Red Sox Record for the Week of August 3: 0-6
The Boston Red Sox could not have picked a worse time to be knee deep in its worst collective slump of the season, having lost all four games to the New York Yankees and before that, two to Tampa Bay last week. The fact that they scored just two runs in its last 34 innings against the Yankees says everything you need to know about how poorly the Sox offense has been lately. The Sox are also in the middle of a 13-straight game stretch without a day off, going 0-6 thus far, and its only four home games in this lengthy period starts Monday night.
By contrast, the Yankees are peaking at the right time, having won seven in a row after Sunday nightâ€™s 5-2 comeback victory over Boston at the new Yankee Stadium, and owning the best record in the majors at 69-42. And thatâ€™s bad news not just for the Red Sox but for everyone else in the AL East.
Going into Mondayâ€™s games, the Yankees have a season-high six-and-a-half game lead over their arch rivals, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bronx Bombers have never lost an American League lead of more than six games in its history. Therefore, the Sox (and by extension Tampa Bay) can all but say goodbye to the AL East division title and focus its attention to the Wild Card standings, where they are tied for first-place with Texas through Sundayâ€™s games.
This time a week ago, the Sox were one-half game out of first-place. So, what the hell happened? Last Tuesday in Tampa Bay, Jon Lester threw 110 pitches over six innings and allowed one run. But Sox manager Terry Francona had to turn the game over to the bullpen for the final nine outs after Lester started the seventh by beaning Carlos Pena. Titoâ€™s first mistake was leaving rookie Daniel Bard in too long, as he walked two and gave up two hits, including the game-tying solo homer to Evan Longoria to start off the eighth, but Bard got away with not being responsible for any more damage as Manny Delcarmen inherited Bardâ€™s bases load jam and got out of it unscathed.
Titoâ€™s other mistake (but not according to him) was pitching to and not walking Longoria in the 13th inning, as he went on to hit a two-run shot off Takashi Saito to win the game 4-2. For what itâ€™s worth, I thought Saito should have intentionally walked Longoria and pitched to a struggling Ben Zobrist, who went 0-4 that night. But even if the Sox survived that inning, the way the offense was hitting (only seven hits in 13 innings), they were going to lose anyway because the bullpen was all used up â€“ Clay Buchholz wouldâ€™ve made a rare relief appearance, starting in the 14th inning had the game gone that far.