Saturday, September 28, 2013

Achilles Heel Sinks Red Sox; Fall To O's, 6-5

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
If the Red Sox fail to capture their eighth World Championship, chances are it will be due to their one big weakness: set-up relief. Tonight, that serious flaw reared its ugly head in what was—thankfully—a meaningless 6-5 loss to Baltimore. Meaningless because the Oakland A's had earlier fallen to Seattle—ensuring that Boston would wind up with the best record in the American League. After Jon Lester had pitched an uneven five innings (9 hits, 4 earned runs), Matt Thornton did a creditable job in the sixth (0 runs, 0 hits, 1K). Then, the deluge. With the Red Sox battling back to take a 5-4 lead, Junichi Tazawa got through the seventh unscathed. But in the eighth, he put two runners on and was yanked for Franklin Morales (he of the 'lots of stuff and zero command'). Morales proceeded to allow both inherited runners to score—game, set, match, Baltimore. John Farrell had better think long and hard about who he wants in his post-season bullpen, because his current run-up to Koji Uehara is not a winning combination.