September 2, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (18) and manager Bobby Valentine (25) walk to the dugout after a pitching change during the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
The Red Sox put up their best fight of the series, but still could not even come close to posing a challenge to the Athletics, falling in their sixth straight game, leaving them the victims of two straight sweeps on the West Coast.
Daisuke Matsuzaka quickly found himself reverting to the old Daisuke after a good start against Kansas City. Two awful fastballs in the exact same place (letter high, over the middle, slightly towards the outside half) resulted in two homers in the first two innings, good for three runs. That extra runner was, of course, on with a walk.
The Athletics would nickle and dime Daisuke to double their score before Andrew Miller came into the sixth. Unlike in Friday's game, however, the bullpen would prove something of a saving grace, with the worst offenders from Fridays game in Andrew Miller, Craig Breslow, and Mark Melancon each providing strong outings. Junichi Tazawa was his usual excellent self, and the A's were at least kept close.
The offense, however, just was not there, which is to be expected given the awful lineup and the lack of any real motivation at this point. The Sox might well just be going through the motions at this point and, frankly, it's hard to blame them for that.
Those of us who still watch the games, after all, are likely doing much the same.