“Different” would be a good word to describe tonight’s 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays. From the very first batter of the game, things were different as Stephen Drew led off for the first time this season. Even beyond Drew leading off, several other lineup choices were odd: Jonny Gomes batting cleanup, Will Middlebrooks starting at first base for the first time in his life, and John McDonald batting ninth and playing second base (Dustin Pedroia came in to pinch hit in the seventh inning).
Things were different on the mound too, but in a less conspicuous way. For one of, if not the only time this season, Clay Buchholz was not at his absolute best. Buchholz wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, tossing six innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks, throwing his eleventh quality start in fifteen starts. After Buchholz left the game, things weren’t so much different as new as no pitcher that appeared out of the bullpen in this game were in the bullpen at the beginning of the season (Drake Britton was in Double-A, Ryan Dempster was in the rotation, Matt Thornton was in Chicago, and Rubby de la Rosa was in Triple-A).
Keeping all the change in the lineup in mind, it’s not too surprising that the Red Sox didn’t exactly put up the performance of the ages offensively. They scored sole runs in both the sixth and seventh innings on an RBI single by Jonny Gomes and RBI groundout by David Ross, respectively. The Red Sox will go for the series win tomorrow afternoon with Felix Doubront (10-6, 4.15) going against R.A. Dickey (13-12, 4.21).