Brad Penny's pitching line - 5 innings, five earned runs - doesn't begin to tell the story of last night's 5-1 loss to the Texas Rangers. ...John Tomase, also of the Herald:
Every one of the runs could, indirectly, just as easily have been charged to shortstop Julio Lugo.
In a scoreless game in the fifth with two on and two out, Penny got Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus to hit a grounder to short. Looking like he was running in hip-deep water, Lugo seemingly took forever to get to the ball, only to have it get by him and onto the outfield grass for a run-scoring single.
An incredulous Penny, bent over at the waist on the mound, couldn't hide his frustration ...
It was more of the same in the sixth.
With two outs, Marlon Byrd hit a grounder to the left side of the second base bag. Again, Lugo threw himself on it awkwardly and again, the ball got through the infield. ...
The next base hit Lugo takes away will be the first. Seldom has an infielder thrown himself on the ground more and come up with fewer plays.
Forget David Ortiz. The Red Sox may be reaching the point of no return with Julio Lugo.In the Globe, Adam Kilgore was somewhat more polite:
Lugo butchered a pair of balls last night that turned a potential shutout into an easy 5-1 victory for the Rangers.
Nick Green was told after the game that he would be playing tonight ...
Since returning from the disabled list following knee surgery at the end of spring training, Lugo has started 21 games. The Sox are 8-13.
Conversely, with Green at short the Red Sox are 21-8. ... Green has more than four times as many RBI (17-4) and three times as many extra base hits (12-4) in only 29 more at-bats.
A 12-game stretch in late April and early May was illuminating. With Lugo and Green basically alternating starts, the Red Sox went 5-1 with Green in the starting lineup and 1-5 with Lugo there.
Brad Penny allowed five runs, and all of them were earned. Depending on one's perspective, all of them also could have been traced to Lugo's diminished range. ...During the Mets series two weeks, both Terry Francona and Dustin Pedroia expressed frustration (in their own ways) at Lugo's lackluster attempt at turning a double play. Last night, Tito said similar things:
[Lugo] left the park before reporters arrived in the clubhouse. ...
With two down, Elvis Andrus hit a hard grounder in the hole on the left side, and Lugo shuffled over. Lugo entered the game with a .733 zone rating, which means he has successfully fielded about 73 percent of the ground balls in what is considered the shortstop zone. (For comparison's sake: Andrus, his counterpart, entered with an .851 zone rating, and the four other everyday shortstops in the AL East each have at least an .815 zone rating.) ...
Penny leaned over in frustration after Andrus's single rolled through the infield ...
The Rangers added a run in the next inning after another close encounter with Lugo's glove. This time, with two outs and Hank Blalock on by a walk, Byrd rolled a ball up the middle, not hit that sharply, to the left of second. Lugo ranged and dived and watched the ball trickle into center.
Did I think he had a shot? Yeah, I think every ball that's hit, we have a shot.Asked whether he thought Lugo had lost a step (or more) since surgery, Jason Varitek said:
I don't know that. I just think, regardless, he's part of this team.Not exactly a ringing endorsement.