Let’s be honest with ourselves. Winning two of three from the Mariners and in the process defeating their two aces, Michael Pineda and Felix Hernandez, is cause for celebration. But the reality is that the Sox can’t afford to lose a game like they did last night when it’s a tie ballgame going into the ninth with their closer, Sergio Santos, on the hill.
Sure, it’s baseball and you can’t come through every night, but in the case of the Pale Hose there is simply very little margin for error after their horrendous start.
A victory would have enabled the South Siders to gain a game on both the Indians and Tigers, the two teams they are chasing. As it stands, instead of standing five games behind Cleveland and three and a half in back of Detroit, it’s six and four and a half. Much improved from a few weeks ago, but the opportunity was there to shave the leads and the Sox couldn’t get it done.
It’s not that the Hose didn’t show signs of life. Down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Sox tied the score on Carlos Quentin‘s two-run homer, his second blast of the game and 17th of the season. Unfortunately, the offense stopped there and the Sox lost in 10 innings, 7-4.
Perhaps the most disheartening aspect of the contest was a pattern with which we’re all too familiar. Leading off the top of the 10th, Seattle’s Justin Smoak blooped a double that fell between Brent Morel and Juan Pierre in left field, which started the three-run rally (pictured above). Presumably Pierre was playing deep in a “no doubles” defense and it really wasn’t Morel’s play, although he made the effort from his position at third base.
Whether it was anyone’s fault or just one of those things, it doesn’t matter. If the Sox are to dig out of their early season hole, that play and others like it somehow have to be made.