A walkoff home run from Chris Parmelee made for a disappointing ending to a game that had all the hallmarks of a big comeback win for the Boston Red Sox.
It's a bad loss for the Red Sox, there's no denying it. If they had managed to escape with a win, there would have been problems to face, but the framework would have been so very different. Instead, they've got a loss, and a loss which leaves the team in quite the precarious position indeed.
The real problems lie in the rotation. And not just in Jake Peavy, who got the start against the Twins and put the Red Sox in the hole they would eventually have to escape. The majority of the damage came in the second. Two runs came accross when Eduardo Nunez cleared the left field wall for his first home run of the year, and two more on a Brian Dozier double after a single and a walk from Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana respectively. Dozier was himself knocked in by Joe Mauer, leaving the Twins with a big five-run frame.
The Red Sox, at least, managed to fight their way back before the final out. David Ortiz was huge, launching solo shots to right field in each of his first two at bats before producing RBI singles in each of his next two. Jonny Gomes would ultimately draw a bases-loaded walk to bring home a sixth run, tying the game in the top of the seventh.
In the end, though, it was one big swing from Chris Parmelee that ended it all. Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa managed to hold the Twins until the ninth, and Andrew Miller looked ready to take the game to extra innings. Sometimes, though, good hitting just beats good pitching. Miller didn't really make a mistake to Parmelee, but that didn't stop Parmelee from hooking his low fastball a mile to right for the walkoff two-run shot. With all the momentum going in Boston's direction to that point, it was an incongruous ending.
The question is, where does Boston's rotation go from here? If this were just a lone bad game from Peavy without any warning, that would be one thing. But Peavy has kind of had this one coming to him all year long. Coming into this game, Peavy had allowed 25 walks in 44 innings with seven homers. Something had to give,and now that Peavy's fallen from his tightrope, it's very difficult to look beyond his terrifying peripherals.
What's worse, though, is that the Red Sox have little to look forward to in the rest of this series. Game one was kind of the one Boston had to take, with Peavy hopefully managing to maintain his performance for at least one more game, if not right the ship when it comes to the walks and homers. Instead, they got a disaster on the mound feeding directly into Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz, neither one having inspired any confidence so far this year. Now back at .500, the possibility of falling below is just all too real.