Despite Hands Of Clay Boston Takes Game One 8-6 In Baltimore


The Red Sox 2012 experiment known as the Clay Conundrum took the mound last night in Baltimore as the Sox and the Orioles played game one of what was easily Boston’s most important series of the year. Since Boston’s bumble down the stretch last fall and Baltimore’s ascension to the top of the AL East the tables have turned in an ugly way for The Nation as the once doormat becomes the brass knocker. In their last series, Baltimore swept Boston in Fenway for the first time since 1997. Yes, my friends, there is a disturbance in the force.

So it was with this recent history on the line and personally a lot to prove that Clay Buchholz took matters into his own hands last night. They only problem was the hands were made of clay. Staked to 2-0 lead, Buchholz got knocked around for three hits and walked three more in a wretched Orioles four-run third inning. The Birds tacked on another run in the fourth on a Chris Davis no doubt homer to straightaway centerfield and all of a sudden Boston was again looking up at the Os, down 5-2.

"As has been the case all the year, however, Buchholz has been the very grateful and lucky recipient of massive Red Sox run support (Boston currently scores about nine runs per game when Buchholz pitches). Monday night was no different."

After Buchholz dug the hole, Boston broke back in the sixth to tie the game 5-5 on a David Ortiz solo homer, a double by Adrian Gonzalez, a single by Will Middlebrooks, a Daniel Nava sac fly to score Gonzo and a Tommy Hunter balk to score Middlebrooks. When Buchholz was replaced after the sixth by Andrew Miller, it was 5-5 and he was off the hook.

Miller got the win and Alfredo Aceves, who followed Rich Hill (who made it closer than it needed to be) and Vicente Padilla in the eighth, nailed down the save in the ninth.

And that my friends are the differences between the two teams so far this year. Boston, the struggling upstart trying to climb out of the cellar, took a very important game one against their division leading rivals who have made a habit of both winning and coming from behind all year.

With the win Boston has won eight of their last 10 games, three in a row and is tied with the Yankees for fourth place – hey, we’re still tied with the Yankees (thumped by KC 6-0). An ever-better Felix Doubront (4-1, 4.09) takes the bump and the ball.