Let it not be said that the Red Sox didn't have their chances during Tuesday night's 8-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners—although many of those chances were as much the result of sloppy pitching by the Mariners as they were the result of Red Sox hitting. For instance, the Red Sox managed to load the bases in the first inning via free passes to Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Daniel Nava. However, instead of a hit that would give them a quick 2-0 lead, AJ Placeholder amply demonstrated why there needs to be some massive overhauling of this 2014 Red Sox squad. (And I certainly wouldn't mind filling in that particular roster spot. Christian Vazquez time, anyone?)
Jake Peavy did his part to demonstrate that yesterday's Matt Collins piece suggesting that Peavy is the weak link in the Sox rotation was prescient. Or perhaps he's just being a considerate guy and trying to make John Farrell and Ben Cherington's jobs easier. He seems like a nice enough guy and teammate—I can't hate the player, much as I loathe the performances the Red Sox are getting out of him.
The Mariners were lucky to keep the Red Sox off the board in the first inning; Peavy just allowed the Mariners to hit their way into an early lead, giving up a single, double, and a sacrifice fly around a one-out walk to James Jones and a Robinson Cano flyout, giving up two runs before the Red Sox could come up to bat again. In the second inning, a walk to Brad Miller would yield another run for the Mariners off of an Endy Chavez triple.
So today's headline isn't meant to be taken completely literally—it was in the fifth inning, not the fourth, when Peavy lit the dumpster fire. But the pyrotechnics were pretty much just as embarrassing as Lackey's performance on Monday night, as he proceeded to give up four runs. A failed challenge on a double-play ball only added insult to injury, as it made the difference between a two-run inning and a four-inning, as the home run to Kyle Seager would have only plated two runs instead of three, and the Mike Zunino homer two batters later would have been eliminated as the third out of the inning would have been on Logan Morrison's fly ball to left. But the damage was done, with Jake Peavy wandering off the mound after the fifth, back-to-back games in which Sox starters surrendered seven runs each. Felix Doubront would come on in relief, pitching two hitless and scoreless frames. Edward Mujica would give up the final run of the game in the eighth inning, but that was too little, too late.
There might have been a game if the Red Sox had had a little more timely hitting, but that seems to be entirely missing this year. It doesn't help when one batter alone (guess who? Yep, Placeholder!) managed to leave nine men on base—one more than the five guys ahead of him in the lineup stranded, combined. And Xander Bogaerts fared little better. Although the aforementioned trio of Pedroia, Ortiz, and Nava worked the basepaths well, the only real signs of life on offense came courtesy of leadoff hitter Brock Holt, who had the only two extra-base hits of the night, and drove in the only runs in the fourth-inning via a homer to right, which scored Jackie Bradley, Jr. as well. Unfortunately, two runs is not enough to put out a conflagration, and thus was another Red Sox loss born.
The Red Sox will try to avoid a sweep with Clay Buchholz as the probable starter Wednesday night.