Even the one guy who actually swung the bat well looks dismayed. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
The 2012 Red Sox are nothing if not predictable.
Long losing streak, followed by four-game winning streak, followed by a loss to the Tigers. Up next, one of the worst teams in the game, notoriously generous when it comes to runs. A young pitcher gets the start, one with almost as many walks as strikeouts, while the Sox send to the mound the man who entered the season as the presumed ace.
Who wins this game? Any other team around .500 would feel pretty good about taking this one. The 2012 Red Sox? That's not how they work. If they go on a winning streak, they've got to match it with a losing one, preferably in pretty embarassing circumstances.
Of course, Jon Lester has not been even close to an ace for a while now. In what seems to be something of a lost season, Lester has been knocked around the park on numerous occasions. Tonight was not one of those nights. In fact, the southpaw was pretty impressive on the mound, he just had some stuff go against him. Two runs came across on a pair of ground balls and a flair over Pedro Ciriaco's head in the third, with the only really legitimate run off him coming on back-to-back doubles in the sixth.
The issue is that even if Lester had limited the Twins to just the one run, it still wouldn't have been enough, because the Sox let another young pitcher off the hook. Sure enough, Deduno walked his four batters in six innings, and only struck out the one, but all the Sox seemed to manage was weak ground balls, with Adrian Gonzalez having the only hits on the night in a 2-for-3 performance with a walk.
On some level, though, the Sox still suffered from some misfortune on the offensive side of things as well. All but one of their six baserunners came with two outs, after all, and had it not been for that they may have been able to manufacture one or two.
Still, "manufacturing" shouldn't even come into the conversation with a team like this against a young pitcher. But here we are, with the Sox victims of another shutout, showing that it sure couldn't have hurt.