The Red Sox had no real reason to win the game anyways....but it still sucks to lose a tie game in the bottom of the 9th without your closer on the mound. Tito decided to go with Lopez in the 9th inning of a tie game, and stuck with him after a lead off hit by Mark DeRosa. His decision would have (and should have) worked, if it wasn't for Lopez fumbling away the chance for the Sox to make it 12 straight by forcing the game into extras.
The reality is the game was lost well before that play. The Sox had two separate four run leads that Brad Penny couldn't hold and made as many errors in the field as they had committed all season. It's a wonder they were even in the game at all.
So while many have seen the highlights of Lopez dropping the third out of the bottom of the 9th, the greater blame should be put on Penny. I'll be honest, I was a fan of the Penny signing before the year, and I haven't given up hope in the low risk, high potential reward he offers quite yet....but how many more chances do we give the guy to get his stuff right? On this team, with its depth and talent in the pitching position, it can't be much longer. With Dice-K on the DL but feeling better, Masterson showing he can be a more than dependable starter, Buchholz starting to pitch better in the minors, and Smoltz coming into the picture sooner than later....what are the chances Penny sticks around (as a starter at least) much longer?
Sure the defense didn't do him any favors last night (looking at you Lugo), but nonetheless, his ERA stands at 8.66, and when you consider the talent of arms this team has, that should cause the team to reconsider its number 5 starter.