40-22: Errors doom Sox in the stretch

It was a close game for seven and a half innings, but the Diamondbacks broke it open in the eighth with three more to put away the Sox tonight, 5-1.

It was not his best effort of the year, but Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-5) did his job, going six innings and allowing two runs. Again, he was saddled with yet another loss. He walked four, but struck out nine, matching Randy Johnson’s total for the D-backs. Johnson (4-2) went a very strong six innings for Arizona. It appears that the Yankees gave up a bit too soon and were a little too eager to get rid of the Big Unit this past offseason. Good move by Josh Byrnes.

Arizona scored three in the eighth, taking advantage of an errant throw by Mike Timlin to third base. It was good to see Timlin in there again, but this was not the victorious return he was hoping for, I’m sure.

With Timlin added to the roster, it was not Javier Lopez catching the train to Pawtucket, but veteran J.C. Romero was designated for assignment. I like this move, Romero didn’t show me anything this year that suggested he could return to his dominant middle relief days as a Minnesota Twin. I wouldn’t expect us to be able to get anything for him, but you never know, a lefty can be valuable in relief. Lopez will likely stay on as the lefty specialist.

The Red Sox committed three errors in this one, including Mike Lowell‘s 10th error. This guy hasn’t had double-digit errors since 2002 (that was his last great offensive year, ironically). I’m not willing to chalk this up to rustiness now, I think the defense could become a problem, especially if J.D. Drew goes down or Coco Crisp continues to hit .230 and gets benched. Wily Mo Pena is a trainwreck in the outfield, and doesn’t seem to have the instincts to get much better.

The Yankees continue to win, and are now in second place in the AL East, but they are still below .500 and still 9 1/2 games back of the Red Sox. I told you they weren’t done. But they’ve still got a lot of ground to make up, and their offense can’t carry them without enough pitching, which we’ve yet to see. Roger Clemens won his first start against Pittsburgh, but he wasn’t dominating, even against a weak NL team. Let’s see what happens.

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