48-29: Matsuzaka gem wasted

The Mariners came away with a 2-1 victory in 11 innings yesterday, sweeping the Red Sox in Seattle. It marked the first time the Sox have been swept in a three-game series all year. Boston has lost their last 8 games at Safeco Field. The Angels have also lost three in a row, so we still hold the best record in the major leagues, barely.

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched 8 innings of 3-hit ball, but ended up with a no decision, as Boston’s lineup just could get it started against Seattle’s pitching staff. The Mariners’ starter, rookie Ryan Fiererabend, coming off a disastrous outing against Cincinnati, shut out the Sox for five innings with a lot of luck and defensive help. The Seattle bullpen would send five more pitchers out, shutting down the Sox all afternoon.

Uncharacteristically, Hideki Okajima came in and couldn’t get the outs in the ninth. He gave up an infield hit to Ichiro Suzuki, then another single to Jose Vidro after a sacrifice bunt. Maybe he was star-shocked, facing Suzuki, the hitting legend? Anyway, Jonathan Papelbon came in and quashed that rally pretty quickly.

Jose Lopez ended it with a walk-off double off of former Mariner Joel Pineiro (1-1) in the 11th inning, scoring Ichiro Suzuki all the way from first base. Was it just me, or could Manny Ramirez have caught that? That little awkward hop n’ stab job didn’t look pretty. Apparently he was positioned over near the line on that one.

I know it’s been along road trip, but come on guys! One run? Against a staff headlined by Jarrod Washburn with a composite 4.66 ERA? What’s going on here? The Sox have managed only 19 runs on their last 6 games, and are hitting .249/.325/.344 over that span. Meanwhile, their opponents have hit 7 home runs in those games.

Coco Crisp went 2-4 from the leadoff slot, continuing his hot streak, despite jamming his thumb on his fielding hand in a diving attempt in left-center field in the 3rd.

Julio Lugo continued to scuffle, going 0-2 with a walk. His average has now dropped to .190, and he is really feeling the heat in the Boston press. Now would be a good time to break out on this upcoming homestand, Julio. Any day now.


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