The Red Sox couldn't get anything going on offense, wasting a superb start by Josh Beckett and falling to the AL East-leading Orioles 2-1.
Beckett went eight strong, throwing just 92 pitches in the effort. He scattered five hits, walked one, and struck out five. For all the hulabaloo over him in the offseason, Josh's ERA is now just a touch over four, and he looks like he's really rounded into shape. With one starter scuffling (Lester), one starter being atrocious (Buchholz), and one starter so bad they had to demote him (Bard), Beckett is at least joining Felix Doubront as an effective member of the rotation.
I have to question Bobby V a little for his performance this game. I'm all for accountability and everything, and I know Adrian Gonzalez has not been on this year. But he's the best hitter on the team, and he's currently playing out of position while the team tries to not ruin its one good prospect and also not create a major distraction by benching Kevin Youkilis. (A little showcasing doesn't hurt, either.)
For his unselfish efforts, he's dropped to sixth in the lineup, and then pinch-run for in the 7th. Of course, the Sox managed to get some baserunners, so much so that in the bottom of the 8th with two on and two out, Gonzalez's spot in the lineup was at the plate...but in the form of Scott Podsednik. You're not going to believe this, but Scotty Pods didn't come through.
There's no question Adrian has been a disappointment, but there's no reason to treat him like an ancillary player. He's the best player on the team, just underperforming. He makes pitchers work, and he needs to be playing all the time and be left alone in the lineup. We need to figure something out with Youk, because this is getting ridiculous.