The Red Sox could've reached .500 tonight, but instead, Clay Buchholz justified my worries last week with a mediocre outing for which he received, I'm afraid, a well-deserved loss. He struck out 5 and only walked 2, but gave up 12 hits, meaning he's lucky only to have given up four runs, three of them on sacrifice flies. In other words, he's lucky to have been playing the Baltimore Orioles.
He was also the beneficiary of some excellent defense, particularly by a certain lilliputian second baseman, who provided the The Official Silver Lining of this game when he tossed a guy out at first while simultaneously doing the Worm.
But Buch, who surrendered four runs over 6.2 innings tonight, appeared to struggle to locate his fastball, .He earned swings and misses with some changeups, but the curveball did not seem to be quite under his command. There was also a play where he appeared to forget how to cover first base, turning a potential double play into a fielder's choice. That made me wonder whether we're also seeing a return of some of the old problems between the ears for Buchholz.
Meanwhile. Red Sox offense was not all lily-white in this, flailing away at left-handed pitching, scoring just one run and leaving 8 men on despite 6 hits and two walks. Probably the most frustrating moment of the night came in the top of the eighth inning, when Adrian Gonzalez led off with a double, and then one by one, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Jed Lowrie failed to bring him home.
Still, with the Red Sox winners of 8 of their last 9, it's tough to complain too much about this loss, especially considering the heavy jet lag factor, not to mention a possible hangover factor from all that ass-kicking they just did on the West Coast. Hopefully Beckett will come out and set things straight tomorrow night
By the way, Jason Varitek started today. This was the subject of ridicule again around the Twitters when Buchholz bombed. But once again, the Red Sox ran him out there tonight as their starting catcher, and so once again, I ask, sincerely: why would that be if he brought nothing to the table?