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.
BOSTON — This year, there was no home field advantage.
After falling to the Rays in a 4-2 loss on Wednesday, the
Red Sox finished with a 34-47 record at Fenway Park. It was the franchise's
worst home record since the 1965 team logged the same record.
Like the most of this month, the drawback was lack of run
support. Despite six solid innings from starter Jon Lester, the Red Sox only
mustered up four hits while striking out 12 times.
Always the optimistic, Boston manager Bobby Valentine tried
to unearth a positive from the negative situation.
didn’t walk off many and we didn’t score enough runs here," Valentine
said. "We have a lot stored up for next year."
Red Sox can only hope they rebound, especially since they wasted an outstanding
start from Lester. He carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Jeff
Keppinger singled to left field.
at once, the Rays picked up him apart. Once Keppinger trotted on base, Lester
surrendered a two-run blast to Carlos Pena in the ensuing at-bat. Then, the
lefty unraveled a second consecutive home run to Ben Francisco.
pitches," Lester said. "A good pitch to Keppinger. He did a good job
of keeping his hands inside the ball. I felt like I threw a pretty good
fastball down and away to Pena. The ball kind of backed up on me on the second
homer. But, yeah, two pitches."
was down in the tank because I was sick," Lester said. "I’m still
taking the ball. I’m still grinding it out. I’ve just been under the weather
the last couple of days. That fifth inning really took a lot out of me. I
didn’t think it was fair for me to go back out there when I didn’t have anything.
I just went ahead and told them that."
the shortened outing, Lester allowed just three runs and four hits over six
frames. He tallied his 17th quality start of the season — including seven in
his last 11 starts — to lead the team.
also believed he executed with his best location of the season, even his
decisive pitch to Pena. But it simply didn't work out, leaving Lester with a
9-14 record heading on the road.
would have thunk it’s big Carlos Pena against left-handers that beat us?"
Valentine said. "But I guess that’s the way the season’s been going."
Especially at home.