The Red Sox really probably should have taken this one.
Going into the game, it was not a particularly good pitching matchup for the Red Sox. Tim Wakefield can be lights out, or he can be lit up, while lefty Brett Anderson was on a tear to start 2010. But then everything changed after the 2nd inning when, having allowed a couple runs, Anderson was pulled for long reliever Vin Mazzaro.
At this point, the Athletics handed their bullpen 21 outs to record. The Red Sox had Tim Wakefield with only 1 run allowed (on a Kurt Suzuki home run). Presumably, things were in the Red Sox favor.
But then things began to fall apart. And--tell me if this sounds familiar--it all started with Tim Bogar. With nobody out and Victor Martinez on first, Kevin Youkilis doubled to left, and the hobbled Martinez was inexplicably sent from 3rd. He was out by a mile, and the Sox failed to score that inning.
Then in the 4th, Wakefield fell apart (as he is wont to do). 4 runs on 5 hits, including a second Kurt Suzuki homer gave Oakland a 5-2 lead.
The Sox were not to be held down, however, and went to work on the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Tim Bogar was not to be held down either, though, and quickly blew another call, sending Darnell McDonald home (despite his having twisted his ankle at first a few minutes earlier) from 2nd base on a ground ball single. Again, the call was obviously wrong, and again, the runner was out by a mile. What could have been a very big inning with the top of the lineup coming up amounted to only 1 run.
The Sox did their best to stay in the game, gaining a few runs here and there, but a low throw from Adrian Beltre that Youkilis couldn't handle let the Athletics score a run off Ramon Ramirez, and Manny Delcarmen returned to horrible, horrible form by allowing two home runs. A late-inning rally was shut down by Andrew Bailey, who managed to hold the lead while recording 6 outs, giving Oakland the 9-8 win.