68-44: Schilling loses in return from the DL

The Red Sox opened up a three game series with the Los Angeles Angels last night, and dropped the first game 4-2. It was not the kind of start he would have liked to have, but Curt Schilling (6-5) was still decent. He gave up a few more hits than he would have liked, but he went six innings on 83 pitches, struck out five and walked no one. He allowed just two runs until the seventh, when he surrendered a go-ahead home run to Maicer Izturis and a double to Jeff Mathis. Schilling mentioned after the game that he made several mistakes on off-speed pitches that cost him.

Julian Tavarez came on with no outs, but could not prevent the fourth run from scoring on a sacrifice bunt and then a sacrifice fly by Chone Figgins. Fig did a good job going with the outside pitch to the opposite field. My question: Isn’t Tavarez supposed to be a ground ball pitcher?

Jered Weaver was very good, pitching six strong innings and allowing just two runs, but he left with a no decision. He had his changeup working well, which resulted in a lot of weakly hit balls. The Sox did make him work, forcing him to throw 107 pitches, but they couldn’t convert on their opportunities; we left 22 men on base.

The Sox had two men on in both the eighth and ninth innings, but couldn’t deliver against Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez, probably the second-best late inning combo in the AL.

Brandon Moss also had a forgettable debut. When Manny Ramirez was tossed from the game in the 3rd inning, Moss was thrown out into left field (and batting cleanup), and he probably wasn’t mentally ready to enter the game this way. Not only did he go 0-2 at the plate with a strikeout to end the game, but he also threw to the wrong base in the 4th and nearly bobbled a ball in left field.

Schilling himself failed to cover first base on a potential double play ball in the fourth, so it was not a good night defensively for Boston.

With the loss, the lead in the AL East over the Yankees was cut to six games. It’s a little frustrating, because one small thing changes, and we could have pulled this one out.


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