This is the absolute worst.
The Red Sox are now 11-16 after falling to the Orioles 9-6 in seventeen innings. The following things happened:
- Clay Buchholz saw his ERA of 8.69 rise after allowing three homers and five runs in 3.2 innings.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia failed to catch a pop-up that eventually became the Orioles' sixth run in the 8th. He also helped the runner advance to third.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia then struck out against 1B/DH Chris Davis in the sixteenth.
- Marlon Byrd was sent home to score with two outs and zero chance of making it home safe in the bottom half of the sixteenth. Again, this is with Chris Davis on the mound. Ryan Sweeney led off the next inning with a single.
- Adrian Gonzalez went 0-for-7 and left eight men on base.
- He also struck out against Chris Davis as the tying run in the seventeenth.
Darnell McDonald ended up giving up the winning runs because he is a left fielder. It should never get to that point in the first place.
The good news is that Will Middlebrooks hit his first career home run--a grand slam--in the fifth inning, bringing the Sox back from a 5-1 deficit.
The other good news is that the bullpen was outstanding, throwing a remarkable 12.1 scoreless innings before ceding way to..the outfield...Andrew Miller was even incredible, striking out the side in the fifth, though I wouldn't rush out to buy his jersey just yet.
But in the end, the Sox are 11-16.
This is a team with a payroll around $180 million. They charge you the most money on average per ticket in the league. They also charge you the third most for a beer that might make the on-field product tolerable (Sox fans who have ponied up for a Fenway ticket have seen four wins compared to ten losses, remarkably enough). This is, to be quick about it, unacceptable.
The Red Sox went through the whole of the offseason making minimal moves on the hope that they could piece together a working team from the league's flotsam and jetsam. To be fair, they've had their issues, with injuries to Bailey, Ellsbury, Crawford, Lackey, Youkilis, and others certainly costing them (well, maybe not so much Lackey). But they knew about a good few of them ahead of time, and there were certainly enough doomsayers about who saw if not this, than something close coming.
Be it because of their failures this offseason, or ones in offseasons past that restricted them this year, the Sox have failed to hold up their end of the bargain. Many of the individual players are deserving of your love and support. The franchise in spirit is as well. But even with 135 games left to play, it's clear that this team, as composed, is not destined for the playoffs. Perhaps this is just coming from the open wound that is this most recent loss and sweep, but right now I struggle to say that the 2012 Red Sox are deserving of your support.