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Boston Red Sox Gameday: Sox Unplugged

Coming into Friday night’s game against the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox pitcher Felix Doubront had a 2-0 record with the best run support of any pitcher in the major leagues…

…but after the Rangers nickled and dimed him to an early exit and starting pitcher David Holland held the perplexed and tired looking Sox offense to six measly singles in 8 solid innings, Doubront had neither.

May 4, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) reacts after flying out in the 8th inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers beat the Red Sox 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

At 9.64 runs scored by his teammates for every nine innings pitched, Doubront had been the beneficiary of a Sox lineup that manufactured runs at a pace that is well above their quota – to the tune of a 20-8 record and the best record in Baseball….

…so the Sox offense decided not to show up.  It happens every now and then, though there’s no explanation for it other than just having a bad day collectively – or running into a hot pitcher like Holland.

We move on.  Baseball season is so long that at this point in the infancy of the 2013 season, it’s easy to let a bad game slip into the past.  Chalk Friday night up to nothing more than a bad day and move onto Saturday night’s first pitch – which, much to the chagrin of Sox faithful, was a disaster of equal proportions.

Rangers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler led off the bottom of the 1st by driving the first pitch he saw from Sox starter John Lackey into the people in the left field bleachers and light-hitting centerfielder Craig Gentry also sent a two-run souvenir over the left field wall as the Rangers clinched the three game series with Boston by a score of 5-1.

Lackey didn’t pitch badly, as a matter of fact he threw every piece of junk he could to keep the Red Sox in the game, going five innings while giving up 3 runs, while walking three and striking out four – waiting for the Sox breakout at the plate, which never happened.

After a performance like that, one would expect that the resilient Sox would regroup and bring better focus and effort at the plate – and they did, by one more hit and one more run…which is very marginal improvement when considered that Boston scored zero run on six hits the night before…

Designated hitter David Ortiz continued his fast start, belting a gapper, then scored Boston’s lone run – and that was about it, though they did manage to leave nine runners stranded – and as amazing as it seems, the Red Sox still hold the best record in baseball after losing two straight to Texas, by one game over the Rangers and a game and a half over division rivals, the New York Yankees…

…so when Yu Darvish brings his 5-1 record, 58 strike outs and a shiny 2.33 ERA to the mound on Sunday afternoon at Ranger’s Ballpark to face off against Sox ace Jon Lester and his 4-0 record and 3.11 ERA, Darvish has the opportunity to give Lester his first loss of the season and to give the Rangers the best record in all of baseball.

It goes without saying that the Red Sox are unplugged right now.  Their performance both times that they’ve visited the Launching pad that is Rogers’ Centre in Toronto not withstanding, their entire offensive philosophy has been based on small ball, stringing together hits to win two thirds of their games…

…but Texas has been able to take that away from them, and may be able to steal their best-record thunder if they are able to sweep the series today at 3:05 Eastern time…

Topics: Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers

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