If there's one team the Red Sox can't solve anymore, it's the Baltimore Orioles.
Gone are the days of the bottom-dwelling Baltimore club. There are no more free wins to be found in a friendly Fenway South. But even recognizing that, the Orioles still seem to have the number of a very good Red Sox team.
Yesterday's loss felt like a game that came down to luck as much as anything. Boston's swings were fine, they just didn't find the right part of the field. And there was some small element of that to tonight's game, with long fly balls that didn't quite find the gap, or would've been out if they hadn't been to dead center.
In general, though, the Orioles just pitched well, and the Red Sox didn't rise to the occasion. They took some bad hacks, but in a way this just felt like a good pitching team beating a mediocre hitting team.
Of course, the Red Sox are not a mediocre hitting team, and that's what makes this one a little harder to stomach. There's a feeling that they should be better than this, and a frustration that it's against the Orioles that they so clearly weren't. We may argue over whether or not the better team won tonight, but the team that played better certainly did.
Still...on the whole it's difficult to get too upset about this performance as a whole. The offense should, by all reason, bounce back before long. Frankly, the more important event took place on the mound, where Ryan Dempster looked more than serviceable in throwing 7.2 two-run innings. There were five walks, yes, but only three of them worth paying attention to (one was intentional, and both that one and the fifth frankly came after Dempster should've been pulled). The rotation needed that, with Buchholz missing starts and Lester in a bad way. And the bullpen certainly needed it after so many innings. The real knock against him was a bad fastball that resulted in a home run. And that'll happen to anyone in any game.
The Sox can't afford this forever. These two losses alone have brought the Orioles nice and close in the East. But right now it's something to produce sighs rather than rage.
Score some runs tomorrow, Red Sox.
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