Last night the bullpen couldn't hold the lead, and tonight a 7-1 lead in the seventh looks shaky at best.
Following a solid performance by Matt Clement and a serviceable one from Keith Foulke, Rudy Seanez and Julian Tavarez have taken yet another beating. They've seen the Caddyshack gopher as much as Denny McLain in his heyday, as tonight it was Glaus and Hinske who took them out of the yard.
The top of the lineup had a breakout tonight with a homer from Kevin Youkilis and a pair of hits from Mark Loretta, who has been mired in a miserable slump.
Pleasant surprises have obviously been Mike Lowell, who continues to hit solidly and Wily ("Coyote") Mo Pena, who is hitting over .300 and playing pretty good defense in center.
Last night Jonathan Papelbon proved that he and his splitter were only human, and his efforts to reproduce Eckersley's 1990 season suffered a setback. http://www.baseball-reference.com/e/eckerde01.shtml In the 1989 to 1990 campaigns Eckersley walked 7 hitters in 131 innings and had a microscopic ERA of 0.61 in 1990.
Meanwhile, Pawtucket hopeful Craig Hansen got roughed up last night as well, as the Nation awaits.
Tonight Papelbon featured the heater instead of the cooler, coming in to fan Adams before Frank Catalanotto reached him (against the splitter) to set the table for Vernon Wells, whom Papelbon induced to hit a weak tapper back to the box to finish.
The Sox reconstruction of the bullpen unfortunately resembles the 'Big Dig', with money being poured down the drain and leaks springing up everywhere.
All of which gets us back to the crux of the problem recently, players simply underperforming expectations. The good news, if you adhere to the John Henry philosophy (I do) is that improved achievement is likely to follow.