ARLINGTON, Texas — Terry Francona played the percentages in the fourth inning to night when he walked Josh Hamilton to load the bases for Adrian Beltre.
Hamilton at that moment was 11 of 23 (.478) against Lackey including two hits earlier in the game. Beltre was 9 of 52 (.173) including two pop-ups to right field. As good as Beltre is, it made little sense to pitch to Hamilton.
You know what happened next, Lackey let a fastball drift over the plate, Beltre hit a grand slam and it was garbage time en route to a 12-5 loss.
“I’d have had a hard time answering it the other way around,” Francona said. “If Hamilton hits a ball and you ask me why I didn’t walk him, I wouldn’t have had a good answer. He’s had so much success against Lack.
“As good a hitter as Beltre, Lack’s had better success [against him]. When that happens, I feel miserable. Hamilton already had a couple of hits. It seemed like it made common sense until the ball went over the wall.”
Through two games, here is what Sox pitching has done:
16 IP, 25 H, 21 R, 21 ER, 7 BB, 5 K, 7 HR. That’s an 11.81 ERA.
For you fatalists out there, and presumably that’s a large crowd, the Sox haven’t started 0-3 since 1996 when the started the season with a three-game at — wait for it — Texas.
Check back tomorrow. It has to get better.
Thanks to everybody for reading today.