There are a couple of ways a sinkerballer's night can go from good to bad in a hurry. We saw the first in Cook's last outing, when the sinker stopped staying low, and the Orioles started hitting him. That's all on the pitcher. If you've not got overpowering stuff-or in Cook's case any power stuff at all-then you need to stay low in the zone.
The second we saw tonight: the infield can stop turning ground balls into outs. It happened in the third and fourth for Cook, with six of eight grounders getting through for singles. This sort of thing is usually the fault of bad luck or bad defense, with those innings seeing a little bit of both arguably. Either way, when it was over, Cook had been tagged for three runs in two frames despite doing exactly what he wants to do on any given night.
And then there was Mark Trumbo's homer into orbit in the fifth. Still, what could have been two or three runs ended up being five as things just didn't go his way. This despite the fact that he struck out four in five innings when he entered the game with seven in 57.
The offense was where the real disappointment was, though, because they just didn't score. Ellsbury in the third spot was 1-for-4, Ciriaco set the table all of once...only Cody Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Scott Podsednik were any good, with Salty taking a high fastball and depositing it in the stands for the only two runs the Sox would see off of Santana.
The really strange thing was that the Sox seemed to be waiting for their pitch, especially early on, not offering at anything until they got the one they wanted. And time-and-again, that one they just couldn't hit.
A loss is a loss, but what's really irksome is the fact that the Sox just can't seem to pick up wins on meaningful days. Any day there's some significant ceremony, commemoration, or celebration, they seem to come up empty. It just doesn't feel right to send Johnny Pesky off with a loss from a team full of sixes.