Sox take first loss in "must win" series
A New England team lost by a touchdown Friday night, but it wasn’t the Patriots. The Red Sox took a 10-3 beating at the hands of the Yankees in the first of a three-game “must win” series in their first visit to Yankee Stadium this season. The Sox now sit in last place of the AL East, 11 1/2 games behind the Yankees.
All started well for the Sox, with a homer from Dustin Pedroia giving them the early 1-0 lead in the first. It was the only lead Boston would see Friday, as the Yankees were quick to extinguish it with three runs in their first at bat.
The Sox would produce two more homeruns, one from Carl Crawford and one from Jarrod Saltalamacchia (his twentieth of the season), but they were no match for the offensive tear the Yankees went on.
It started in the third, when Derek Jeter scored on a sacrifice fly. New York increased their lead to three runs in the fourth, and that would prove to be it for Aaron Cook, who gave up seven hits, two homeruns, and six hits across four innings with on strikeout. Cook threw 65 pitches with 45 strikes.
Franklin Morales replaced Cook, and was able to hold the score at 6-3 throughout his two innings on the mound. Andrew Miller was next to pitch for Boston, and while he didn’t allow any runs, Mark Melancon didn’t fair quite as well when he entered the game for the eighth inning. Melancon got himself in a jam when he walked Jeter to load the bases, paving the way for a Curtis Granderson grand slam which eliminated any real hopes of a Red Sox comeback and left the score at 10-3.
– Pedroia got fired up after the loss, opening up to the media about his frustrations with the team’s lack of success. He used an expletive when describing the team’s first 100 games, and went on to say the following: “We’re two games under .500. We’re the Boston Red Sox, so if anyone’s thrilled with where we’re at they better reevaluate because I don’t like losing. I know everyone else doesn’t like losing. We’ve got to play better now.” On a night with almost no upside for the Sox, you’ve got to hope a statement like Pedroia’s lights some kind of fire for the team.
– Players and management alike have called this series a must win, and this certainly wasn’t the start needed to close the gap between the Sox and their first place rivals. Boston is running out of time, and tonight’s loss doesn’t put them in a good place to turn it around. It’s clear player frustration is mounting, but that frustration will need to translate to production if the Sox want to play out the rest of the season with a shot at the postseason.
Jon Lester takes the mound for the Sox as they head into their second game of the series against the Yankees at 4:05 p.m. Saturday. The Sox have gone 7-13 this season with Lester on the mound, and with a 5.46 ERA, he hasn’t played up to past seasons’ expectations so far. At two games below .500, the Sox are stuck in the cellar with a 49-51 record. He’ll face CC Sabathia, who has gone 10-3 this season with a 3.30 ERA. After Friday’s loss, a victory Saturday is an absolute must if the Red Sox want a serious chance at a postseason.