If the script sounds familiar, it should — in multiple regards.
The Red Sox have opened their 2012 season with an 0-3 start, due in large part, to a suspect bullpen.
Much like Opening Day last Thursday, Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon struggled to hold onto leads as Aceves allowed three runs in the ninth inning and Melancon gave up three in the 11th, including a walkoff, two-run home run by Detroit’s Alex Avila. It resulted in a 13-12 extra innings loss to the Tigers.
Bats come alive
Also like Opening Day, it wasn’t all bad for the Sox.
Adrian Gonzalez gave Boston a 9-7 lead with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Nick Punto, who got the start over Kevin Youkilis, rewarded Bobby Valentine with three hits and three RBIs. Shortstop Mike Aviles also had three RBIs in the Sox most impressive offensive outing in the early going of 2012. David Ortiz continued his hot start to the season as well, posting a pair of doubles.
Much like last September, the Red Sox pitching staff has been shelled early and often:
Clay Buchholz worked just four innings yesterday, allowing eight hits and seven earned runs. His ERA sits at 15.75.
Mark Melancon is 0-2 on the season with a 36.00 ERA.
Alfredo Aceves gave up three runs in the ninth yesterday.
Josh Beckett couldn’t find any rhythm Saturday as he allowed seven runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings.