An outfield of Mike Carp, Daniel Nava, and Jonny Gomes? Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J. D. Drew they're not, let alone Gabe Kapler, Johnny Damon, and Trot Nixon. And, yeah, that worked about as well as you might expect for poor Nava, who was making his debut performance in center field, getting charged with an error in the sixth inning and allowing the run that broke the Red Sox' back to score against the Mariners.
But things were even worse for Jon Lester, whose up-and-down season was unfortunately very much in "down" mode tonight, and certainly not assisted by the purgatorial version of an outfield that the Sox coughed up tonight—and not serviced by having to contend against Felix Hernandez. Although things went well in the first two innings—a 1-2-3 first, and a leadoff double before retiring the side in the second—the clouds were starting to appear in the third inning, with two singles given up. It was clear that this was nothing more than a Siren's call, luring us in before dashing our hopes like so many sailors scattered across the rocks.
The wheels would officially come off in the bottom of the fourth, as two singles and a double, separated only by a Jason Bay strikeout (showing some solidarity with his former teammates, perhaps?), brought in the first Mariners run. Unfortunately, the second run would come in most ignominious fashion, with back-to-back walks forcing in MIke Zunino.
The Red Sox would get those runs back in the top of the fifth, thanks largely to some wildness by King Felix, who may have deigned to party with his subjects for a few minutes before getting back on his throne. Jose Iglesias was hit by a pitch, before singles by Brock Holt and leadoff hitter Daniel Nava brought Iglesias in. The other run would score on a wild pitch by Hernandez, scoring Holt but also striking out Gomes.
However, we soon realized we were on an express trip to the bottom of the inferno, as the lead was surrendered right back, as Lester offered up a leadoff homer (yet another one on this road trip) to Raul Ibanez. The following inning was pure torture, as the first two Mariners hitters had singles, and proved Lester had nothing left in the tank. However, as if to add some more coals to the fire, the temporaily-possessed-by-the-spirit-of-Bobby-Valentine John Farrell decided to pull Alex Wilson out of the bullpen and put him on the mound instead of a one-way trip to Xena (the dwarf planet now called Eris, not the warrior princess, although that would be OK, too). Wilson did as Wilson does, which is to say he didn't do well, allowing a double to Sanders, which, combined with Nava's throwing error, made the score 5-2, and the rout was on. Ibanez would single, scoring Saunders, and ending the frame at Mariners 6, Red Sox 2.
Still channeling Valentine, Farrell followed up Wilson with Jose de la Torre, who would do no better, apparently deciding imitation was the sincerest form of flattery. Unfortunately, he decided to channel Wilson's Saturday night debacle, giving up three runs to record just two outs after Farrell pulled the plug on the Alex Wilson show.
Hernandez would leave the game in the eighth for Oliver Perez, and Perez would prove to be the jester in tonight's game, giving up loud doubles to Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, each of which would plate a run. However, bringing the score from 10-2 to 10-4, those runs were more like Tantalus's fruits, mercilessly hovering out of reach than promising any real nourishment for Sox fans starving for a win.
The rest was just a bunch of more lumps to the head for Sox fans everywhere. Just pretend this was a nightmare, and let's all agree never to speak of this again. OK?
Read more Red Sox:
- The sustainable side of Jose Iglesias’ success at the plate
- MLB Trade Deadline: Patience is key for the Red Sox
- Red Sox starter Jon Lester rises and falls (and rises again?) with his sinker
- MLB trade deadline: Who could the Red Sox trade on July 31?
- Is Boston's bullpen overused? Or are we all just crazy?