There are a few moments that can be pointed to as having "lost" the game for the Red Sox Friday. To name the most obvious:
1) Daisuke Matsuzaka's mediocre first inning.
2) Darnell McDonalds bobble of a ball in left field during said inning that allowed a second run to score in the inning.
3) Matt Albers failing to catch the throw from Jed Lowrie on the back-end of a double play, allowing another run.
4) Bobby Jenks' mediocre seventh inning.
A 5-4 loss is one of the more difficult ones to sort out. It implies that neither the offense nor the pitching really upheld their end of the bargain, but neither was egregiously bad. And so the fingers come to point at the most egregious of offenders, and today, those men were on the mound instead of at the plate.
That's not to say that the offense looked much better than the score suggests--Mike Cameron's two homers were the only real bright spots--it's just that nobody was really particularly bad.
On the other hand: Daisuke Matsuzaka
In some ways, it's easy to forgive Daisuke's performance. Pitching with a stiff elbow, he was only a pair of errors away from allowing just the one run. But in many ways this was Daisuke at his most frustrating, allowing walks to hitters just barely skirting the Mendoza line, high pitch counts, the works. Honestly, had Jason Varitek hadn't alerted to Terry Francona to Matsuzaka's elbow, it seems likely that things wouldn't have ended so well for him.
At the same time, injury is injury. Francona seems to think it was more just a matter of a bad day for his elbow than a long-lasting thing, so perhaps this is one just best swept under the rug.
It's getting harder and harder to sweep Bobby Jenks under the rug--no jokes intended. While many of his past outings were ruined by some hard luck on ground balls, this one was a matter of line drives and, yes, another walk (albeit an arguably intelligent one). The two runs he allowed were good for, amazingly, only his first blown save, but quite frankly I'm flashing back to Eric Gagne by this point.
Losers of three of their last four, the Red Sox are slipping.