That first win may have gotten us all hopeful, but rest assured: the West Coast is still the West Coast.
There is no other way to describe what happened in tonight's 3-0 loss to the Angels then perfectly, utterly West Coast. Much as he'd done about two weeks ago, John Lackey fooled batters left and right. Picking up nine strikeouts on the night, Lackey took advantage of an inconsistent but generally large strike zone to keep the Angels off base.
As was the case in both of his last two games, though, he was imperfect. Two pitches imperfect, in fact. Both were fastballs, the first coming in the second inning against Mike Trout who, well, did what Mike Trout does. The second was to Hank Conger on a relatively rare 2-1 count. Both pitches went for solo shots--the only two runs Lackey allowed on the night, and the sort of thing that can happen when throwing strikes.
It was certainly a good enough outing to win the game. Seven inning of two-run ball should be enough for most offenses, much less Boston's. But as so often seems to happen on the West Coast, the offense just didn't go. It seemed like it might when the first three balls in play resulted in a double, a single, and a rocket to third which, unfortunately, found Alberto Callaspo's glove.
And that was that. The Red Sox ran out of gas three batters into the game. They would manage all of three hits over the final eight innings of the game, with little else to speak of. The only thing that kept the anemic offense from being the worst part of the game for Boston? Allowing Albert Pujols to go first-to-third on a Josh Hamilton walk with the shift on.
Yeah, that happened too.
Just a terrible game. From the first-inning homer, to the three straight strikeouts that ended the ninth after David Ortiz reached second to provide just the slightest of hope for a comeback.
It's just two losses to an Angels team which suddenly looks a lot less awful. And yet...these West Coast trips are always a thing, and Felix Hernandez is on the mound tomorrow. The Sox have another storm to weather.
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