Final, Angels Win 10-3: Well, Zach Stewart put the Red Sox in a hole early, and it proved too much to claw back from, as Boston falls 10-3 to the Los Angeles Angels in a game that was never really close. In fact, the Angels managed to score ten times in a game in which Mike Trout and Albert Pujols went a combined 2-for-8.
With the loss the Red Sox fall to 62-69, while the Angels climb to 68-62 and continue to buoy their playoff hopes. C.J. Wilson gets his first win in twelve starts, while Zach Stewart gets saddled with the loss.
Well, that's it from your late-night Red Sox Live Blog, but you can stick with NESN.com or tune to NESN and NESN Daily for all your postgame needs. Likewise, we'll be back with another edition of your Red Sox Live Blog Thursday evening as the Sox try to salvage one contest of of the three-game set with L.A.
And, as always, follow this live blogger at @ZachStoloff to chat Red Sox and all things MLB.
End 8th, Angels 10-3: Well, it's the last chance for the Red Sox, down by seven runs. Odds are they don't pull this one out, but much stranger things have happened in baseball — last Wednesday's game, for instance.
Nonetheless, if the Red Sox lose that would mark their fifth loss of the season in five games against the Angels. That's quite a turnaround from the dominant play they'd shown against Los Angeles in years past.
Mid 8th, Angels 10-3: You may have heard the news that Daniel Bard has rejoined the Red Sox and is likely to be activated on Thursday for the game.
It's an interesting decision from the Red Sox, as Bard never really figured out his control issues down in Pawtucket, either, as the right-hander issues 29 walks in 32 innings in Triple-A. Likewise, it's almost impossible to not link Bard's control problems to the name Steve Blass.
The Red Sox certainly hope that's not the case, however, and a return to form would certainly be a boon for the team.
End 7th, Angels 10-3: So, it looks to be a safe assumption that Alfredo Aceves is no longer the closer for the Red Sox. The former starter did well in the role for quite a while, but two meltdowns on the mound sandwiched around a meltdown in the clubhouse may deprive him of pressure situations going forward.
Either way, we have to say that it was a bit odd to see him that last half inning after pitching two inning the previous night, but the bullpen may still be a bit gassed after the weekend series. Likewise, is Andrew Bailey the closer now? It would seem likely.
Mid 7th, Angels 10-3: Does Jordan Walden constantly balk? It's up for debate.
Some have noted that Walden appears to have his back foot leave the rubber well before he actually releases the ball, getting kind of a running start and a few more inches of extension towards the hitter. There also seems to be a moment where neither of his feet are touching the ground as he releases the ball — it looks like a little hop.
Either way, Walden has one of the more bizarre pitching motions you'll ever see, yet you can't argue with that 98-mph fastball.
End 6th, Angels 10-3: So, the Red Sox pitched to Pujols in a one-run game last night, but intentionally walked him in a seven-run game. Not sure about the logic of that move.
Nonetheless, credit Andrew Miller with working through some trouble and getting out of the inning unscathed.
Mid 6th, Angels 10-3: For C.J. Wilson, this start is kind of huge.
The left-hander may not have pitched spectacularly, but it's a quality start for a pitcher who has been struggline mightily over his last five or six outings. For the Angels to make any kind of playoff push they'll need their starting rotation to perform up to their expected standards, and right now Wilson is probably the biggest culprit in terms of underachieving Angels starting pitchers.
Now, what other ballclub have we hear about all year that's had a struggling, underachieving rotation? Hmm…
End 5th, Angels 10-3: It may not quite have all the hullabaloo of the Bruce Springsteen tour, but, for fellow rock music fans, The Smashing Pumpkins just announced a full U.S. tour in support of their new album "Oceania."
And, one of the dates is schedule for Boston — the first time in about a year the band has performed in the city.
The concert is set to be held October 27 at Agganis Arena. Presale tickets went onsale recently, so we're not sure about the status of that, but of course there will be a regular onsale. This live blogger has never seen the Pumpkins live, but is also of the opinion that they were the best band of the '90s, so it may be a must-see performance.
