clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Red Sox 0, Orioles 1: Lineup wastes a big start, and a bigger opportunity

Rick Porcello didn’t ask for much, but the Sox gave him nothing.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Red Sox held the orioles to all of one run Wednesday night, and for the second time in September, that somehow wasn’t enough to get the win.

Well, there’s just no sugarcoating this one. It was a pathetic performance from the Red Sox offense when Rick Porcello did everything but hand them the game himself. He had his one blemish in the second, surrendering a first-pitch home run to Mark Trumbo to start the inning. Then he retired the next nineteen, which is the sort of thing that should earn him win #21.

It didn’t. Kevin Gausman spent the entire night challenging the Red Sox and they simply didn’t rise to the occasion. Perhaps taking advantage of a team-wide tendency to take early, Gausman pounded the zone with his first pitches, and the Red Sox never seemed to adjust to adjust their approach. They took early, then when they fell behind, started opening up and taking bad swings late at pitches well out of the zone.

The result: few baserunners, and almost no advancement for those that did reach. They had one halfway decent opportunity to score a run all game, with Chris Young barely getting a single over the infield to put runners on the corners with two down for Sandy Leon. The catcher fell behind 0-2 and then took a horrible hack at an 0-2 pitch that was intended to spot a corner that Gausman had been attacking for much of the night, but ended up bouncing in. It was never close to being a strike, but Leon made it one and ended the threat.

On some nights, you tip your cap to the other pitcher. On some nights, you bemoan the failures of the offense. Tonight, I think you have to do both. Gausman was good, as he’s been good over the last few outings. But the Red Sox purport to be the best of the lineups he’s faced in his recent stretch of success, and they did the worst of all his opponents. If they’d scored two and lost, it would be one thing. Hell, in that case, the way Porcello pitched, the Orioles would likely be doing the same combination-

But they didn’t. They produced five baserunners, little hard contact, zero runs, and wasted the terrific opportunity presented them with, yes, their seventh straight loss in a one-run game. Now their lead on these Orioles is all of one game when they had two chances to make it three. It’s too close for comfort, and they can only blame themselves for that.