Lackey takes hard luck loss vs. Phillies

191542.jpg

Lackey takes hard luck loss vs. Phillies

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHILADELPHIA -- John Lackey's start Wednesday night was leaps and bounds better than his last. After getting shelled in the rain last Wednesday, Lackey allowed just two runs over 7 23 innings in a losing effort.

"I felt pretty good,'' said Lackey, whose record dropped to 5-7. "I was locating a little bit of everything and mixing things up pretty well and gave us a chance.''

"I thought he was tremendous,'' said Terry Francona. "I thought he threw as good a breaking ball as we've seen. I think he felt the same way. He got us deep into the game, but we scored one run. That's a hard way to win. I thought he did terrific.''

Lackey walked one and struck out five while allowing eight hits.

"For the most part, since coming off the DL, I've thrown the ball pretty good,'' said Lackey. "I had one bad start in the rain and that's about it. I feel stronger than I did before (going on the) DL.''

Baseball analyst Peter Gammons, speaking on WEEI Wednesday, suggested that Lackey may require Tommy John surgery in August.

"You never know...I don't know,'' said Lackey. "What did it look like tonight? (Tommy John surgery) is a possibility for everyone in here. You throw that against the wall and see if it sticks. I think he straight made that up.''

GM Theo Epstein wouldn't confirm surgery being on the table, but parsed his words carefully.

"He was on the DL, obviously, for the elbow earlier in the year,'' said Epstein. "And I think it's been discussed publicly that he was treated with a shot and some rest, and that alleviated a lot of the symptoms to allow him to come back.

"With all our players, once you have an injury, especially a pitcher with an elbow or a shoulder, you monitor it constantly throughout the course of the year. It's just something that we're going to continue to monitor and make sure he's doing OK. He's taking the mound tonight, we'll watch him see how he's doing.

Pressed about the likelihood of surgery, Epstein again was careful in his response.

"You could say the same thing about every pitcher in baseball,'' Epstein said, "that every pitcher in baseball might have to have Tommy John surgery at some point. But, as I said, John had an elbow injury we're not hiding that. He had an elbow injury earlier in this year and he's had a history with some elbow issues in the past. The shot alleviated some of the symptoms, now it's our responsibility to monitor him and make sure those symptoms don't come back and make sure he's healthy enough to go out and pitch and pitch effectively. It's something as with all of our players that we monitor on a daily basis.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Quotes, notes and stars: Ramirez knows error 'can't happen'

red_sox_hanley_ramirez_072816.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Ramirez knows error 'can't happen'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels ofAnaheim

Quotes:

"I tried to get two (outs) before I got one. That can't happen." - Hanley Ramirez on his throwing error which cost the Red Sox the game.

"Executing pitches - that's the name of the game." - David Price on improvement he showed from his last start.

"Fourth time through the order, middle of the lineup. . . Price had done his job. In a one-run game, we felt it was best to start a clean inning with a reliever." - John Farrell after lifting David Price after eight innings and 108 pitches.

Notes:

* Reliever Brad Ziegler was charged with the loss for the second straight game.

* Each of the last seven Red Sox losses has been by one or two runs.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in 31 consecutive games.

* The Red Sox four-game losing streak is their longest of the season.

* The Sox are now 9-23 in their last 32 meetings with the Angels.

* David Price did not allow a run for the second time this season.

Stars:

1) David Price

After a stretch of shaky outings, Price did his job with eight scoreless innings, getting 14 outs on groundouts while walking just one.

2) Jered Weaver

At times, the radar gun made Weaver's pitches look like softball offerings. But mixing junk, he held the Sox to a single run over 5 1/3 innings

3) Mookie Betts

He had just one hit - single in the eighth - but his sacrifice fly in the third produced the only run of the night.

First impressions: Ziegler can't finish Price's strong start

angels_nava_072816.jpg

First impressions: Ziegler can't finish Price's strong start

First impressions from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

1) David Price pitched in the truest sense

Price wasn't necessarily overpowering with only six strikeouts in eight innings, but he succeeded in keeping the ball down in the zone, resulting in a ton of groundouts.

In eight innings, the Angels produced just two fly outs to the outfield, both of them routine.

Otherwise, Price deftly mixed his changeup, slider and two-seamer to produce ground balls. His location was more precise and he induced weak contact in at-bat after at-bat.

2) The danger of a closer like Brad Ziegler was on display

The throwing error by Hanley Ramirez resulted in two runs scoring but Ziegler allowed three base hits to set the stage.

Ziegler doesn't get a lot of swing-and-miss with his sinker; what he gets is a lot of balls put in play. When things are going well, that results in groundouts; when they're not, it means baserunners and strange things happening.

As inconsistent as Craig Kimbrel has been in some non-save situations, he at least has the ability to record strikeouts and keep balls out of play.  That's not the case with Zieger, as the Red Sox learned the hard way in Anaheim Thursday night.

3) The Red Sox wisely took advantage of Jered Weaver on the bases

Weaver's high leg kick and reliance on off-speed pitches make for a slow delivery time to the plate. Dustin Pedroia would have easily stole second in the first but made the mistake of going into his slide too far ahead of the bag, and though initially ruled safe, was deemed out after a replay challenge.

In the sixth, Xander Bogaerts, was more successful in his stolen base. Neither steal led to a run, but the Sox did put some additional pressure on Weaver