Pap seals Buchholz’s gem (End of Game, 10:25, 3-2)
Clay Buccholz was so impressive the Fenway fans booed when Terry Francona came out to take him off the hill. The shutout may be over, but Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon came in to finish off the inning and seal the Sox win.
Did Ellsbury have a shot? (End 8, 10:12, 3-0)
There’s a good chance that three runs will be enough for Clay Buchholz. There’s also a chance that even though Jacoby Ellsbury shot a ball to the deepest part of the park for a second straight night and had a chance to turn it into an inside the park home run, he could have been thrown out at the plate. But the look on his face said he wanted to make a run for it even thought third base coach DeMarlo Hale gave him the sign to hold at third with two outs. He’d be stranded there after a Dustin Pedroia walk and a Victor Martinez grounded out.
Buchholz still nasty in the eight (Mid 8, 9:54, 3-0)
Clay Buchholz’s nine strikeouts is his high for the year and also matches his career high, and his two K’s this innings were as nasty as his first. On a 3-and-2 count, he froze Travis Snider with a change up on the outside part of the plate then he beat John McDonald with a challenge pitch on an 0-2 count. He’s thrown eight shutout innings, and if he completes it this would be his first shutout since his 2007 no-hitter against Baltimore.
In pitcher’s duel with Buchholz, Jay’s Romero blinks first (End 6, 9:29, 3-0 Sox)
Coming into tonight’s game, Ricky Romero had been great against everyone but the Red Sox, struggling to figure out Boston’s order in three previous starts. Tonight he had gotten himself into and out of jams, but walks to Jason Bay and J.D. Drew came back to haunt him, when Alex Gonzalez stroked a single to center, scoring Bay and giving the Sox a 2-0 lead. He was yanked right after the hit, ending what was easily his best outing against the Sox if only on the grounds that he lasted five innings. He found himself locked in a battle with Clay Buchholz, who’s sawed through the Jays order twice now, with five strikeouts through six strong. Buchholz is still working on a one-hitter in what’s shaping up as easily his best start of the summer. The Sox tacked on another run when Jesse Carlson walked Victor Martinez with the bases loaded giving them breathing room with a 3-0 lead.
Jays scrambling for O, Sox letting chances slip away (Mid 5, 8:42, 1-0 Sox)
A double-play ball by Travis Snider ended the fifth inning quickly for Clay Buchholz. He’s now faced the minimum in the third, fourth and fifth innings with the Jays struggling to muster much at the plate. The Sox on the other hand have had several opportunities, including bases loaded situations in the second and third innings, not to mention a hit-batter, a pair of walks, and an error and only have one run on seven hits.
Buchholz cruising through three (Mid 3, 7:56, 1-0 Sox)
Clay Buchholz is one over the minimum in a smooth three innings. Kevin Millar stands as the only Jay to reach base, and he did it beating out a single on a ball in the hole to Alex Gonzalez (and replays made it look like Gonzalez gunned him down). Buchholz has notched three K’s and looks to be in control.
Control issues (End 2, 7:55, 1-0 Sox)
One thing to keep in mind after seeing Jays starter Ricky Romero peg Jason Bay with a pitch, let Mike Lowell run a double into the rightfield corner then whiz a fastball by J.D. Drew’s face, and then somehow get out of an apparent jam with a couple of groundballs, is that Romero’s never lasted five innings in a start against the Sox. On Aug. 18, he gave up six runs (five earned) in 3.2 innings of a 10-9 loss, on July 17 he allowed four runs in 4.1 innings (a 4-1 loss) and May 31 he gave up five runs in four innings of an 8-2 loss.
Sox strike in the first (End 1, 7:36, 1-0 Sox)
Jacoby Ellsbury sliced a double down the line. Then Raul Chavez tried to gun Ellsbury down at second from home and saw his throw bounce off Ellsbury and into the outfield. Dustin Pedroia drove in Ellsbury with a hard hit ball to the left side. Victor Martinez singled, and with David Ortiz at the plate a passed ball moved Pedroia and Martinez to second and third. Chavez kept gunning, chopping down Pedroia when he strayed too far away from third. It was Chavez’s second pick-off this season. Ortiz struck out swinging to end the inning.
“Greatest curveball ever thrown” (Mid 1, 7:16, 0-0)
Or at least that’s the quip from one of the writers here in the press box. It was more like a very nasty strikeout pitch from Clay Buchholz, but as that scribe put it, the way Jose Bautista bailed out of the box, knees buckling, body falling backward, “He made it look like the greatest curveball ever thrown.” It was actually the first out of a 1-2-3 inning for the Sox as they try to get this game in while the rain holds off.