In the meantime, click here for a very underrated track, "Stand Inside Your Love."
Mid 5th, Angels 9-3: If you're a regular visitor to NESN.com, then you may know that Mauro Gomez is a current interest of this live blogger. Basically, I'm of the personal opinion that Gomez deserves a chance for some at-bats over James Loney, who doesn't seem like a viable option at first base going forward.
Nonetheless, there's a debate over what Gomez' breakout season in Triple-A means, particularly at 27 years old. So, this live blogger tweeted at Kevin Goldstein, who's one of the best baseball writers in terms of knowledge of prospects and the minor leagues. And, apparently, Goldstein isn't so high on the infielder.
— Kevin Goldstein (@Kevin_Goldstein) August 30, 2012
End 4th, Angels 9-1: Well, it's a clean inning for the Red Sox, getting the Angels in order in the bottom of the fourth.
For those looking for a ray of hope, however, this live blog would like to remind you about Wilson's last start in Anaheim. In that one, Wilson and the Angels led 8-0 after three innings before the left-hander yielded seven runs and the Angels ended up losing 10-8.
So, there you go.
Mid 4th, Angels 9-1: Interesting one to see Aviles running down by eight runs, but we suppose it's just that kind of game. Also, Aviles is clearly playing for a contract for next year, so why not?
Aside from that Iglesias is still looking for his first hit with the big club, and his offensive development is going to be a big part of his ability to stick in Boston in years to come.
It's been talked about to death, but nobody is questioning Igelsias' glove, but the bat is thoroughly questionable.
End 3rd, Angels 9-1: One would have to imagine that Stewart's night is done. At this point it would be difficult to justify keeping a young guy out on the hill just to get him killed and eat innings.
On the other hand, that probably depends a bit on the state of the Red Sox bullpen, which should be relatively rested after a day game on Monday and relying on Alfredo Aceves on Tuesday night.
Nonetheless, a bit of the suspense has been taken out of this one, so we'll try and see what extracurricular fun we can dig up here for the live blog.
Mid 3rd, Angels 5-1: Now this is what you didn't want to see, giving Wilson the chance to establish a rhythm and get himself back in this game and pitching well. At this point, however, Wilson has now retired six in a row and looks to have found some of the command that was completely lacking in the first inning.
For the Red Sox, the best gameplan is to continue to be patient at the plate, work Wilson's pitch count and take what he gives you.
End 2nd, Angels 5-1: The Angels get their run back there to go back up by four, but that was a quality pitch from Stewart to finish off Pujols.
Earlier in this live blog we talked about the sinking action on Stewart's being a major factor in his success, and that fastball had a ton of movement down and in, fooling one of the best hitters in the game.
Now, the question remains if he can consistently harness that movement and keep the Sox in this game.
Mid 2nd, Angels 4-1: Good piece of hitting there by Mauro Gomez, who goes down to get a pretty decent pitch and drive it with authority into left field.
Aside from that, count this live blogger as one who believes the Sox would do well to bring Podsednik back as a fourth outfielder next season. The outfielder had a hard time finding a job earlier in the season, but he's shown he still has the speed and a good enough bat to do some positive things in a reserve role for a team.
End 1st, Angels 4-0: Well, that was clearly not the start that Stewart wanted. That pitch to Morales actually wasn't a bad one, so credit the Angels first baseman for not getting jammed, keeping his hands inside the ball and hitting it a long way.
Anyway, for Stewart, the key to getting on track throughout the rest of this game would be fastball command, as the straight pitch remains his best one. Stewart's fastball will top out in the low 90s, but it also has a varying amount of sink on it, and the more sink Stewart has the more successful he tends to be. His curveball is decent and his slider is passable, and the right-hander also has a show-me changeup, so Stewart has a pretty straighfroward repretoire.
Let's see if he can command it better throughout the rest of this contest.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Hunter makes a nice running grab there to end the Red Sox threat, but that's also the second time in as many days that Lavarnway has driven the ball to the opposite field with some authority, so that's a positive sign for him.
