Well, that’s one way to end a seven-game losing streak by the Boston Red Sox. The Beantowners weren’t very good once again tonight, enjoying only one inning worth of scoring.
But what an inning that sixth was, with Cody Ross hitting a tying three-run homer off Blake Beavan and Ryan Lavarnway adding the go-ahead blast moments later. Boston takes this one 4-3, largely because the Mariners failed to build on a 3-0 lead they’d amassed by the third inning.
We saw the leadoff man reach base in both the seventh and eighth innings, but Eric Thames and Trayvon Robinson both could not get bunts down. Thames wound up striking out and Robinson popped his bunt up for an out.
That’s now 15 games in a row in which the Mariners have done all of their scoring in one or two innings out of nine. They have managed to get away with an 8-7 record over that span, but it should tell you something that they are only 1-5 against .500-or-better teams in that situation.
Eric Wedge has been concerned about the inability of the offense to add on to leads throughout the season.
“That was the difference in the ballgame,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “We had opportunities to separate and extend the lead. Opportunities late in the ballgame to come back on them and nobody stepped up for us in those situatiuons.”
Sometimes you get away with it…heck, the Red Sox did tonight. If you’re only going to score in an inning or two a night, it helps if you can get four runs in one of those frames.
Where it becomes a problem is when you only get a run or two at a time, then don’t score for seven or eigth other innings. That’s what happened tonight.
The Mariners had a chance to put Jon Lester away early tonight, but instead let him go six innings to pick up the win.
When I asked Wedge post-game about spreading the scoring around, he told me he likes it when his team can score in at least three out of nine innings.
“If you can go out there and score runs in three innings, you know you’re probably going to have a chance to win the ballgame,” Wedge said. “Because you’ve got to figure that one of those innings is probably going to be a multiple-run inning.”
In this case, there was only one multi-run inning — leaving Seattle with three for the night. A third inning of scoring would have left Seattle with at least four or five runs and maybe we’d still be playing.
Anyhow, something to keep an eye on.
Wedge noted that the Mariners did have their chances to score and lost because they failed to execute in those other seven scoreless innings. So, it’s not like the M’s were completely shut down.
But missing those late bunts proved costly.
“It’s one of those things where you have to get it down and I wasn’t seeing the lefty very well,” Thames said. “The first (pitch) was under my chin almost, or over my head. It kind of shook me up a bit. But you know, there’s no excuse. You have to get the bunt down and I didn’t so. I’ll get it next time.”
Thames hasn’t had all that much experience bunting
“I bunted once the other day and I bunted once last year and that was it other than high school,” Thames said. “I take pride, I’m a pretty good bunter. Whatever it takes to get the team on the board and a victory. But that was a rough one.”