Buchholz got shelled during his last start of the season. It wasn’t pretty. It certainly wasn’t a good note on which to end the year for him, especially given how well he’s been pitching lately. It’s a real shame. I would have loved to have decimate the Yankees, and I would have loved to have seen Buchholz play a big part in that, because he’s way better than last night’s line.
He only lasted one and two-thirds innings and gave up eight runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two. The weird thing was that his first inning was solid gold; he retired the three batters he faced thanks to a flyout, a groundout, and a strikeout. The second inning, however, was one of the worst innings I have ever seen him pitch, if you can even call it that. His very first pitch of the frame was hit for a solo shot. He got the first out of the inning on a strikeout. And then he gave up a single and two consecutive home runs, the second of which was reviewed but stood as originally called. Then he issued two consecutive walks on a total of sixteen pitches followed by a single, a sac fly that plated a run, and a double that plated two runs. Aceves then replaced him and gave up a two-run home run before giving up a double and finally ending the inning.
Aceves had a solid third and pitched around two baserunners in the fourth. Beato took over for the fifth, sixth, and two batters into the seventh. Then it was Miller’s turn, and he finished the seventh. Bailey gave up a single, a groundout that advanced the runner, and another single that scored him.
Meanwhile, Nava put us on the board for the first time in the fourth with a solo shot on the second pitch of his at-bat, a ninety-two mile-per-hour sinker that he launched to right center field. We scored our last run in the seventh; Gomez led it off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout by Lavarnway, and scored on a sac fly by Salty.
So let me just put this in perspective for you. The final score was an ugly, painful, and humiliating 10-2. The Evil Empire scored all but one of its runs in the second inning alone, all but one of which were credited to Buchholz. So, as I said, Buchholz gave up eight runs, and then Aceves and Bailey gave up one each. That’s how bad Buchholz was. He just didn’t have it. He couldn’t find the strike zone, and when he could, he couldn’t close the deal. It wasn’t that he was issuing a lot of walks; he issued only two. The problem was that he wasn’t throwing strikes, so he was throwing a lot of pitches and getting tired and making mistakes at every turn.
We will not be leaving our mark on the baseball season of 2012. Both the Yanks and the Orioles are now officially in the playoffs. We didn’t spoil either team’s postseason potential. The only thing that we could possibly effect now is who wins the division. It’s a sad day when that’s all you’ve got.