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Meltdown: Red Sox 9, Phillies 2

I'm guessing Alec Asher wants a mulligan on this game.

Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

This game sucked. There's really no getting around that.

It really all came down to the pitching. Alec Asher did not have a good second start at all, completely melting down in the fourth inning and giving up seven runs. Here's how it went:

  • David Ortiz led off with a single, while simultaneously masquerading as a 1970s disco star with his unbuttoned jersey and swinging gold medallion.
  • Travis Shaw hit a fly ball to Odubel Herrera for the first out. Fly balls are Asher's MO, so this was encouraging...
  • Until it wasn't encouraging. The meltdown started here, when a balk was called on Asher. With Runsey Castillo batting, Asher did what a lot of pitchers do -- he licked his fingers before grasping and throwing the ball. Only this time, the ball slipped through his en-spittled fingers and Ortiz got to take second.
  • Castillo hit a ball to deep short that glanced off of Andres Blanco's glove, but Blanco got to it quickly and held Castillo to a single and Ortiz to just third base.
  • Here is where they could have used a double play. Unfortunately, Blake Swihart lined the first pitch he saw to center, scoring Ortiz and moving Castillo to second. The score was 1-0 Boston.
  • They also could have used a double play here. Instead, Josh Rutledge hit a single to deep short to load the bases. There was still just one out.
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. lined a double to right center and two runs scored.
  • That's five hits in the inning already for Alec Asher.
  • Things were not going well.
  • Mookie Betts, which is the name of a real baseball player in the 21st century, came to the plate with runners on second and third and still just one out. He walked to load the bases once again.
  • A pinprick of light seemed to appear at the end of the tunnel when Brock Holt grounded into a force out. Chooch got Rutledge out at home and the bases remained loaded, but now there were two outs.
  • That pinprick of light was an illusion.
  • Xander Bogaerts doubled off of Asher to clear the bases. He would have stopped at third if Cesar Hernandez hadn't made an ATROCIOUS throw to Chooch at home plate that hit the dirt right in front of his glove and bounced away. Bogaerts is no slouch, so he decided to run the last 90 feet to home plate on the throwing error. Four runs scored on that one double, making it 7-0 Boston and blowing the game wide open.
  • Jerome Williams now took over for Asher. Facing David Ortiz, the man who led off the inning, Williams gave up a solo home run.
  • The fourth mercifully ended when Travis Shaw hit into his second flyout of the inning. All told, the Red Sox finagled eight runs in the bottom of the fourth.

On the other side of the coin, Wade Miley went the distance against the Phillies, handcuffing them to just five hits.

I'd say that I can't believe I have to write about this crap, but there's no way *you'd* believe that. I've been writing about it all season. And in reality, it's not crap. It's a young pitcher's second start ever. He's got a lot to learn, and in a lost season, every single game is a chance to have a major league learning experience.

The Phillies are done with Boston today at 1:05. Thank the lord.