Tuesday night, the Red Sox produced all of one run against the Baltimore Orioles. It was a performance that could be overlooked and forgiven, however, thanks to a fantastic pitching performance that made that one run enough to leave with a victory.
Wednesday night, the Red Sox did not produce even that one run. Instead, they put up a big fat zero, and the pitching wasn't even good enough to keep them in range in the later stages of the game.
It was one of those games that was so bad that it's almost impressive. The Red Sox didn't simply get shut out by Wei-Yin Chen. They didn't simply get 4-hit, either. No, the Red Sox put on an avant-garde performance of baseball failure at the plate tonight. How do you turn four hits, no walks, and one hit batsman into three double plays and an out on the basepaths?! It honestly boggles the mind.
But that's what the Red Sox did. Here were their baserunners for the night:
- In the fourth inning, Dustin Pedroia singles. He does not double, but he tries to. Out at second.
- In the fifth, David Ortiz leads off with a single. Mike Napoli pops-up behind him, and Jonny Gomes grounds into the double play.
- In the sixth, A.J. Pierzynski singles. Wait for it...
- Jackie Bradley Jr. is hit behind him, giving the Red Sox their first runner in scoring position of the night. Five pitches later, Brock Holt grounds into a double play.
- Dustin Pedroia singles. This time he stays at first, delaying his out at second until David Ortiz grounds into a double play behind him.
- Jonny Gomes reaches on an error. He even makes it all the way to third before Jonathan Herrera ends the inning...with a bunt.
It's the kind of performance that should be preserved for future generations. This is culturally significant stuff, here, to produce that much bad baseball in so few opportunities.
You'll win exactly zero games when those are your only baserunners, but it's not like the Red Sox lost a close one tonight. The pitching wasn't exactly stellar either. Rubby De La Rosa took too long to find the feel for his typically excellent changeup, getting it tagged for an RBI double by Adam Jones and a two-run shot from Chris Davis in the first. He was better from there, only allowing one more run come the fourth. But that's two disappointing follow-ups to his explosive debut now.
Worse was Chris Capuano, who managed to first load the bases in the eighth, then walk in a pair of runs. That bit, I think, is the real genius of this whole game--struggling so hard to put up any sort of offense against the Orioles, then letting them score in back-to-back plate appearances where they literally did not swing once. That has to say something about the human condition or something. I dunno. I'm just a baseball guy, the Red Sox have clearly moved beyond our simple game and are operating on a higher, more artistic level.
That or they're just awful.