The 2011 Red Sox schedule will be released at some point in the offseason. When it is, the club might want to circle the games in Oakland and try to figure out a way to make the trip out there a bit smoother.
Oakland-Alameda Coliseum has gradually become a house of horrors for the Red Sox, who have dropped four in a row in the Athletics’ cavernous home and have clinched a losing season in the other city by the bay for the sixth straight time, far and away their longest such streak against any American League team.
The manner in which the losses have occurred have hurt almost as much as the final results themselves, as evidenced by Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Oakland.
John Lackey took a two-hitter and a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, looking every bit like the guy who had gone 17-4 with a 2.86 ERA against the A’s in his career. In a matter of moments a double, two singles and a triple gave Oakland three quick runs and a lead it would never vanquish.
David Ortiz did get to the plate with two outs and the tying run on second in the top of the ninth but he stared at a fastball for strike three. That gave the Red Sox 11 men left on base, ended their sixth loss in eight games overall and dropped them to 8-18 in the Coliseum since 2005.
Along the way there have been some miserable moments. Consider how each of the past five seasons have gone in Oaktown.
2005: The Sox went 1-2 in their only trip to the battleship of a ballpark, capped by a 13-6 loss in which David Wells and Geremi Gonzalez were reached for nine runs in the first two innings.
2006: Boston won the first two of six meetings in Oakland. The A’s took the next four by a combined score of 23-4. The finale saw Curt Schilling allow a season-high 11 hits in a 7-2 loss.
2007: Oakland took the first three matchups. Schilling pitched the Sox to a win in the fourth and final meeting but he lost a no-hitter with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The way that one ended left many Boston fans with a bitter taste in their mouths, despite the solitary victory.
2008: After the two teams split a pair of games in the Tokyo Dome they returned to Oakland, where the Sox won a quick two-game set. But Boston had to return in May and this time lost three straight by a combined score of 17-6, the finale dropping the Sox out of first place for the time being.
2009: In a scenario strikingly similar to 2007, Oakland took the first two of three meetings before Tim Wakefield won the finale for Boston but had a no-hitter broken up in the eighth. Again, a somewhat bitter win.
2010: With one game remaining in the season series the A’s are 4-1 at home against the Sox. Boston took the first meeting behind Daisuke Matsuzaka. Since then it’s been one frustrating game after another, beginning with a 10-inning setback that saw the dearly departed Ramon Ramirez allow the game-winning run in extras.
Clay Buchholz was involved in the next two losses, coming off the DL to get shelled in Oakland back in July and then suffering through the worst start of his career Friday night.
It appeared for a time Saturday night that Lackey’s long-held dominance of the A’s would turn around the Red Sox’ fortunes at the Coliseum. Perhaps Oakland was just hoping to make it as painful as possible, keeping with a theme that has dominated Boston’s trips to the Bay Area for several years running.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP