The Sox picked up a series split last night after falling to the Indians 7-3 at Fenway Park behind the efforts of once friend of the program Justin Masterson. Masterson went 6 strong innings giving up 3 runs while striking out 9 Red Sox batters, improving to 3-0 in four career starts against his former mates. Masterson has quietly had a great season for the Tribe and currently holds a 2.63 ERA. After two walk off victories in the previous games, this contest was relatively boring with the Sox scoring early (scored 2 in the 1st inning) and the Indians taking it from there. Carlos Santana, fresh off a four strike out night, lead the Cleveland offense going 3-4 with a HR and 3 R.B.I. and Jacoby Ellsbury stayed hot going 2-3 in a losing effort.
The Indians were able to add one to the win column but the big story of last night’s game was the highly anticipated Red Sox debut of Erik Bedard. Bedard was decent, I guess, throwing 70 pitches through 5 innings while allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and striking out 5. As I said before it is going to take a while for me to pass judgement on Bedard (since this was only his 2nd start since returning from the DL) but there were definitely some encouraging sings out the left hander. Bedard did not light up the stat sheet and the Indians are far from the ’27 Yankees but he threw strikes (no walks) and made some good pitches when it was needed, an encouraging sign considering he gave up like 10 runs during his pre-game bullpen last time out. Bedard is most certainly still a question mark, but not a bad start.
The loss last night dropped the Red Sox to a tie with the Yankees atop the A.L. East, setting up a pretty exciting weekend series at the Fens. Lester will face Colon tonight, a true pitchers dual Saturday with Lackey matching up with C.C. Sabathia, and Beckett finishes off the series Sunday night against Freddy Garcia. It should be a fun series, enjoy it.
P.S. I would be more than pleased if Masterson was still in a Sox uniform holding down the third spot in the rotation. I do not blame Theo for trading Masterson in that package for Victor Martinez, (Theo was trying to win that year and as a fan you like to see the GM make those kind of moves), it is just a little ironic that on a night when a guy who many hope can be that third starter makes his Red Sox debut a former Sox pitcher comes to Fenway and carves up the Stockings.