The Red Sox lost tonight. Badly. It was a horrible, no good, very bad loss that can only be described in a few ways. I choose to separate it into the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Kevin Youkilis - A three-run shot in the first inning gave the Red Sox an early lead, and his two out triple let the Red Sox score their first run since said homer in the ninth. Youkilis was basically responsible for all the Sox' runs on his own.
Tim Wakefield - Despite allowing four runs (three earned), Tim did what was expected of him. Induced ground balls, kept the game close, and went deep into the game. Really, he pitched better than the boxscore says, but we'll get around to that later.
Plate Discipline - The Sox drew ten walks. That should be enough in almost any game, but not this time.
Unfortunately, that puts an end to that category.
Clutch Hitting - This was one of those games. 13 runners left on base by the team. Failing to score a runner from third with one out. Leaving the bases loaded three times. Bad stuff.
Darnell McDonald - Two times he left the bases loaded, striking out and then grounding out weakly. What's worst was what he was swinging at. He took two meatball sliders up in the zone in the first at bat before swinging at a third one outside of the zone, and then in the second swung at two straight balls to get in an 0-2 hole. The magic is gone, and with it, Darnell McDonald's usefulness.
The Decision Making - But why was Darnell McDonald even batting in the ninth? J.D. Drew had picked up a bat and was waiting to hit...for the pitcher? The bases are loaded, there are two outs, it is the ninth inning. This is do-or-die, and for some reason we trust Darnell McDonald over J.D. Drew? You're playing to win it in the 9th, not to conserve the sparse bench for potential extra innings. Bat Drew, then if he gets on, bat Varitek. Bad, bad non-move by Terry Francona that may have cost the team the game.
The Second Inning - This would have been a comedy of errors if it had been scored correctly. Some ground ball singles and a walk scored one and put runners at first and second with one out. The next ground ball went up the middle, off Wakefield's leg, and towards the shortstop side of second base, where both Pedroia and Scutaro ended up colliding. With the bases loaded, a surprise bunt was fielded comically by Tim Wakefield, who attempted a no-chance flip to Youkilis which sailed wide. No outs, two runs. Ugly, ugly, ugly.
Dustin Pedroia - And here comes the nightmare scenario. One night after going deep three times to save the Red Sox, Pedroia fouled a ball hard off his left foot in the third inning. He stayed in to draw the walk, but looked awful walking to first and was pulled for Mike Cameron. Frighteningly, the X-Rays did not quickly come back negative, and the Sox have said the results were inconclusive, with more tests coming tomorrow. The Sox have no middle infield depth, much less anyone who can replace Pedroia. If he's in bad shape, so are the Sox.
Per Scott Lauber's twitter, Pedroia was on crutches after the game, but Terry Francona did drop at least one bit of positive news:
Dustin Pedroia on crutches after game. Francona said X-ray didn't show break. "Ice, elevate it and pray," Pedroia said
With the Rays slumping along with the Sox, the wild card race is still tied. But the Yankees keep winning, and keep building their lead. That needs to change in a hurry.