Friday, June 15, 2012

Red Sox Strand 21 In Tough Loss To Cubs (31-33)

Matsuzaka struggled early
Things seemed to be going well for the Red Sox after winning two of three against the Marlins and heading to Chicago to face the worst team in baseball. However, the pitching match up of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Ryan Dempster favored the Cubs, and it was indeed the pitching that decided this game. The Red Sox put two on to start the game but stranded them, and it sure cost them throughout the game. Daisuke Matsuzaka loaded the bases with two outs on three walks to Tony Campana, Alfonso Soriano, and Bryan LaHair. It wouldn't be a walk that hurt him the most, however-- it would be a first pitch bloop single to left field by Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger. The Cubs got right back to it in the second with a one-out triple by Ryan Dempster of all people. He shot a bloop into right that evaded a diving Adrian Gonzalez to put the pitcher on third base. Dempster would come in to score on a hard line drive into right by David DeJesus to give them a 3-0 lead.

He settled down to go six
innings though
Matsuzaka settled down after those early struggles and the Red Sox blew many chances at scoring to make the game close. For example, in the fifth inning, Mike Aviles singled to lead off the inning. He stole second but did not advance further as Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out on a foul bunt. Scott Podsednik then grounded a ball back to Dempster on the mound, Aviles was caught too far off the base and just like that, the scoring chance was over. In the seventh inning the Red Sox put Nick Punto on first with two outs. He stole second and Scott Podsednik advanced him to third on an infield single. Podsednik would steal second to put two in scoring position for the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia hit a hard line drive to right-- but unfortunately it was right to David DeJesus and the inning was over. Matsuzaka was taken out of the game after that inning and his final line was a decent 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K. The most alarming case of stranding baserunners would come in the ninth when the Red Sox stranded the bases loaded with Dustin Pedroia at the plate to end the game.
Bright Spots:
Scott Atchison- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K
Mark Melancon- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Scott Podsednik- 2-4, 1 BB, 2 SB

Dull Spots:
Dustin Pedroia- 0-4, 1 BB, 6 LOB
Adrian Gonzalez- 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB
Kevin Youkilis- 0-4, 4 LOB
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 0-4, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
Scott Podsednik- Podsednik did a great job leading off for the Red Sox, reaching base three times and stealing two bases-- he is now .382/1/6.

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