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Smoltz Stumbles, Bats Lacking as O’s Avoid the Sweep

John Smoltz

For the first two games of this series, it looked like the slumbering Boston offense had woken up.  But today, facing talented Baltimore righty David Hernandez, it turned out that they had simply gotten up to pee before going right back to sleep again.  John Smoltz took the 6-2 loss to send the Red Sox down to two and a half games behind the Yankees.

The aging hurler got in trouble early, running up high pitch counts in the first few innings and giving up nine hits and six runs in just five innings of work.  The worst was a three-run third inning, in which the Red Sox right-hander gave up three runs on a slew of two-out hits.  Unusually for Smoltz, he was visibly emotional on the mound, punching his glove and yelling.

The Sox managed to crack the scoreboard late, but there was to be no rousing comeback this time, as the Baltimore bullpen squelched the Boston bats just as efficiently as starter Hernandez, who got the well-deserved win.

In all, it’s the same story that we’ve been hearing since the All-Star break — no offense, and foundering pitchers.

Sox Stud of the Game: Jacoby Ellsbury

The young man was one of the few bright spots on the offense, going 2 for 4 with a steal and contributing an outfield assist.

Sox Dud of the Game: John Smoltz

He was around the plate, but his fastball lacked power and his slider lacked bite.  You have to wonder, at this point, if he isn’t simply past it.

That’s what he said

“Some things have gone wrong in most of his starts, and we’ve ended up losing games when he’s pitched, but that doesn’t mean he can’t pitch really well for us. We all believe that he will.” — Tito, doing his best Mr. Magoo impression. (courtesy mlb.com)

Notes:

  • Watching John Smoltz disintegrate on the mound was really, really sad if you grew up watching him own the mound.
  • The people at Uno’s on Harvard street are cool with you nursing one Pepsi while you tap away at your laptop and watch the game, as long as they’re not too busy.

About Jon

I used to get along with Cubs fans so much better before 2004. What gives?

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