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The Wheels Fall Off John Lackey’s Near No-Hitter

Posted By "Baseball Brenda" Sepanek On Jul 23 2010 @ 5:43 pm In Boston Red Sox | 4 Comments

Wow! The last few weeks there wasn’t much to write about. Last night gave me plenty! 

The Red Sox sunk to another low. After coming off a stellar performance against the Texas Rangers, John Lackey took a no-hit bid against the Seattle Mariners into the 8th inning only to watch the wheels fall off as Manny Delcarmen and Jonathan Papelbon blew the 5 run lead, blew the save, and stole center stage attention and the win, from Lackey’s best outing of the year. This game reminds me of the game against Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez when the Sox were one of the only teams this year to rattle Jimenez scoring 6 runs. Only to have Papelbon blow the game allowing 2 home runs in the same inning for the second time this season. Last night it went from 7 2/3 innings of no-hit ball, to an absolute nightmare, to a clutch 2-out, 2-run double by an unlikely candidate in the 13th for the win. As a friend of mine pointed out, last night’s game was like a representation of this year’s season. Things are going well one minute and just when the Red Sox start to turn the corner and make their move…WHAM! Everything falls apart.

It was nice to see Lackey performing up to expectations. Lackey is known for being a second half of the season performer. He has scraped by the first half but so far he is on pace to shine in the second.

Last night he went 8.0 innings, gave up two hits, no earned runs, no walks, and struck out six. It was in the eighth inning with two outs, when Josh Bard broke up the no-hitter sending a shot to right center. Good thing it ended on that hit because the next batter up hit a squirly ground ball to Bill Hall’s left. At the last minute it changed directions on him leaving him perplexed and leaving the scorer with no choice but to call it a hit.

Lackey finished out the 8th and Manny Delcarmen pitched the ninth. Or did he? He immediately gave up a single to right and then a home run making it 6-3. Follow that up with a walk and an error by Marco Scutaro and then it was Jonathan Papelbon’s turn to take care of business inheriting two base runners. Paps struck out the first batter and gave up a double to right, making it 6-4. He walked the next batter and with two on and one out, Jack Wilson grounded into a fielder’s choice that should have resulted in a game ending double play but not last night. Evidently the boys wanted to keep playing so Bill Hall threw the ball away and the Mariners tied the ball game. The game went to extra innings and finally in the 13th Eric Patterson hit a two out, two RBI double to put them up 8-6 and essentially win the game. Once again, one of “The Replacements” had to take care of business. Although, they still pulled out the win last night I am going to put this game in my Top 5 worst loses of the season. It will of course have our favorite character, the asterisk (*) next to it. This wasn’t the first time he came close to a no-hitter. Exactly two years ago to the day, July 29, 2008, with only two outs remaining, Dustin Pedroia ended his no-hit dreams.

Speaking of “The Replacements”, let’s take a moment to thank Daniel Nava for all his hard work. With Jeremey Hermida being activated from the DL, it was only a matter of time before Nava lost his spot on the team. Nava became an instant sensation with Red Sox fans, as he hit a grand slam in his first Major League plate appearance on June 12. The outfielder batted .286 with 10 doubles and 16 RBIs during his 29-game stretch with Boston. Something tells me we will be seeing him real soon.

Since the All-Star break things haven’t been going so hot. The Sox are 3-5 and last night was the first time they scored more than four runs in the last eight games since the break. They are trying to make the best of a tough situation. When one third of your lineup is sitting on the side line in foot casts or with broken ribs it is hard to win games. At least the pitching rotation will finally be back in action. Clay Buchholz returned to the rotation this week and Josh Beckett will be taking the mound for the first time since mid-May. He missed 56 games due to a lower back strain. This will be the first time the starting rotation has pitched consecutively since April. Let’s hope the pitching staff can pick up the offense a bit because we all know the offense carried the pitching staff during the first half of the season, leading in almost every offensive category there is.

Side notes:

We all know the majority of the Red Sox roster is on the DL but did you know that even the Red Sox Mickey Mouse statue that debuted in Anaheim during the All Star Break landed on the DL? See story: Red Sox Mickey Mouse lands on DL [1]

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[1] Red Sox Mickey Mouse lands on DL: http://www.nesn.com/2010/07/red-soxthemed-mickey-mouse-overcoming-injuries-to-appear-at-allstar-fanfest.html

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