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Gameday Thread: Red Sox at Orioles, 04/26

Game Time: 7:05 | TV: MASN, NESN (BOS) | Radio: WHFS
Josh Beckett, RH Adam Loewen, LH (4-0, 2.55) (2-0, 3.72) SS J Lugo 2B B Roberts 1B K Youkilis 3B M Mora DH D Ortiz RF N Markakis LF M Ramirez SS M Tejada RF J Drew 1B A Huff 3B M Lowell LF J Payton C J Varitek DH J Gibbons CF W Pena C R Hernandez 2B D Pedroia CF C Patterson

Last year we faced Beckett on May 15 -- didn't go so well. Lost 11-1. It was a simple time, when Rodrigo Lopez was still on the team and we were still hoping that Bruce Chen would turn it around after an amazing bullpen session that gave Perlozzo and Mazzone a single, unified boner.

I'm not in the Loewen fan camp. We've seen enough pitchers with awful control problems to know that (1) his ERA is a fluke right now and this is going to catch up with him in a big way at some point, and (2) they don't disappear overnight.

After his last messy start, Loewen bristled a bit, saying, "Right now, it's about trying to hand the ball off to the bullpen with the lead. I did that. I battled my butt off and gave us a chance to win." It's sort of true, I guess, if you want to ignore the finer points of walking seven batters and walking one an inning through your first four starts, all of which have seen you fail to get out of the sixth inning.

His control problems right now are very real, and very worrisome. Like the 2006 Cabrera, we're talking about a guy that has always had these problems, but now they've gotten worse. I think Loewen is a tough-minded pitcher with nuts to spare, don't get me wrong about that. But you can't walk this many people and continue to get away with it. You can't have a 1.91 WHIP and keep not losing games. It doesn't work.

The last three games have been some vintage Orioles losing baseball. No one executes, someone makes a huge mental mistake or five, and all in all you feel like you're watching a team that doesn't belong on a major league field. I'm not saying that's the case, though. What I'm saying is I want to see this team get their spark back and start playing like they're interested in winning again. They were really a lot of fun to watch for a little bit there. I was loving this team. And I still do, but after a decade, you start to worry really easily that it's another lost summer.