Red Sox News & Notes – 4/18

Bobby Valentine of the Boston Red Sox reacts to a play in the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers on April 17, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

Things started off looking good for the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

Jon Lester got himself out of a mini-jam in the 1st inning when he got former teammate Adrian Beltre to ground into a double play. Then after Mike Aviles led off with a single, Dustin Pedroia smacked a home run into the Green Monster.

But things took a quick change for the worse for Lester and the Red Sox.

After he threw 49 pitches in the top half of the 2nd, the local nine found themselves trailing 4-2. At that point they were still in the game. But after the top of the 3rd, they found themselves trailing 7-2 and Lester found himself sitting in the clubhouse wondering when the fried chicken and beer were getting there. I kid I kid.

It really was that kind of night though.

Scott Atchison came in for Lester and struggled in the rest of the second allowing all of the inherited runners to score. After that, he settled down allowing just a home run to Michael Young before giving way to Matt Albers who pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning.

Trailing 8-2 in the 8th, Bobby Valentine sent out Mark Melancon hoping he could turn things around for himself after a slow start. Ummm folks, that didn’t happen at all.

Of the six batters Melancon faced, three of them hit home runs. Justin Thomas came in after him and allowed two runs. And because he felt left out, Vicente Padilla, who I don’t think should have been in the game at all considering the score, allowed Mike Napoli‘s second home run of the game.

Ryan Sweeney was one of the offensive bright spots on the night as he had three hits to raise his average to .406. He’s definitely off to a nice start this season after coming over with Andrew Bailey in the trade for the A’s. Adrian Gonzalez added two hits, including a solo home run in the 8th. 

Defensively, Cody Ross had a rough night. He dropped a fly ball in the 2nd inning and totally misplayed a ball in the 8th.

As I said above, it was that kind of night where it didn’t seem like anything was going right. Considering everything that transpired before Monday’s game with the Kevin Youkilis comments by Bobby Valentine, you have to wonder how much of an affect it had on the team. All the parties involved, including Pedroia who stood up for Youk, said it was water under the bridge now.

But something tells me that it’s a bigger deal still than they want us to believe.

Look folks, it was one bad game by a bunch of people. Sure for Melancon, it was another bad outing after a few previous ones. Lester was probably going to have a bad outing somewhere along the line. Sure we didn’t want it to be this early in the season. Hopefully he’s gotten the stinker out of the way.

Ross is still learning how to play left at the Fens so I can let the ball over his head slide. Obviously the dropped ball is inexcusable.

The Red Sox sit at 4-7 right now. Last year they were 2-9.

So is it really all that bad right now?

We’ll be back later on today with this evening’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let’s take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

Tee time [Boston Globe]

Eight was enough [Boston Globe]

Youkilis is poised to move past controversy [Boston Globe]

Amid drama, Youk tries to move on [Boston Herald]

Melancon on the outs [Boston Herald]

September vibe to April rout [Boston Herald]

Red Sox loss so bad it’s hard to put into words [Boston Herald]

Good news for Jacoby [Boston Herald]

Red Sox blown away by Rangers, 18-3 [CSN New England]

Valentine doesn’t rule out trip to minors for Melancon [CSN New England]

Lester after rough night vs. Rangers: ‘I flat-out stunk’ [CSN New England]

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 18, Red Sox 3 [ESPN Boston]

Melancon after shelling: ‘I’ll figure it out’ [ESPN Boston]

Lester makes no excuses after poor outing [ESPN Boston]

Some ugly numbers from gruesome loss [ESPN Boston]

Closing Time: Rangers demolish Jon Lester, Mark Melancon in blowout win vs. Red Sox [Full Count]

Jon Lester: ‘I just flat out stunk’ [Full Count]

Red Sox, Yankees to Wear Retro Hats, Uniforms at Fenway Park’s 100th Anniversary Game on Friday [NESN.com]

Mark Melancon Needs Triple-A Treatment to Regain Confidence, Aaron Cook’s Promotion Could Help Red Sox [NESN.com]

Jon Lester Struggles Despite Early Run Support in Red Sox’ Loss to Rangers [NESN.com]

Mark Melancon Struggles in Blowout Loss, Stint in Pawtucket Could Be in Store [NESN.com]

Ellsbury will not need shoulder surgery [RedSox.com]

Youkilis moves past flare-up with Valentine [RedSox.com]

Crawford sees first game action since last year [RedSox.com]

Rice talks Fenway, Red Sox at Fan Cave [RedSox.com]

Red Sox hosting free open house at Fenway [RedSox.com]

Lester, bullpen get shellacked by Rangers [RedSox.com]

Rough outing could land Melancon in Minors [RedSox.com]

Red Sox left hung out to dry against Texas [RedSox.com]

Unsettled at the start: Red Sox roster barraged by unexpected questions [Alex Speier – WEEI.com]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New EnglandESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.

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photo credit: Getty Images (illustration by Ian)

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