after 20 games, the Sox instantly fall back below, and now they have to win tomorrow to leave April on even footing. And that's with the shell of Clay Buchholz on a mound. There's always hoping for a rebound, but it's getting hard to see Buchholz coming through these days.
Oh well, tomorrow's another day, and hopefully he can prove me wrong.