The Red Sox started the second half of the season with a loss Friday night, failing to score a single run in support of Wade Miley and ultimately falling to a Mike Trout walkoff shot off of Koji Uehara.
The layoff seems to have done no favors for Boston's bats. The Red Sox had finished the first half looking like a pretty solid lineup. They weren't exactly crushing opposing pitchers, but they were at least able to provide pretty consistent threats. There just weren't many games where they looked out of it when it wasn't the fault of a rotation implosion.
Tonight, though, only Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz really showed up at all. Bogaerts doubled in the first to give the Red Sox their only extra-base hit of the game, and added another base hit in the eight. Ortiz singled in the fourth before being erased by a Hanley Ramirez double play, and hit safely again in the sixth with two outs before Ramirez ended the inning with a weak flare to short.
Otherwise, Boston's offense consisted of little more than a few hard hit balls and a handful of walks against a dominant C.J. Wilson, who managed to turn in eight full innings of work.
The Angels lineup, of course, didn't seem to handle the layoff any better. Coming off a start against New York that saw him knocked around for six runs in five innings, Miley got back on track in a big way against Los Angeles. He wasn't completely in control, exactly, with the Angels making him work hard for his outs, getting to plenty of three-ball counts, and generally driving his pitch count up. But when you take a no-hitter into the seventh? You're doing something very right.
Kole Calhoun would end Miley's flirtation with history by doubling to the wall in center in the seventh. Coming as it did with zero outs, Calhoun's double threatened to break the scoreless tie that had held through six, and when Mike Trout moved him along to third with a fly ball, all the Angels needed from Albert Pujols was a productive out. But Miley got him to hit a pop-up to shallow right, and Xander Bogaerts provided a strong throw on a ground ball that could easily have been an RBI infield single to get Erick Aybar and end the inning.
With Miley allowing a walk to lead off the eighth, John Farrell turned to his bullpen, and while Junichi Tazawa was able to give him a scoreless ninth, Koji Uehara entered the game facing one of those non-save situations that have given him so much trouble this year. But you don't need to go digging for excuses for Uehara for what happened. Mike Trout came to the plate, and Mike Trout crushed an 0-1 fastball for the walkoff shot. It is a thing Mike Trout does, a sort of natural phenomenon that the Red Sox simply found themselves in the path of tonight. You don't blame the storm for coming. You blame yourself for not building your levees high enough. The Red Sox didn't score, and so when the inevitable came, they lost. They lost a game they could have won with a very little offense, in a stretch where there was already little room for error.