Welcome back, Julio. That RBI single you had was great and all. But that hardly makes up for your bonehead error in the third that let the Indians rally to tie the game at seven. Now I remember why I was so thrilled when you went on the DL. At this point I want to see Nick Green full-time or some random guy off Brookline Ave. starting at short before you get back in there. One game back and you already have an error on your sheet. What a big surprise.
And while it'd be just as easy to blame Javier Lopez for dropping the ball and allowing the winning run to cross, the truth is that the Sox had a ton of opportunities to break this game wide open. They stranded 11 runners. Yes, Cleveland stranded 12 but they are supposed to do that; it's why they're still five games under .500 right now. Boston is supposed to seize those chances and last night they simply didn't do it. So all those hits and all those runs meant nothing. The final result was watching an inferior team beat you on a catching error. Such are the wages of lost opportunities.
Brad Penny looked shockingly bad last night, not even making it through three innings. Granted, three of the seven runs that crossed on his watch were the result of someone's boneheaded error. But he had control issues as well. Last night was not good for Penny. I wonder how many eyes in the organization are looking toward Smoltz and his June return this morning. The only bright spots last night in pitching for the Sox was Hunter Jones continuing to impress, Okajima looking more like his old self and the consistency of Ramon Ramirez. The truth is that the bullpen wasn't atrocious last night, but Lopez's error tends to overshadow that fact.
What makes it worse is that the Yankees actually won a game last night and so Aviv gets bragging rights for now. Nothing is more insufferable than a Yankee fan feeling his oats. Still, the Sox are two games in front and I think this game is an aberration as opposed to a harbinger of things to come. But a little extra fielding practice for the pitching staff today wouldn't hurt, either.