19-10: Sox drop a close one 2-1

Julian Tavarez (1-3) seems to be on the losing side of every matchup. He’s opposed Toronto’s Roy Halladay twice already, Texas’ Kevin Millwood, New York’s Chien-Ming Wang and last night he was pitted against Minnesota’s Johan Santana, considered by many to be the best pitcher in baseball. Talk about some tough starts to win.

Tavarez pitched admirably, lasting six innings and allowing two runs to the Twins. Unfortunately, two were all they needed with Santana starting and an excellent bullpen closing up shop, and Minnesota took the second game of this series 2-1.

Santana lasted just five innings against the Red Sox lineup, throwing 98 pitches (67 for strikes). The former Cy Young Award winner gave up seven hits and two walks, but he and the Bullpen held the Sox to just one run, stranding Boston runners inning after inning. All told, 12 men were left on the basepaths. Even the lone Red Sox run was almost by accident, as Dustin Pedroia managed a double that just stayed fair down the left field line, driving in Wily Mo Pena. An excellent job by an excellent pitching staff. I’m a big admirer of GM Terry Ryan and the Twins, who always seem to field a very good team, despite money restrictions and getting hit hard by injuries in recent years.

Joel Pineiro pitched two scoreless innings in what was probably his best outing of the year so far. Let’s hope that he can get some consistency with that new arm slot and turn into a solid reliever for us.

Wily Mo Pena was charged with another error in this game on a bobbled ball, and his shaky defense reconfirms for me that he can not function as our everyday centerfielder.

Congrats to Pedroia, who with two hits pulled himself back up above the Mendoza line. Pedroia has always hit over .300 in the minor leagues at every level, and I haven’t quite understood his struggles in the Majors so far. Maybe he’s just trying too hard to prove that size ain’t no thing. Regardless, I look forward to him becoming a regular .275 hitter in time.


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