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Closing Time: Red Sox lineup comes up empty against another little-known foe

07.07.14 at 10:44 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz pitched well aside from a pair of long homers, but received no offensive support in the Red Sox' loss to the White Sox. (AP)

Clay Buchholz pitched well aside from a pair of long homers, but he received no offensive support in the Red Sox‘ loss to the White Sox. (AP)

If Monday night’s 4-0 loss at the hands of Scott Carroll and White Sox proved anything, it’s this: The Red Sox are really good at being really bad at hitting mediocre starting pitchers.

The Red Sox consistently have made back-of-the-rotation starters look like bona fide aces, going into Monday’s game hitting .245 with a .322 OBP and .369 slugging mark while ranked second to last in the American League with 3.8 runs per game.

Here are some of the pitchers the Red Sox have faced since their seven-game winning streak concluded on June 2:

Edwin Jackson (Cubs): 5.05 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, .281 opponent batting average, 5-8 record in 18 starts

Kyle Gibson (Twins): 4.17 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .249 opponent batting average, 7-7 record in 17 starts

Vidal Nuno (Yankees): 5.42 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, .282 opponent batting average, 2-5 record in 14 starts

Kevin Correia (Twins): 4.95 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, .298 opponent batting average, 4-10 record in 17 starts

T.J. House (Indians): 4.24 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, .307 opponent batting average, 1-2 in seven starts

Drew Smyly (Tigers): 3.89 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, .267 opponent batting average, 4-8 record in 14 starts

Scott Carroll (White Sox): 4.57 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, .298 opponent batting average, 2-5 record in eight starts

Against the Red Sox, these seven pitchers have a 1.32 ERA and a 0.965 WHIP while allowing seven runs, striking out 30 and walking 12 batters in 47 2/3 innings. Good teams beat good pitchers; bad teams lose to bad pitchers. Right now, it’s not difficult to identify into which camp the Red Sox fall.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– Clay Buchholz once again showed flashes that his stint on the disabled list did him well. Although he showed glimpses of what made him one of the top pitchers in baseball during the first half of the 2013 season, Buchholz nonetheless struggled with execution, evidenced by the two mammoth home runs he gave up to Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo.

Dunn hit his first career home run at Fenway Park in the second inning. The homer was the 453rd of Dunn’s career, moving him past Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski for sole possession of 35th place for most home runs all-time. Heading into Monday, Dunn was 0-for-7 in his career against Buchholz.

Viciedo – rumored to be on the trade market — showcased his power at Buchholz’s expense. The at-bat was a prime example of failure to execute pitches when Buchholz needed to. After starting the at-bat 0-2, Viciedo worked the count back to 3-2 and subsequently axed an 89 mph cutter into the deepest part of Fenway Park — the triangle in center field. The three-run, fourth inning home run from the 25-year-old put the White Sox on top 4-0.

– The Red Sox now have been shut out nine times, fourth most in the AL. They were shut out just 11 times in all of 2013.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

– The Sox did not get no-hit, thanks to a third-inning single by A.J. Pierzynski and an eighth-inning single by Jackie Bradley Jr.

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