BOSTON Although their outings went for naught, Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Bailey, and Mark Melancon each pitched a perfect inning from the eighth through the 11th, respectively -- in Saturdays 12-inning loss to the Orioles at Fenway Park.
It was just the second time since 1920 that the Sox had four consecutive pitchers throw at least one perfect inning. The other time was Sept. 30, 2007, against the Twins, when Jon Lester, Mike Timlin, Manny Delcarmen, and Eric Gagne did so.
Well, were all very talented, said Melancon. But its been really a frustrating year all the way around, because we all have the talent to do that. But for some reason it just seems like everybodys had a taste of humble pie. We need to finish strong. I dont know. Its just frustrating.
The Sox got their slice of humble pie in the 12th inning, when Alfredo Aceves gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning, to serve up the Sox fourth straight loss, guaranteeing a loss of the season series to the Orioles for the first time since 2004.
They pitched their butts off, said manager Bobby Valentine.
The bullpen was awesome, said catcher Ryan Lavarnway. They slammed the door. They were unhittable for a while.
A while. But, not to the point that Valentine wanted to leave any of them in beyond the one inning they each pitched.
Not this time of the year, no, he said. I mean, theres a temptation. Maybe if the shoe was on the other foot. But I cant see that being a productive thing right now.
If the shoe were on the other foot. Meaning if the Sox, like the Os, were fighting for a play-off spot. Instead, the Sox are fighting to finish the season with a bit of respectability.