Deja vu for Perez: The season didn't begin well for Martin Perez, back in late July. He was pounded for five runs in five innings in the second game of the season by the Orioles. Lo and behold, his final start wasn't any better, and once again, the Orioles were the opponents. He got shelled for six runs in just four innings for his worst outing of the year, blowing up his ERA from 3.88 to 4.50. It wasn't hard to figure out his problem -- he was around the plate too much with both his fastball and cutter, with predictable results. "He didn't have it today,'' said Ron Roenicke. "The command was just off. Balls were just doing down the middle. He's usually pretty good at (avoiding that).'' Perez didn't miss many bats, with two strikeouts and nine hits allowed, most of them very hard hit. Even some outs were loud. "It's too bad,'' said Roenicke, "because he pitched so well for us, really, for the whole season.''
Familiar problem: On four occasions Thursday night, the Red Sox hit into a groundball double play. That shouldn't be all that surprising since the Sox came into the night with 47 GIDPs, the most of any team in the American League and leaving them third in that department in all of Major League Baseball. In one sense, that number can be a bit misleading, since the more baserunners a team has, the more chances and the more likely they're going to pile up the double plays. And indeed, the Sox went into Thursday with the most hits of any A.L. team. But the number is also indicative of a couple of other things: a general lack of speed, and some issues with situational hitting.