There are times during a lousy season, even in the midst of a particularly terrible stretch of baseball, when you can’t help but get caught up in a special performance. It’s the most delicious of escapes. Your team has consistently let you down all year but for, in the his case, 2 hours and 40 minutes you suspend belief that your team is for all intents and purposes not playing October baseball and revel in the excellence.
The 2012 Red Sox are a very ordinary and sometimes maddeningly self- flagellating bunch. Big change needs to happen to shake up the team and it appears the starting gun was fired today. Shortly before game time at Progressive Field as the Sox looked to snap a three-game losing streak it was announced that Boston had placed Mike Aviles, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and Kelly Shoppach on waivers.
Thus the stage was set for Clay Buchholz who responded in a big way, tossing a two-hit, two-run, complete game win. After starting off by giving up a solo homer in the first to Asdrubal Cabrera, Buchholz went to work in earnest. Save for a fielding error by Dustin Pedroia and a throwing error by Aviles on the same play in the sixth inning that allowed another run, Buchholz was in control.
It took Buchholz just 104 pitches – 72 for strikes – to bag the win. His control and pitch placement were spot on and he had his full arsenal of pitches working for him. He retired the last 12 Indians in a row and 18 of the last 19 batters he faced.
Many Cleveland hitters looked helpless against Buchholz, who struck out six and walked none. Since the All-Star break Buchholz is 2-1 with a 1.79 ERA and continues to be Boston’s bright spot in the starting rotation.
Boston tied the game in the fourth when Pedroia singled to score Aviles. Cody Ross put the Sox up 3-1 with a two-run bomb in the sixth after Pedroia had singled. That’s all Buchholz would need.
The game essentially meant next to nothing. Yet there I was pulling for Buchholz and the Sox in the ninth and celebrating when Boston’s righty moved his record to a very respectable 9-3. Addiction is a terrible thing.
Downer of the Night:
Will Middlebrooks getting hit by a pitch on the wrist in the top of the ninth and getting removed from the game.