Terry Francona is losing these games.
Before I go any further, let me just say that this is not going to be a mind-numbing rant. There has been some awful play on both sides of the ball by both teams during this series, to be sure, but the manager needs to make the best decisions possible in-game so as to put his team in the best position possible.
Two things stand out: Josh Beckett pitching to Javy Lopez on Saturday, and Mike Timlin in the eigth inning.
I and others have written at length about the success Josh had pitching to Doug Mirabelli. For some reason, though, Javy Lopez was on the other side of the plate for his last three or so starts, resulting in terrible pitch selection and a particularly gruesome sight after chasing a wild pitch on Saturday. Not only has Beckett lost with Lopez, but Mirabelli hasn't even been given a second chance.
Finally, Mike Timlin in the eighth inning is not a good idea. Last year he was Iron Mike, but this year he's human. Tito deserves a little bit of a pass based solely on the fact that every pitcher we've got has been slumping lately, but I think the graver offense is watching a man with a recent history of not getting the job done continually be given the chance to extend that history.
I'm upset we're losing, certainly, but I'm more upset about the way this team is being handled in certain aspects. Even if, somehow, the numbers don't support these claims, isn't it at least time to shake things up?