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Not so Harden to keep the Sox down.

ed: that was awful.




AP/David Guttenfelder


So, what did we learn today? Nothing we didn't already know. Rich Harden can really bring it when he's healthy, and today was no exception. 9 strikeouts in 6 innings with 1 run allowed, on a "Being" solo home run. I think we have to chalk this one up to running into a buzzsaw, because Harden was nigh untouchable.

On the not plus side, Jon Lester was not very good. 3 walks and 5 hits in 4 innings, and had only 47 of his 83 pitches noted as strikes. Along with the HR, "Being" joined Jason Varitek and Brandon Moss in wearing the golden sombrero today, with the Sox only mustering 8 baserunners on the day.

Positives? Well, David Aardsma was terrific, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless, striking out 3, walking none, and allowing 1 hit on 20 pitches. Pretty impressive and efficient. Lugo and Lowell both reached base twice, with Lugo adding his first SB on the season. MDC pitched pretty well, giving up a hit but stranding that runner, getting 2 GBs among 3 outs in the 7th.

In the credit where credit is due portion of your program, please note that the A's relievers followed Harden's performance up with some great work of their own, with Casilla, Foulke, and Embree combining for 3 innings of 2-hit ball, along with 4 total strikeouts.

That's it for Japan. On to Los Angeles, where if the Sox are lucky, we'll be able to remain at .500.