No Lead is Safe: Sox Lose Stunning Eighth in Ten Games

August 8

Ryu pitches for the Jays opposite Richards. The Jays put two on with two out in the bottom of the first for Dickerson, who singles to right to score Springer and make it 1-0 Toronto. A force out limits the damage, but they’re nowhere near done. A runner is at first with nobody out when Martinez doubles in Devers to tie the game at 1-1. An error is charged in left field because the fielder missed the plate, allowing Martinez to move to third. Plawiecki singles to left to let Martinez home and give the Sox a 2-1 lead. Dalbec’s single to left puts two on for Hernández, who singles to right to get Plawiecki home and make it 3-1. That is all they get. This will be costly. The first two batters reach in the top of the third to put runners at the corners with nobody out. With one out, Bogaerts scores on a double to the alley by Plawiecki to make it 4-1, but the other men do not come home. In the top of the fourth, now 4-2, the Sox load the bases with two out and force Ryu out of the game. It matters not who’s pitching because Martinez lines a single to left that scores Hernández and Bogaerts and makes it 6-2. Another single scores Devers as he just barely beats out the tag at the plate to make it 7-2.

This game seems all but over, right? Wrong! Though the Sox send eight to bat in the frame, Toronto won’t go down without a fight. With a runner at first and one out in the bottom of the fifth, Guerrero Jr. does more of what he does best: hitting a homer over the left-field fence. He makes it 7-4 on his thirty-fifth of the year. The Sox put two on with two out in the top of the sixth for Dalbec, who singles to center to score Martinez and make it 8-4. A strikeout ends the inning, which means more runs left on the table. In the bottom of the eighth, now 8-6, the Jays put two on with two out when Springer completes the comeback with a go-ahead three-run homer to right. Amazingly (or not so amazingly after what we’ve seen), it’s 9-8 Toronto on his fourteenth of the year as Barnes blows it again. That is the final. What happened to the 7-2 lead? When the Jays take the lead, they celebrate like they just won the World Series. Calm down. It’s August, and you’re four games back. It’s not like you just won the pennant. Shockingly, Toronto holds on to stun the Sox, 9-8 as the slide continues. And judging by what we’ve recently witnessed from this team that has gone from a perennial playoff contender to a trash fire, we should expect more of the same. This loss was inexcusable. One has to wonder if they’re even trying now. They’re 10-13 since the All-Star Break, and the Rays are coming up. Hopefully the team thought long and hard on the plane about whether it still wants to contend as the Sox continue their freefall in the standings.