May 5, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Aaron Cook (35) walks off the field after being pulled from the game against the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
The Red Sox were blown out in Fenway Park Saturday, but oh how different it could have been.
Aaron Cook's Red Sox debut was derailed in the second inning by a nasty collision at home plate on a run-scoring passed ball (thanks, Salty) which left his knee mangled by Chris Davis' spikes, and everything was downhill from there. Showing impressive resilience (if nothing else), Cook returned to the mound to end the inning with just the one run allowed, but clearly didn't have it in the third. Unable to keep the ball low in the zone--a requirement for a sinkerballer--Cook had the Orioles explode on him for six more earned runs, and a final tally against Clayton Mortensen who entered to mercifully end the injured Cook's day.
What makes it all the more depressing it that, aside from Cook's meltdown, the Red Sox' pitching did quite well. Mortensen allowed the homer, yes, but from there he was exceptional, striking out five batters as he recorded ten outs for the Sox. Scott Atchison was impressive as well, allowing just a walk in three scoreless innings of his own.
So, yeah, with two runs coming across in the seventh, it's possible this game could have been won were it not for Cook's injury. But why should the Sox expect anything to go their way these days? Frankly, it's amazing that we didn't expect Cook to go down in graphic and explosive fashion.
Clay Buchholz goes tomorrow. All we can do is hope.