Aside from that, what to expect from C.J. Wilson? Well, you just saw much of it in that past half inning, as Wilson has to have the worst command of any starting pitcher to enjoy reasonable success in the big leagues. In short, Wilson has a straightforward palette of offerings, all with very good pure stuff. However, where the left-hander lacks is with his control, as he relies on a lot of swings and misses on pitches out of the zone.
The league seems to have gotten the scouting report, though, and has been much more patient with Wilson, which has largely contributed to the All-Star's second-half slide.
10:08 p.m.: We have first pitch! And for those wondering, the gametime temperature in Anaheim is 79 degrees with an atypical 59 percent humidity, and winds from the south at five miles per hour.
9:45 p.m.: Oddly enough, this live blogger just had a conversation with Clayton Mortensen on Monday about his role with the Red Sox, and specifically the fact that he's kind of been up and down between Pawtucket and Boston all season.
Well, that may have proven to be a little prophetic, as Mortensen was optioned today to make room for Stewart, who makes the start. It's unfortunate for Mortensen, who's been a big part of the Sox' bullpen in enjoying a breakout campaign.
On the year, the 27-year-old right-hander has a 2.25 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 32 innings pitched at the big league level.
#redsox optioned Clayton Mortensen to activated Stewart.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) August 29, 2012
9 p.m.: The youngsters are out in full force on Wednesday, as the Red Sox start four of their prospects on Wednesday against the Angels.
Actually, perhaps it's not accurate to use words like "youngsters" and "prospects" talking about the group of Ryan Lavarnway, Mauro Gomez, Jose Iglesias and Pedro Ciriaco. Rather, Lavarnway, Ciriaco and Gomez are 25, 26 and 27-years-old, respectively. Likewise, neither Gomez nor Ciriaco have ever been considered top prospects coming up through the minor leagues.
Rather, the 22-year-old Iglesias is probably the only one of the bunch that qualifies under both categories, and the defensive wizard will be starting at shortstop to prove that he belongs in the Red Sox' plans going forward — particularly with fellow prospect Xander Bogaerts having a breakout season in High-A Salem.
On the Angels' side of the ball, not much changes from Tuesday night, so check out the lineups for both teams below:
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Cody Ross, RF
Ryan Lavarnway, C
Mauro Gomez, 1B
Mike Aviles, DH
Jose Iglesias, SS
Scott Podsednik, LF
Zach Stewart, RHP
Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, DH
Kendrys Morales, 1B
Mark Trumbo, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Erik Aybar, SS
Chris Iannetta, C
C.J. Wilson, LHP
8 a.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox (62-68) may wake up in unison Wednesday hoping that Tuesday night's loss was a bad dream, but Boston did in fact lose to the Los Angeles Angels (67-62) in walkoff fashion 6-5 after having a 5-2 lead at one point.
After enduring a frustrating season, about all the Red Sox can do going forward is focus on the positives, and Wednesday yields a fresh slate to perhaps finally take down the Angels. Boston can also continue to look at what some of the Sox' youngsters may have to offer in 2013 and beyond.
In fact, Wednesday will mark the Red Sox debut for swingman Zach Stewart (1-2, 6.00), who gets the start after being called up from Pawtucket. Over the past two seasons, the 25-year-old has appeared in 31 big league games — starting 12 of them — and has a 5.92 ERA in just under 100 innings of work.
Opposing Stewart will be C.J. Wilson (9-9, 3.83), who was roughed up to the tune of eight hits and seven runs over five innings of work his last time out against these very Red Sox. The left-hander has a 7.83 ERA over his last eight starts, so hopefully the Sox can take advantage of a scuffling pitcher.
First pitch is schedule for 10:05 p.m. ET, but you can tune into NESN's pregame lineup beginning at 9 p.m., as well as NESN.com and this very live blog. As Vin Scully would say, we'll have "all the stats and stories" in the hours leading up to Wilson's first toss of the night.
And, as always, follow this live blogger at @ZachStoloff to chat Red Sox and all things MLB.