Red Sox 1, Athletics 6: Offense Sadly Absent, Daisuke Sadly Not

Just stop it, Daisuke Matsuzaka. We're already dead. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The Boston offense was last seen on June 29, when it produced four homers in a two-inning burst. Since then? Next to nothing.

The most recent starter to hold the Red Sox lineup down was Jarrod Parker, and to his credit that's been his modus operandi: either a disaster start, or a lockdown performance. Still, when watching it for nine innings, it's cold comfort to know one's team is not the only scalp Parker has taken.

Boston did get a run early, thanks to Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia putting together a pair of leadoff hits, but after that there was nothing. Some wasted opportunities here-and-there, with the most obvious example coming in the seventh, when the Sox stranded a pair of leadoff baserunners with a ground ball and two strikeouts. But on the whole just one more pathetic offensive performance in a West Coast trip that has seen some 10 runs scored in 48 innings of baseball.

The bright spot of the night was the bullpen, but unfortunately Clayton Mortensen and Mark Melancon were only given the opportunity to be bright spots thanks to Daisuke Matsuzaka's terrible night. Any good will garnered from his last outing is gone and then some, as Matsuzaka coughed up a homer in the first and then let five straight batters reach base to start the second, including a Brandon Moss three-run shot on one of those pitches that makes you wonder if Matsuzaka confused the game for batting practice. All-in-all Matsuzaka recorded three outs and gave up five runs--all earned--on four hits, two walks, and two homers.

For a pitcher who had only just started to find a foothold in what's becoming a crowded rotation, it's possibly a fatal misstep.

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