Four Real? Red Sox vs Tigers 6-23-13

Pete Lepak Staff Writer
Game 78: Poor Defense + bad bullpen = loss
Boston just can't get it done right now. With closer Andrew Bailey blowing game one of the series, and poor pitching throughout the four games with Detroit, Boston has a lot of pitching planning to do if they want to stay at the top of the AL East. Boston lead in this afternoon's game until the seventh, and then things got out of hand. Now that Bailey is out of the closer role, everyone else in the bullpen will have to shift roles, and it might not be pretty. Today's game showed how ugly it is when you don't have a strong and comfortable bullpen. Oh, and Detroit also received a gift of a call that lead to three unearned runs in the eighth. After watching four games with Detroit, it's safe to say that they are the better team right now. When the pressure was on, they came through twice when Boston didn't. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:

1) Bottom of the first inning, and Miguel Cabrera is just hitting out of this world. After Felix Doubront walks two men to start the inning, Cabrera hits a shot to center that just lands before the fence and then hops over for a ground rule double. You just can't tell me that Cabrera isn't the best player on the planet right now. 2-0 Tigers.

2) Bottom of the seventh inning, and the Sox are up 4-3. Andrew Miller has replaced Andrew Bailey, and two men are on base. Miller, who is known to strike men out or walk them, gives up a Prince Fielder single and then proceeds to plunk Jhonny Peralta on an 0-2 pitch to score the tying run. What a killer at bat for Miller, who was one strike away from getting out of the inning with the hold.

3) Bottom of the eighth inning, and this is when it all falls apart. The score is tied at 4, and Andrew Miller is still pitching. The first batter of the inning, Avisail Garcia, hits a ball deep to right field, and Daniel Nava gets tricked at first, but he sprints back to the warning track to make the basket catch. As he goes to bring it into his hand to throw it back, he drops the ball, and the umpires call it an error. Garcia is awarded second base, and manager John Farrell is ejected because the umpires do not overturn the call. The next batter, Bryan Holaday, hits a sacrifice bunt to Miller, but he throws it wide and now there are men at the corners with no outs, when the bases should really be empty. Torii Hunter would score a run with a sacrifice fly and Prince Fielder would single in two more and the Red Sox are now down 7-4.

4) Top of the ninth and the Red Sox are rallying. One run has already scored on a Johnny Gomes double, and Stephen Drew hits a dart to right field. If it drops, it will most likely be a triple, but gold glove winner Torii Hunter makes a great grab to record the final out and preserve the win. 7-5 Tigers.

Well, pitching is now a major problem with the Red Sox. Clay Buchholz is hurt, Jon Lester can't win, Andrew Bailey is scared of pitching the ninth inning, and Andrew Miller is wild. How can they turn this around? Trades are the only way, as there really is no answer down on the farm. Boston has Monday off to think about it, but they return to action Tuesday when Ryan Dempster faces Juan Nicasio and the Colorado Rockies at 7:10pm

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