Mitch's Sports Report: Not How He Drew It Up: Pomeranz Pummeled By Orioles; Revs Lose Cup Title Game
Nothing puts a damper on momentum like a lousy pitching performance, and unfortunately for the Boston Red Sox a terrible outing by Drew Pomeranz at Fenway Park last night turned the team's recent juggernaut run into a slow-footed slog in a 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Pomeranz couldn't get out of the third inning, his shortest outing of the year, and he gave up five runs, all earned, both on massive home runs in the second inning by J.J. Hardy, a three run shot, and Nolan Reimold, a two-run job. It was payback for the Orioles, who were down 5-0 after just one inning the previous night, and put this one away against the Red Sox with their 5-0 lead in the second. However, as bad as Pomeranz was, the Red Sox offense also has to take some blame. The Sox went one for ten with runners in scoring position and had the bases loaded in the second, but only came up with two runs to show for it. Xander Bogaerts hit a solo home run for the Red Sox only other run of the night, and the only good thing for Boston was an out of town score that showed the Tampa Bay Rays had beaten the Toronto Blue Jays, so the Sox maintain their two game lead in the division.
Baltimore, though, had been three games back and is now even with the Blue Jays and both are well within striking distance of overtaking Boston with plenty of head to head match ups remaining. The Sox still have a series to play in Baltimore after they're done with the Orioles at Fenway and they finish the regular season at home against the Blue Jays. That's why these last two and a half weeks of the season are so critical for all the teams bunched up in the east and why starts like the one Pomeranz made last night are so disheartening. Game three of this series is a big one and it features two of the best pitchers for each team, with Kevin Gausman going tonight for the Orioles and the major's first twenty-game winner Rick Porcello taking the hill for Boston.
One of those teams still eyeing the division title or at least a wild card berth is the NY Yankees and they gained ground last night after a 3-0 win over the L.A. Dodgers in the Bronx. Didi Gregorious and Jacoby Ellsbury both started the night on the bench for Joe Girardi's Yankees and both came off the pine to hit home runs, along with Gary "who-is-this-guy?" Sanchez, the rookie catcher who can't seem to stop hitting home runs, belting his fourteenth of the year in just thirty-six games. CC Sabathia pitched six and a third scoreless innings for the win, and the Yanks are now tied with Detroit in the wild card race, both teams two games behind Baltimore and Toronto who own the two play-in spots right now.
The NY Mets are hanging on to that second wild card berth in the National League and have T.J. Rivera to thank for it. No doubt the rookie second baseman will long remember his first-ever major league home run, as it came in the top of the tenth inning and was the winning hit in the Mets' 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals last night. The Mets, like the crosstown Yankees, have now won eight of their last ten and while they won't be catching the first place Nationals in the division, still none games behind the Nats, they maintain their slim half game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals for the second available wild card with their victory last night. Jeurys Familia picked up the vulture win, surrendering two runs ijn the bottom of the ninth to blow the save and force extra innings, but Rivera bailed him out with his heroics in the tenth. Jerry Blevins picked up the save for the Mets in the bottom of the tenth, striking out former Met Daniel Murphy to end it.
Locally, in college mens' soccer the St. Michael's Purple Knights played their first Northeast-10 Conference game yesterday, falling to top ten regionally ranked Franklin Pierce 3-1. Freshman Jacob Von Giebel scored the lone goal for St. Mike's, who are now 2-2 to start the season. Franklin Pierce is currently ranked eighth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America East Region poll. Elsewhere in the mens' game St. Joseph's of Maine beat Lyndon 2-1, and in womens' college soccer Lyndon fell to Pine Minor 3-1, and in college field hockey action Pacific beat UVM 8-2.
The New England Revolution struck first in the U.S. Open Cup title game against FC Dallas in Texas last night, taking a 1-Nil lead on a goal by Juan Agudelo in just the sixth minute of play, but FC Dallas scored three unanswered goals before half time and eventually took the championship game 4-2. It's a tough loss for the Revs, the second time in as many years that they've lost the Open Cup title game, but they need to turn their attention quickly back to league MLS play, because they've got a critical match against the Montreal Impact on Saturday. New England can stay in the playoff hunt in the eastern conference with a win against Montreal at Stade Saputo, as they currently sit just one point out of sixth place for a playoff berth.