Don't just blame the ump for last night's Red Sox loss

Jim Monaghan
Content Coordinator

Let's get this out of the way right up front.

Home plate umpire Laz Diaz had a bad night behind the plate for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series between the Astros and Red Sox.

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Make that a REALLY bad night.

We all know that Diaz (pictured) is the only person on the planet who didn't think Nathan Eovaldi struck out Juan Castro looking, a strikeout that would have ended the top of the 9th with the score still tied at 2-2.

But this game turned away from the Red Sox LONG before the ninth inning. In fact, you could make a case that the game was effectively lost from the second inning on.

Because that's when the Red Sox offense went to sleep.

Trailing 1-0, Xander Bogaerts delivered his first RBI's of the series with a tremendous 2-run homer to left in the bottom of the first. And that was the extent of Boston's scoring.

Houston manager Dusty Baker pulled his starter Zack Greinke with one out in the bottom of the second and from that point on, the Red Sox were shut out on just four hits.

Four hits.

Against a bullpen that was already gassed in this series.

Speaking Wednesday morning on WEEI, Red Sox head of baseball ops Chaim Bloom said it succinctly - "You could see how frustrated our guys were at points. But we also had opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of."

And Nathan Eovaldi was just as forthcoming in his postgame interview - " I felt like I made a good pitch on the outside corner, and it didn't go my way, but I got to come back and I got to answer back and make another good pitch."

It also didn't help that Martin Perez, needing to get just one out, didn't miss a lot of Houston bats coming on in relief of Eovaldi.

Diaz was brutally bad Tuesday night, and has absolutely no business umpiring a regular season game, let alone the ALCS.

But the reason the Red Sox find themselves 2-2 in this series with the Astros is just as much their responsibility.

Click here to find more by Jim Monaghan on Red Sox Life. Follow him on twitter - @Monaghan21.