The Sox lost their third straight in a 4-3 defeat to the Nationals at Fenway. Washington finished up the sweep off of Alfredo Aceves.
Aceves came on to start the 9th of a 3-3 game. After coaxing a fly out from Ian Desmond, Aceves faced pinch hitter Bryce Harper. Harper walked, and though Aceves struck out the next batter, Jesus Flores, he couldn't retire Roger Bernadina. (In fairness, Roger Bernadina is a perennial triple crown threat.)
Bernadina doubled and the speedy Harper raced home. All the Sox could muster in the 9th was a Kevin Youkilis walk, and even lost Bobby Valentine to ejection with one out to go.
Aceves is now 0-4 with three blown saves against 14 saves. His ERA is just a touch under five, and his WHIP is an unacceptable (for a closer) 1.27. You can't be putting guys on in the 9th and be the guy. It's doubtful Bobby V will make any change at the position now -- what is he going to do, insert the just-called-up Mark Melancon, or the usually unreliable Matt Albers, as closer? -- so all we can do is hope that Bailey is healing fast.
The Sox drop to 29-31, now six games out in the AL East. It doesn't get much easier with a trip down to South Beach to take on the Miami Marlins. I don't know about you, but I'm not really ready for another Boston-Miami clash at this moment.
Looking for positives? The Sox clinched the longest sellout streak in the history of sports today. And if you believe that, you should probably talk to Scott Boras about signing his durable client Jacoby Ellsbury to a long-term deal.