Finally, finally, finally, Buchholz has turned in a good outing. He lasted six and a third innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits. He walked three and struck out none. Yes, his hit total was very high. Yes, he was inefficient, throwing 111 pitches. However, we must keep our eyes on the prize, and as is the case far too often in our current predicament, we’ve got to take what we can get, and we’ve got to like it. For Buchholz, this may be one of his best starts this year, and we’ll just go from there.
Of course, part of what made his start so good was the ever-elusive run support that the offense decided to provide. We didn’t waste any time, either. The Tribe may have gotten on the board first with an RBI single in the first, but we answered with a lead in the bottom of the inning: a single, a walk, and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Middlebrooks, who doubled and brought in two runs. We repeated that play in the second; Punto and Sweeney hit back-to-back singles to start it, and Pedroia brought them both home with a double.
Neither team scored until we were at it again in the fifth, which Nava opened with a walk and scored on a double by Ross. Salty grounded out after that, but then Punto reached ona field’ers choice and Sweeney singled in Ross. Dan Wheeler came into the game after that but was greeted by a sac fly by Pedroia, which scored another run.
We actually scored so many runs that Cleveland’s rally in the seventh didn’t even matter, which was definitely a sight for sore eyes. Buchholz induced a groundout for the first out of the inning, but then he loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. Hill inherited that and soundly disappointed us; he walked in a run, and then another, Buchholz’s lone unearned run, scored on a fielding error by Middlebrooks. Hill was relieved by Miller, whose start to his appearance wasn’t much better: he allowed an RBI single before finally ending the inning with a groundout.
Morales and Padilla combined to get through the eighth, and Aceves came on for the ninth and almost ruined everything. The first thing he did was walk a batter; he induced a lineout but allowed that base on balls to convert to a run on a single. Then he allowed another single, but fortunately he settled down just enough to get the win.
So the final score was 7-5. We barely hung onto that, which clearly should never be the case when you score seven runs. It just seems like the bullpen delivers a good performance when the starter is mediocre, and it delivers a mediocre when the starter is good. And the offense just does its own thing by itself. So the effect of all this is that it feels like we don’t lose like a team or win like a team; it feels like we either lose or win because this or that part of the team didn’t fulfill its role. Yesterday wasn’t much different, but like I said, at least we held on.