3-2: Marcum, Jays shut down Sox, 6-3

The Red Sox offense didn’t show for last night’s game, as Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum (1-0) went seven strong innings, fanning eight and allowing just three hits and one walk. The only bright spot on offense was a three-run homer in the 7th by J.D. Drew after a David Ortiz walk and a Mike Lowell single, on a night when the Sox managed just four hits off the Jays’ staff. I know our offense is better than this, but this feeling is all too familiar, reminiscent of times last season when the lineup struggled against even mediocre pitching.

Tim Wakefield was also good in his debut, beginning with five shutout innings, but began to struggle with control a little in the 6th, giving up three runs on four hits, two walks and a wild pitch. It wan’t all Wake’s fault, though. The Jays benefited from some luck, as Wakefield caught Alex Rios off of 2nd, but he was ruled safe anyway. Then Manny Ramirez flubbed a short single to left-center, allowing Rios to score. Later, Jacoby Ellsbury made a running grab on a long Aaron Hill fly ball, only to have it knocked loose when he ran into the wall. That was just a painful inning to endure.

But after the Sox tied it up in the top of the 7th, the Sox bullpen struggled to contain Toronto’s offense. David Aardsma (0-1) and Javier Lopez both failed to record an out, and Manny Delcarmen gave up a two-out double to Frank Thomas that put the Jays ahead to stay. Delcarmen continued to struggle in the 8th, surrendering the 6th and final run.

Overall, a disappointing and frustrating game for Sox fans. I think Francona did right in lifting Aardsma after one batter so he wouldn’t face Matt Stairs, but why on earth do you walk David Eckstein, a guy with a low walk rate (a free swinger) and zero power? Why not go with Lopez from the start of the inning? Ah, it’s all moot now.

A lot of people were saying that they were surprised by Toronto in this game, and now view them as possible contenders. The Jays are a good team; I’ve said as much before. They need to stay healthy, mainly.


2 Responses to 3-2: Marcum, Jays shut down Sox, 6-3

  1. Pat says:

    It’s game like these where I get confused about the Sox approach to pitchers. It seemed like, collectively, they decided to swing early and often. It really makes me want to know more about their pre-game routines.

    Looking over this game pitch-by-pitch, in six of the first ten Redsock at bats, players hit into an out on the first or second pitch. It seems like they didn’t give themselves a chance to figure out Marcum or take him out of the game on pitch count. Did they assume he wouldn’t be as good as he was, and set themselves us to be dominated like they did?

    I was complaining about this last ALCS when it seemed like we were getting owned by mediocre pitching.

    Any thoughts?

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    Yeah, the Sox didn’t draw a whole lot of walks this series. I don’t know, but I’ve seldom seen this “swing early” strategy pay off for them. They employed this tactic against Joe Blanton or somebody earlier this season, and I remember last year when they tried it against the Ray’s Andy Sonnanstine and got pwned big time.

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