Mark Bellhorn's error on a potential inning-ending double play ball hit to Bill Mueller led to three runs for Cleveland in the third inning; a fly ball tipped off Trot Nixon's glove and into the visiting bullpen in right field, giving Grady Sizemore a two-run homer in the seventh; and Ramon "Why Is He On The Roster?" Vazquez booted a simple grounder, though that ninth-inning miscue did not lead to any more runs.
It would be nice if a team could somehow get its sloppy play for the week out of its system in one game, but that's not how the game works.
The Red Sox could do nothing with Kevin Millwood. Their best shot at scoring came in the first inning. Johnny Damon singled and stole second, Edgar Renteria walked, Damon went to third on a fly ball, but both Manny Ramirez and Nixon grounded out to end the rally.
Boston's only other base runners were Renteria's single and Ortiz's walk in the third, and Bellhorn's single in the fifth. Millwood and two former Socks -- Bob Howry and Scott Sauerbeck -- retired the last 14 Red Sox batters.
My overall reaction to this ugly game is a perfect example of my new mood as a fan, post-2004. A 7-0 loss sucks, obviously, and I vented plenty at the TV as the game went on, but any anger at the team's sloppy play was pretty much gone by the time I went to bed. The team still has its lead in the division and there was another game tonight.
Last year, every loss gnawed at me long past the point of rationality because that night's defeat (be it by shoddy fielding, noodle bats, poor relief pitching, managerial slipups) might be the one that ended up keeping the Sox out of the playoffs. When things got rough, I had to keep telling myself that you cannot manage a club like it's Game 7 every single night.
Simply put, there is less anxiety now. In that spirit, here are Three Good Things: Boston stole three bases (Damon, Renteria and Bellhorn); John Halama pitched 2.1 innings in relief of Bronson Arroyo, saving the other arms in the pen for tonight and Wednesday afternoon; and Boston has still won 12 of its last 14 games.
Miller / Lee at 7:00.