Two mental errors, a balk by Clay Buchholz and a misplayed fly ball in right by Cody Ross, plus some good Tampa Bay Rays pitching was the difference for the Boston Red Sox in their 2-1 loss last night.
We all know that Buchholz has this fascination with throwing over to first base when runners are on base.
With runners on first and third in the 2nd inning, Buchholz double clutched his pickoff throw to first base and a balk was called forcing in Carlos Pena from third with the game’s first run. Buchholz did get out of the inning by striking out Jose Molina.
The 6th inning proved to be the deciding factor in this game.
Matthew Joyce led off the inning with a single that went off the heel of Buchholz. Pena followed that with a single and Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine had seen enough and summoned Andrew Miller from the bullpen.
Miller got a fly ball from Fenway favorite Luke Scott that went to shallow right field. The problem was that Ross totally misjudged it and ran in too far and that allowed Joyce to score from third despite a strong throw from Ross.
There’s always the possibility that Ross lost the ball with the horrible roof conditions at Tropicana Field. But in that tight of a game, that turned out to the be the difference.
There’s also the question of why did Valentine pull Buchholz from the game after 87 pitches in the 5th inning. He did say after the game that he wanted to be cautious with Buchholz because of the line drive that had hit him. I can understand the cautiousness but Buchholz didn’t seem to be showing any signs that it was bothering him.
But overall, you have to be pleased with the effort Buchholz gave on Wednesday night.
The changeup which had been missing from his arsenal all season long reappeared magically out of thin air and was one of his most effective pitches of the night. Couple that with his nasty curveball along with increased velocity on his fastball and it looks as though he’s turned the corner. The best part of all those pitches was the fact he had command and good location on all of them.
He ended up with five strikeouts on the night and got 14 swing-and-misses.
There was one scary moment in the game after Morales hit Will Rhymes with a fastball in the forearm in the 8th. After being checked out by the trainer, Rhymes went down to first base. But while the Red Sox were making a pitching change, Rhymes asked to come out of the game and collapsed into the Rays’ first base coach’s arms. He would leave the game on the cart. X-Rays after the game showed he had just a bruise and Rhymes himself said he likely passed out due to an adrenaline rush.
Obviously right now, things are still looking up for the Red Sox. They got a solid outing from Buchholz although since he didn’t make it six innings, the quality start streak ended at five. But with Buchholz rediscovering his changeup, we know hope that he continues the good pitching in his next start out.
We’ll be back later on today with today’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let’s take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.
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Red Sox stumble a bit vs. Rays as win streak ends [Boston Globe]
Not all the right moves [Boston Globe]
Matsuzaka not seen as close [Boston Globe]
Red Sox pay for a misplay [Boston Herald]
Felix Doubront hopes to get Moore out of matchup [Boston Herald]
Difficult math in this division [Boston Herald]
Adrian Gonzalez slams plate ump calls [Boston Herald]
Sox balk three, lose 2-1 to Rays to end streak [CSN New England]
Gammons: Doubts aplenty about Youkilis’ health [CSN New England]
Buchholz has roller coaster evening [CSN New England]
Valentine: Sox’ balks ‘like an epidemic’ [CSN New England]
Valentine: Dice-K isn’t ‘all that close’ [ESPN Boston]
Rapid Reaction: Rays 2, Red Sox 1 [ESPN Boston]
Valentine: Balks ‘like an epidemic’ [ESPN Boston]
What to make of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s immediate future [Full Count]
Tampa Bay’s Will Rhymes OK after collapsing on field [Full Count]
Nuggetpalooza: Stat nuggets from the Red Sox week [Full Count]
Adrian vows to go deep, takes shot at ump [RedSox.com]
Youk goes 1-for-2 with walk in first rehab game [RedSox.com]
Rhymes OK after plunking, fainting spelling [RedSox.com]
Balk, short flyout halts Red Sox’s winning streak [RedSox.com]
Date with Phils, Pap opens Interleague slate [RedSox.com]
Dice-K trying to iron out mechanical flaws [RedSox.com]
Valentine searching for leadoff hitter [RedSox.com]
Bailey gets encouraging report on thumb [RedSox.com]
photo credit: AP Photo