Zach Stewart’s Rough Outing Results in Red Sox Reaching 90-Loss Plateau


Zach Stewart's Rough Outing Results in Red Sox Reaching 90-Loss Plateau
Editor's
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.

For the first time since 1966, the Red Sox have tallied a
90-loss season.

It's the fourth time in the last 80 years that Boston has
reached the plateau. And on Sunday afternoon, the Red Sox suffered defeat No. 90 with
another forgettable performance from pitcher Zach Stewart.

As a result of the defeat, the Red Sox have dropped five
straight games, including nine of their last ten. From Bobby Valentine's
perspective, this one was as painful as all the other 'L's' before him.

"Every
loss hurts — all 90 of them," Valentine told reporters in Baltimore.

Making his second start of the season for the Red Sox,
Stewart –– who came in the Kevin Youkilis trade –– struggled from the get-go, giving up
a leadoff home run to Baltimore's Nate McLouth.

Shortly thereafter, Stewart dug himself into a deeper hole,
surrendering three singles and nailing Adam Jones with a pitch. Stewart
served up one more shot to J.J. Hardy in the third inning before getting pulled
for Clayton Mortensen.

"Those guys are on the gas pedal," Stewart told
reporters. "They had their foot on our throat and pressed down. I didn't
feel like I was very consistent. They're good and showed what they can do. Just
trying to do damage control and keep it at that score, but I didn’t do that.

"For the most part, I felt like my slider and changeup
were OK. For the most part, it was mostly my fastball that was
inconsistent."

In 5 2/3 innings of work for the Red Sox this season,
Stewart has been lackluster, surrendering 14 earned runs –– via four long balls
–– and just three strikeouts. The hurler recognized he needed to improve over
the offseason.

"Just going to take all the mistakes — there were a
lot of them — and work from there," Stewart said. "I felt like my
last starts in Pawtucket were good and I'm going to build on that."

The
lone positive from the loss is the Red Sox officially clinched a top-10 draft
pick for next year's draft. It's slated to be their highest spot in the draft
since 1993, when the organization selected outfielder Trot Nixon.

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