That’s a tough loss to take. We pitched well, we defended well, but unfortunately we did not hit well by any stretch of the imagination. We collected a grand total of seven hits, and we worked a grand total of two walks. Fortunately, the two teams were very evenly matched, so we can take pride in the fact that at least we held our own, and it wasn’t like it was easy for them to walk all over us. On the contrary. They won by a final score of 2-1. It was almost as if we could have won just as easily with that score had luck been on our side.
Buchholz took the loss and deservedly so, since he gave up the winning run. And although his start was short at only five innings, it was one of his best all year. He gave up only two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out five.
He allowed his first run in the second, which he opened with a single that bounced off his foot followed by a hit batsman. A double play put two outs on the board and eras one of those baserunners but advanced the other. A walk put runners the corners, and a balk put us in a one-run hole that would prove to be deeper than a ten-run hole. The game remained tied at one until the sixth, when, two singles into it, Buchholz was replaced by Miller, who gave up a sac fly that scored the winning run. I won’t fault Miller for that because it was a play that recorded an out, not a hit given up that would have resulted in not only a run but also another runner on base with no additional out.
His best pitches were his fastball, cutter, and far and away his curveball; his changeup was decent. He threw eighty-seven pitches, fifty-nine of which were strikes; had he been more efficient, he probably would have been able to pitch longer, and the bullpen wouldn’t have had to be rolled out in just the sixth inning. Still, collectively, Miller, Albers, Morales, and Atchison shut out the Rays for the rest of the game and among them gave up only two hits and two walks.
We scored our one and only run in the fourth. Gonzalez flied out to begin it, Middlebrooks popped out, and then Salty doubled, Ross walked, and Nava singled in Salty. Aviles ended the inning with a groundout. With the exception of this inning, at no point at any other time during the game did we get a walk or a runner past second base. Only twice did a batter reach second base via an extra-base hit. Although it was nothing to be ashamed of, it certainly wasn’t our best.