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Red Sox Shit The Bed In The 8th Inning, Blow 4-0 Lead And Lose

Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners

Staying up for these west coast Red Sox games has been so hit or miss this year.

You’ve either gotten exciting comeback victories, or heartbreaking losses, which has kind of been a microcosm of their last few weeks or so. Is it me, or have the Red Sox lost a lot of games that they should’ve won, and won a lot of games that they should’ve lost? One-run game, bases loaded, no outs, bottom of the ninth, David Ortiz at the plate — loss. Losing 3-0, two outs in the ninth, two home runs — win. Up 1-0 in the ninth, two-run throwing error — loss. Losing 1-0 in the eighth, home run in the eighth, home run in the ninth — win. Then, we have last night.

Price

David Price was working on a two-hit shutout in the sixth inning when Luis Sardinas hit a line drive off of Price’s knee. He had been operating with a fastball that was sitting 94-95 all night up until that. But, after he was hit, his fastball dropped to about 92 MPH. I saw some people were blaming John Farrell for keeping Price in the game after he was clearly affected by that comebacker. That’s not on Farrell. That’s on Price. Farrell doesn’t know how Price’s body feels after an injury. It’s up to Price to speak up and tell his manager he can’t continue, if that was even the case at all.

Things completely fell apart for the Red Sox in the eighth inning, and it all started when Price allowed a first-pitch home run on a breaking ball. Price started the inning at 89 pitches, so you don’t have somebody warming to start the inning, but you absolutely have to get somebody up when a guy who was cruising along gives up a first-pitch home run to start the eighth, making it a three-run ballgame. Farrell sat on his ass, while Price allowed three singles in a row to bring in another run.

Now it’s 4-2, and you’ve got runners on first and second with nobody out. Price is finally lifted from the game, and on comes Matt Barnes, who has been criminally underrated this season. Opponents are hitting .196 with a .593 OPS against Barnes with 30 strikeouts in 31 innings over his last 25 appearances. Farrell got exactly what he wanted, as Barnes struck out Seth Smith on 98 MPH gas.

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Now what do you do? Robinson Cano is coming to the plate with one out and two runners on, representing the go-ahead run. Do you keep Barnes in? No, you bring in Fernando Abad. Farrell made the right call. This is why you went out and acquired this guy. He’s been excellent against left-handed hitters this year, and Cano had been 1-for-11 against Abad in his career prior to that at-bat. It just didn’t work out. Cano ends up crushing a three-run bomb, and that was the game.

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Abad is the new guy, so he’s an easy target for Red Sox fans to blame for that loss last night, but look at where that pitch was. That’s a pretty good pitch, and he got beat by a damn good hitter. Can’t blame Farrell for that. Shit, you can’t even blame Abad for that, really. Just tip your cap to Cano, and recognize that he won that battle. It happens.

Once upon a time, Hanley Ramirez hit a home run in this game. It was an absolute bomb that traveled 455 feet, his fourteenth of the season. Then the Red Sox lost in crushing fashion, and he fell down the stairs and hurt himself. No update on that situation yet today, but if he did have to go on the disabled list, I’m assuming it would be Marco Hernandez who would get the call in Hanley’s absence.

Final score: Mariners 5, Red Sox 4