Last night's loss was a function of bad pitching, plain and simple. Michael Bowden came out and threw a clunker, giving up seven runs on seven hits in three innings. To his credit, Bowden didn't blame the short notice or bad weather for his performance.
"It's inexcusable," said Bowden, who did not blame the short notice for his struggles. "They could have told me at 7:05 and I should have been able to put forth a better effort than I did tonight. It's just a terrible feeling, going out there and letting the team down and giving up that many runs so early."
Bowden has never backed away or blamed anyone for a bad performance but himself, which is a refreshing attitude in this day and age. He has a lot of talent, although I think there is a question now about whether he'll be a starter or a long reliever/spot starter going forward. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it's an important role to fill and the right guy in that slot can make a huge difference.
It didn't help matters that Hunter Jones then came out and allowed four runs on five hits in 1.2 innings. By that time the Sox were in an 11-3 hole. Throw in the rain and they never had a chance to get back into it. Which is too bad, because the lineup was smacking the ball.
I mentioned online the other day that Ortiz needed three homers and Youk needed five to give Boston three players with 30+ homers for the first time since 1977. I don't know if they read it or not, but Youk cranked a pair of homers and Ortiz added one of his own. Now Ortiz has 28 homers and Youk has 27 with six games left to play. But with the run deficit, all this power wasn't enough.
So we move on to tonight, where Buchholz takes the mound against Ricky Romero. This matchup favors the Sox in a big way. Boston is at home, Buchholz owns the Jays (3-0, 1.35 in three starts) and Romero is owned by the Sox (0-3, 8.83 ERA in four starts). It will be a massive disappointment if the Sox do not clinch the wild card tonight with a matchup like this.