Debacle – a sudden and ignominious failure, a great disaster.
In the history of the Red Sox, only 33 times have they given up 15 or more runs, 20 or more hits, with 2 or fewer home runs. Last night was one of those 33. By the time the Twins had finished their half of the second inning, the Sox were down 11-5. Either this was going to be a back and forth mashathon or the Sox were in for a long night. It was the latter. My neck hurt from watching balls fly over or bounce off the Green Monster.
Allen Webster most certainly experienced some whiplash last night. He is only the sixteenth player in Red Sox history to start a game, last two or fewer innings and give up 8 or more runs. Take some comfort though, that list has some good names on it.
|1||Allen Webster||2013-05-08||MIN||L 8-15|
|2||Clay Buchholz||2012-10-01||NYY||L 2-10|
|3||Jon Lester||2010-08-20||TOR||L 2-16|
|4||John Burkett||2003-05-30||TOR||L 2-13|
|5||John Burkett||2002-08-01||TEX||L 7-19|
|6||Steve Avery||1997-08-21||OAK||L 6-13|
|7||Roger Clemens||1995-07-23||MIN||L 3-8|
|8||Roger Clemens||1988-08-14||DET||L 6-18|
|9||Al Nipper||1987-05-31||CHW||W 10-9|
|10||Bob Stanley||1979-07-27||TEX||L 2-11|
|11||Luis Tiant||1974-09-15||MIL||L 5-9|
|12||Ellis Kinder||1948-08-01 (1)||CLE||L 2-12|
|13||Charlie Wagner||1942-07-15 (2)||CHW||L 6-11|
|14||Wilcy Moore||1932-05-15||CHW||L 2-9|
|15||Milt Gaston||1929-05-01||PHA||L 6-24|
|16||Joe Lucey||1925-06-02||PHA||L 2-15|
On another down note, Ortiz went 0-5 and snapped his 27 game hit streak. It was a downer all around.
The Sox and Twins finish their four game series tonight with a John Lackey/Kevin Correia matchup. Lackey has gradually increased his pitch count this season from 77 to 81 to 98. With last night’s shellacking, the Sox coaching staff will be praying for a clean, long outing from Lackey. In his career pitching at Fenway, though, Lackey has thrown nearly 270 innings with a 21-17 record and a 5.37 ERA. That does not bode well.
On the flip side, Kevin Correia has only tossed one inning at Fenway in his career. He’s been remarkably/surprisingly good so far this year. History tells us though that he is not a sub 3.00 ERA pitcher. In fact, he hasn’t had an ERA under 4.00 since 2009. Correia’s walk rate is way down this year (his proximity to Scott Diamond seems to have rubbed off in a positive way) as is his batting average on balls in play – .269 vs. his historical average of .293. He’s also stranding runners at an historically high clip – 82.6% as opposed to his last four year’s percentage of 71, 68, 69, 69. It may not be tonight, but he’s due for a correction.
These are some worrisome times for the Sox. They started off well going 20-8, but have since stumbled to a 1-5 record hitting at a .250/.308/.412 clip over that time. Their pitching has added to this perfect storm of mediocrity with a staff ERA over the past week of 6.54. The Sox, despite being tied with the Orioles atop the AL East, are not looking like a first place team with Hanrahan and Bailey on the DL and their new ninth inning man, Junichi Tazawa, struggling to end the game last night. They have no depth at 3B and even if Middlebrooks, out of the lineup last night after his collision with Ross, returns to the scene he does not seem to be the answer. I’m not sure the Sox can continue to carry a 3B who gets on base less then 30% of the time. As of this post, the Sox have the lowest on base percentage of any team at third.
As I’ve said before, there is nothing on the horizon at third base for the Sox. Pending a trade, they seem to be stuck with Will Middlebrooks for the season. 600 ABs out of your third baseman with a lousy on base percentage is not going to lead them to the promised land. Ben Cherrington needs to do something about this.