The Red Sox fell to the Tigers Friday night 1-0, shut out by Max Scherzer and the Detroit bullpen.
Every season, a team has to set aside a few losses for games like this. The league has certain pitchers sprinkled throughout against whom it's hard to assume even much of a chance for a win. The Red Sox would hope that Jon Lester is one of those pitchers--and so far this year he has been--but the American League might not have someone who fits that bill nearly as well as Max Scherzer.
To the Red Sox' credit, they at least made Scherzer work for it. While they did not produce much in the way of hits--it wasn't until the fourth inning that David Ortiz got them so much as a single--the Red Sox managed to get Detroit's ace out of the game after just six innings with some reasonably lengthy plate appearances, drawing four walks against a man who had allowed all of 16 in his first 53 innings of work this season.
Unfortunately, what chances the Red Sox produced in that fashion were squandered in painful fashion. The Sox were true to their worst form Friday night, grounding into three double plays--an impressive feat given how few baserunners they managed. Double plays would end up killing potent rallies in both the sixth and seventh innings, with the Red Sox having managed to put their first two baserunners on each time.
What makes all this particularly frustrating is that, for all that the Tigers shut the Red Sox out, they never were out of this game. Not until the very last out had been recorded. Jon Lester was not necessarily at his best either, allowing three walks in five innings of work, but he and the Boston bullpen managed to hold the Tigers to just the one run, scored in the first inning on a walk and two singles.
Sometimes that's all it takes, particularly when Scherzer is on the mound. In that regard, this is just one of those games where you tip your hat to the opposing starter. But these games are the reason why the Red Sox just can't afford to drop series like they did against the Twins. Had the Red Sox gone 2-1 in that series, they would still be above .500 by a game. Instead, they're back down below with nothing but tough games to come this weekend.