note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby
Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up
the day for the Red Sox.
One year later, the divide between the Orioles and Red Sox
On this date last year, Baltimore capped Boston's September
collapse by defeating them in a one-run game. This time around, the Orioles
dismantled the Red Sox, limiting their AL East foes to one hit — a leadoff one
at that — in a 9-1 victory.
"They're hot right now and they're swinging the ball
well," catcher Ryan Lavarnway told reporters in Baltimore. "We don't
have all our guys right now, so that’s what we got. We had some good at-bats,
didn't fall. Tough one."
When Scott Podsednik dropped a bunt for a single to start
the game, it turned out to be the offense's only sign of life. After that, only
Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia managed to reach base by drawing walks.
Even more lethargic was Aaron Cook's performance. Making his
last start of the season — and likely in a Red Sox uniform — the sinkerball
pitcher flopped, lasting just one inning-plus while surrendering six runs.
"When the balls go over the fence, it's not a good
combination," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said, referring to the two
blasts Cook allowed in his only inning of work.
It capped the end of an inconsistent season for the pitcher.
Back in spring training, Cook told NESN.com that he anticipated his reunion
with pitching coach Bob McClure would help revive his career.
Nearly seven months later, McClure has been fired and Cook
finished with a 4-11 record with a 5.65 ERA. He wasn't in any position to exact
revenge on the Orioles, who toppled the Red Sox in a 4-3 win last season to
knock them out of the postseason.
And the Orioles didn't waste any time dispatching the Red
Sox on Friday. They tagged Cook for five hits in the first inning, including a
two-run homer by Chris Davis and a grand slam from Ryan Flaherty.
"I wasn't making pitches," he told reporters. "I
was behind, and when I'd come in there, they'd hit them over the fence."
Cook walked the first two batters he faced in the second inning, Valentine
pulled the plug. By the end of the season, Cook had surrendered 15 long balls
in just 94 innings of work.