Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The Red Sox fell to the Orioles 6-3 thanks to a terrible outing from Zach Stewart. Mission accomplished?
The Sox have done what was expected of them, being swept out of Baltimore by the Orioles, allowing them to set up the Sox to play spoilers against the Yankees in their last three games of the season.
And, really, how could it have happened any other way? Aaron Cook, whatever he may once have been, is no longer effective on the mound, much less in the A.L. East. Zach Stewart...well, has he considered tennis? The only shot the Sox had for a win in this thing was with Felix Doubront starting, and let's not forget that no matter who takes the hill, they have to rely on a truly bad lineup to score them runs.
It can be argued that today's result was closer than it should have been, as can the opposite. Zach Stewart was simply awful, just as he was against the Angels. He just doesn't seem to have the stuff to fool anyone on any given pitch. Unless we are seeing a dramatically different Stewart working on retooling or perhaps injured, it's honestly hard to imagine he will ever be an effective major league pitcher.
On the other hand, Joe Saunders looked pretty similar, but just got away with a whole lot. Partially that's to do with the Red Sox lineup being what it is, but still. With some of the contact the Sox got, seven innings and three runs is a bit of a godsend for Saunders.
While the Jays managed to prove that an early 5-1 lead is not impossible to surrender, letting the Yankees back in after such a start and ensuring that the A.L. East lead wouldn't go to Baltimore today, the Sox just aren't the team to do that right now. Daniel Nava and Cody Ross provided bright spots with homers, but in the end it was never enough to put too much pressure on Baltimore.
Now the conflicted feelings are over with. The Red Sox have three games left this season in New York. This team is not good. It should not be able to beat the Yankees. But over three games, anything can happen. Hopefully this time that means the Sox playing spoiler, and forcing New York into a one-game playoff.