Red Sox Lose Pitching Duel to Tigers
Scherzer and four relievers from the Tigers bullpen, shutout Boston on just three hits in front of over 37,200 fans, whom sat through a rain delay of 47 minutes for a tying or winning run that never came.
This was the 10th loss by Boston this season by one run, which leads the American League. Dustin Pedoria the de facto team captain for Boston met with manager John Farrell following the game in what many believe was an attempt to figure out what is bothering the defending World Series Champions.
On Friday, the players can only blame themselves for not winning. On two occasions, Boston had no outs with runners on first and second. However, in the sixth Grady Sizemore hit into a double play and Mike Napoli struck out. In the seventh, Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out and A.J. Pierzynski hit into a double play.
Boston is below .500 again after a stretch of two losses to Minnesota and this 1-0 defeat to Detroit. However, the season is young.
Lester allowed a first inning run and then was excellent thereafter for the Red Sox. However, his record dipped to 4-5.
Boston’s two rallies that were thwarted could be second-guessed, especially given the decision by Farrell not to bunt the runners over.
If Sizemore would have bunted then David Ortiz would have been intentionally walked and Farrell did not want that. However, Sizemore hit into a double play and the Tigers walked Ortiz intentionally anyway, before Napoli fanned to end the inning.
It seemed more likely that Bradley would have bunted during the seventh, but Boston was thinking if that happened then Pierzynski would be walked intentionally, which would have set up David Ross for a possible double play.In both situations, the Red Sox let the Tigers off the hook and with a starter like Scherzer and a talented bullpen, that spells trouble.
Boston did have the misfortune to face Detroit ace Scherzer on a good night. His new manager Brad Ausmus thought the game by Scherzer might have been the pitcher’s best thus far this season.
That says a great deal for a pitcher who has won his past six consecutive decisions, has fanned 73 batters in just 59 innings and has the lowest ERA in the American League at 1.83.
The Red Sox had a big scare when Evan Reed a fireball reliever for Detroit hit Xander Bogaerts with a fastball of 96 miles per hour on the left wrist. Bogaerts said it hurt and was quite scary, but it quickly stopped hurting.
Boston is now in fourth place in the AL East but just 2 ½ games out of first with 121 games left on the regular season schedule. That gives them plenty of time to figure out what is wrong and make up the small deficit.
Meanwhile, Detroit now has the best record in the Majors at 25-12. The Tigers have won 4 straight, 7 of 10 and lead the AL Central by 6 ½ games.