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Clutchless: Red Sox Can't Find Big Hit, Fall To Mariners

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At this point, the Red Sox have to be actively trying to be this bad. Because it's one thing not to score. It's another thing to not score despite having 14 baserunners in a regulation game, and still that doesn't even begin to encompass just how impossible it was for the Red Sox not to score tonight.

Allow me to paint you a few pictures.

It's the bottom of the first inning, and the Red Sox load the bases with just one out. Up next are David Ortiz and J.D. Drew. From Ortiz, all the Red Sox need is a decent fly ball. Instead, they receive a pair of bad hacks that come up completely empty and send David Ortiz back to the dugout. Up comes J.D. Drew, and after an impressive battle, working the count full, Drew gets his fastball and swings. It is deep, it is far, it is caught in dead center. Zero runs.

Next, it's the bottom of the third. Jacoby Ellsbury again leads off by reaching base--this time with a double. All the Sox need from three of the best hitters in their lineup is a single, or even a couple of appropriate outs. Instead, Dustin Pedroia's ground ball goes to third, leaving Ellsbury stuck at second, Adrian Gonzalez strikes out, and Kevin Youkilis can't come through, hitting a ground ball for the third out.

Then, worst of all, the bottom of the fifth inning, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia's leadoff double and walks from Ellsbury and Pedroia loaded the bases with zero outs and Adrian Gonzalez at the plate. The dream scenario led to the nightmare conclusion: Gonzalez swung the bat, hit the ball hard, and had it snagged by Jack Wilson, who fired to second to double up Ellsbury. Again, zero runs scored.

These were just a few of the 11 different times the Red Sox failed to come through with runners in scoring position. And when that's the offense you receive, it doesn't matter how well you pitch. That's not to say John Lackey pitched terribly well, but he did manage to keep runs off the board aside from a pair of one-run innings. 

This was a terribly winnable game, lost only thanks to terribly frustrating performances in the clutch.