I've got some good news and some bad news folks.
The good news is that the Boston Red Sox didn't lose on a walkoff yesterday. The first part of the bad news is that the Oakland A's completed the sweep of the Red Sox with a 3-2 win. The other part? Well after starting this series a 1/2 game out second place, the Red Sox now find themselves back in the basement of the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays who won yesterday.
The west coast was not kind to the Red Sox at all as they managed a grand total of 14 runs in seven games. And that showed as on the trip, they went 2-5.
It's not entirely like they got bad starting pitching as for the most part, the exceptions being Felix Doubront and Daisuke Matsuzaka. The bullpen was outstanding in picking up Doubront and Dice-K as well as the other games as well. The main reason they went 2-5 was because the offense couldn't do anything.
Now we expected them to have a tough night when they faced Felix Hernandez in Seattle. But after that, they couldn't do much with the exception being Saturday night's game where they hit four home runs.
In the past few years, the Red Sox have really struggled when they have to face a pitcher they haven't seen. Yesterday, it was A.J. Griffin who did his best to shut down the Red Sox.
They were only able to manage three hits off of Griffin in his six innings of work. In fact, those were the only hits the Red Sox had yesterday.
One of those hits though was the 400th career home run for David Ortiz in the 4th inning. At the time, it tied up the game at one. They managed their third and final hit in the 6th inning when Adrian Gonzalez singled in Big Papi who had reached on a two-hit walk. The single, which extended Gonzo's hitting streak to 15 games, also gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
But that would be the last runner the Red Sox would put on base the rest of the game. And before I forget, the first Red Sox hit of the day was by Mauro Gomez. The hit for Gomez was the first of his MLB career.
Whenever you play a former team of yours, you usually get amped up a little more than normal. You want to show your former team what they were missing. The three former Red Sox on the A's, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss took turns doing that throughout the series.
In the first game it was Reddick and Moss. Tuesday, it was Coco. And yesterday it was Coco and Moss.
Moss got the A's on the board first with a solo home run off of Aaron Cook in the 2nd inning. Moss then reached in the 6th on a double to shortstop (that's what the game summary says). What happened was that Moss hit a high popup just behind the grass at shortstop. But with the sun shining brightly in Oakland, Mike Aviles, Daniel Nava and Gomez couldn't find it in the sun and the ball dropped in. Moss ended up on second because he hustled out of the box. He would eventually score two batters later when Brandon Inge doubled him in to tie the game at 2.
The A's would get what turned out to be the winning run in the 7th and once again, a former Red Sox player played a big part. Coco took advantage of a sinker that Cook left out over the plate and nailed a triple. Andrew Miller replaced him and was greeted by a Jemile Weeks single that brought in the speedy Crisp.
Miller got Reddick to foul out and he gave way to Matt Albers who got Yoenis Cespedes to foul out as well. From there, Franklin Morales shut the A's down for the final 1.1 innings. And before you ask, Morales is still a starter. It was his side day so Bobby Valentine had him available to pitch in the bullpen since Miller is the only lefty down there right now. The only other guy who could matchup with lefties, Clayton Mortensen, was optioned to Pawtucket before the game to make room for Justin Germano.
Look, we all know teams go through funks. Right now, it's the offense's turn. It's not like the Red Sox were blown out by the Mariners and A's in the series. They just couldn't hit. And when you can't hit, you can't score runs.
Whether you want to think it is or not, this upcoming four-game set with the New York Yankees is huge. It's the final four games before the All-Star break. The Red Sox are two games above .500 right now. If they go 1-3, they head into the All-Star break at .500 and would trail the Yanks by 10.5 games (it's currently 7.5). If the Red Sox managed to get swept, it could determine whether or not they are buyers or sellers at the July 31st trade deadline.
One thing is for sure, they definitely don't want that to happen. The Red Sox should get Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford back sometime after the break with Ellsbury expected to be up first before Crawford.
A nice weekend for the Red Sox could a long way right now.
With the Red Sox off today as they spent last night traveling back from the left coast, we'll be back in a bit with the MLB on FOX breakdown for Saturday night as well as the pitching matchups for the series with the Yanks. So for now, let's take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click
Travel problems [boston globe]
Ortiz’s 400th muted by silent offense [boston globe]
Pedroia hurts thumb again [boston globe]
Red Sox swept away by Athletics [boston herald]
Remembering Ted Williams [boston herald]
No fireworks for Red Sox [boston herald]
Thumb forces Dustin Pedroia to sit [boston herald]
David Ortiz builds Hall of a case [boston herald]
Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury go down to get back up [boston herald]
Prospects appear bright for Jackie Bradley Jr. [boston herald]
For Red Sox staff, 2 heads better than 1 [boston herald]
Will Middlebrooks: ‘I want to play’ this weekend against Yankees [clubhouse insider]
A's sweep Sox, win 3-2 [csn new england]
Ortiz calls negotiations with Sox 'humiliating' and says he's 'open to anything' next year [csn new england]
First Pitch: Red Sox offense has lost its grip [csn new england]
Sox had West Coast 'trip from hell' [csn new england]
Ross: 'Our offense has just been terrible' [csn new england]
Ross on Ortiz' 400th HR: 'Happy, proud' and a 'sigh of relief' [csn new england]
Ortiz reaches milestone with No. 400 [csn new england]
Valentine: Cook 'pitched pretty well' [csn new england]
Ortiz joins 400 home run club [espn boston]
Rapid Reaction: A's 3, Red Sox 2 [espn boston]
Offense limps through disappointing trip [espn boston]
Video: Papi's milestone moments [espn boston]
Ellsbury, Crawford play with Portland [espn boston]
Video: Is Ortiz Hall of Fame worthy? [espn boston]
Ortiz fed up with one-year deals [espn boston]
David Ortiz ‘humiliated’ by way Red Sox treated him in offseason [full count]
Nuggetpalooza: Stat nuggets from the Red Sox disappointing trip [full count]
Aaron Cook's Few Mistakes Aren't Missed by Athletics Hitters in Loss (Video) [nesn.com]
David Ortiz's Milestone Home Run Continues to Pad His Case For Cooperstown, Top DH in History [nesn.com]
Red Sox Offense Needs More Than David Ortiz' Milestone to Break Out of Recent Slump [nesn.com]
David Ortiz Goes Off About Contract Situation, Says Offseason Was 'Humiliating' [nesn.com]
Kevin Youkilis' Play Becoming 'Infectious' in Chicago As White Sox Continue to Roll (Video) [nesn.com]
Middlebrooks' sister is PawSox intern [pawtucket times]
Big Papi notches 400th career homer [redsox.com]
Gomez gets hot-corner test in first start [redsox.com]
Red Sox add Germano as reliever [redsox.com]
New thumb ailment sidelines Pedroia [redsox.com]
For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New England, ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.
And if you must check out the enemy news, be sure to head over to the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle websites.
Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.
photo credit: Getty Images
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