We’ll start with the bottom of the sixth. Youk and Baldelli reach on singles and then Jason Bay strikes out, looking bad. Then Lowell grounds out and ends the threat.
Yet you had that suspicion that once Tampa’s bullpen was part of the game the Sox could rally back and of course that would make for an exciting comeback. Well the bottom of the eight was scripted for exactly that.
Ortiz singled, Youk did the same. Then Baldelli strikes out. So two outs and two on for Jason Bay. He didn’t disappoint by doubling and scoring Ortiz. Mike Lowell had a chance to make up for the sixth and was hit by a pitch. This set up Jed Lowrie with the bases loaded. A home run ties the game. Instead a strike out ends the rally and the Sox hopes of winning the game.
Now it’s only the second game of the season so no one jump off a bridge or anything, but let’s examine what’s working. Well, Ellsbury at the top of the order certainly is not. He’s 1-9 in the early season with his one hit being a grounder that he beat out. Lowrie and Lowell are each 1-7 and Varitek is 1-8. In all their defense, they faced off against the front end of a Tampa rotation that’s much better than years past.
This afternoon should help the teams collective batting average. Dice-K dealing and Garza on the hill for Tampa. Hopefully the warm temperatures at Fenway help the bats thaw out a bit and the Sox roll.