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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Trembley’

So the Orioles fired Dave Trembley, hired Juan Samuel for the interim, and asked us to welcome him last night in his first game as skipper of this sorely misguided team.  We gave him a welcome, alright.  A nice slugfest blowout of a welcome.  Note to all other Major League Baseball teams: don’t play us if you want to ensure that a debut goes well, because if you play us, it won’t.

The story of last night’s theatrics starts and ends with Buchholz, literally.  He pitched a complete game (third in his career) shutout (second in his career) and got the win, giving up five hits and only one walk while striking out two.  That was his career-high eighth win and the ninth in his winning streak on the road.  It’s the first time in his career that he’s won five straight.  That’s the second-longest streak in the history of the franchise, right behind Clemens’s twelve from September 20, 1987 through July 4, 1988.  He joins heady company; only four pitchers in the history of the franchise have won at least eight consecutive starts on the road: Buchholz, Clemens, Lefty Grove, and Babe Ruth, and Buchholz and Clemens are tied for second.  For now.

His ERA is now 2.39.  His ERA during his eight road wins is 1.22.  That’s ridiculous.  I can’t believe that.  It just keeps getting lower and lower.  I know I’ve said this before, but that’s a closer’s ERA.  This kid just continues to amaze.  He’s so confident.  He’s so dominant.  He throws any pitch in any count.  It’s remarkable.  Watching that game made me think back to his no-hitter, also against the Orioles.  You know you were thinking about it too.  Maybe he just has this team’s number.  Or maybe he’s just that good.  I have a feeling it’s a good mixture of both.

He was extremely stingy, throwing only 101 pitches.  A big part of that was his use of the double play (last night we turned two), his incredibly low walk total, and his profuse use of the first-pitch strike.  Last night, Buchholz recorded eight first-pitch outs.  After Izturis singled in the third, he retired twelve consecutive batters.

His changeup was absolutely nasty.  Really, all of his pitches were thrown well; his slider and fastball were spectacular, while his curveball continues to improve.  He needed a game high of nineteen pitches to clear the first.  He needed a game low of only six pitches to clear both the fourth and sixth.  Six pitches.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a pitcher complete a frame with only six pitches.  That’s absurd.

He threw 66 strikes, and his strike zone was beautiful.  He threw to all parts of it.  If he threw a ball, chances were it was to the left or at the upper left corner, but there really weren’t many of those.  Speed variation? Check.  Tossed salad? Check.  Movement? Check.

Wow factor? Check.  Absolutely.

The final score was 11-0, and as Buchholz said, having a lead that huge gives a pitcher the opportunity to pound the zone, be aggressive and creative, and experiment to get batters out.  So the offense most certainly did its part.

Tillman started the game by loading the bases with nobody out by giving up a single to Scutaro and walking Pedroia and Papi back-to-back.  Scutaro scored on a groundout by V-Mart, and with two outs Drew doubled in two.  Hermida led off the second with a double, moved ahead on a single by Hall, and scored on a single by Pedroia.  Thus, Samuel made his first call to the bullpen as the manager of a Major League Baseball team; he removed his starter after he gave up four runs in less than two innings.  Welcome to the big show.

We were just getting started.  Cue the long balls; we had three of them.  In the fourth, Hall struck out by reached on a passed ball, Scutaro singled, and with two out Youk went yard high and long to send everyone home for the eleventh time this year.  He buried a 1-0 fastball up into the seats out in left field.  Not wanting to feel left out, Beltre did the same with nobody on base an inning later on a breaking ball.  Complete with that really compact swing of his where he puts his whole back into it such that he ends up kneeling on his back leg during the follow-through.  Not wanting to feel left out either, Scutaro did the same to lead off the eighth on an inside hanging breaking ball.  In the ninth, Beltre doubled in V-Mart, and then Drew scored on McDonald’s groundout.

Pedroia went two for four.  Beltre, Drew, and Youk went two for five.  V-Mart went three for four.  Scutaro went three for six.  We recorded sixteen hits.  We scored five of our runs with two outs.  In short, we delivered a good, old-fashioned Boston beatdown.  We had a brief scare when Hermida collided with Beltre on Markakis’s popup (thankfully, Scutaro pulled out of the chase early), but they’re okay.  Hermida left with a left forearm contusion, and Beltre has a bruised left knee, but that’s all.  Thankfully.  The last thing we need is yet another outfielder on the DL as a result of a collision.

Tonight’s the second game of the series; Lester will take on Guthrie to secure at least the series win.  I’m looking forward to this.  Hopefully, Lester will turn in a performance just as dominant but from the other side of the mound.  We’re currently four and a half games out of first and continue to surge.  Life is good.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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I don’t even know where to start.  That was some of the most fun I’ve had watching baseball all season long (beatdowns of the Yankees notwithstanding).  Last night’s game was exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it.  If you can call it a game.  It wasn’t so much a game as it was a very decisive assertion of dominance.  To be honest with you, the Orioles should have seen this coming.

So last night’s affair wasn’t so much an exhibition of Baltimore’s mediocrity as it was a celebration of our supremacy.  That’s pretty much the only way I can describe it.  Every single player in a Boston uniform was on fire last night, including the pitchers and excluding Kotchman and most of the B team.

The final score was 10-0.  The 10 is first, so we’ll start with offense.  We hit six home runs last night.  Six.  That’s a season high.  Six in one game.  I saw it, and I still can’t quite believe it.  It was like running a replay over and over six times, and then you realize it’s a different batter, a different swing, and a different run scoring.  And we scored in every inning except the fourth, fifth, and eighth.  We scored three times in the first.  Dustin Pedroia started the night off with a two-run shot that bounced off the AAA sign above the Green Monster.  Dustin Pedroia.  Slumping Dustin Pedroia swung for the fences and hit it out.  I knew we didn’t have long to wait.  And indeed we didn’t, because two innings later, he led off the third with another rocket into the Monster.  First a fastball, then a changeup.  Nothing like a return home against a team you’re comfortable with to get back in your groove.

But back to the first inning.  Pedroia did his thing, followed by Youkilis, who smashed one over the AAA sign, clearing the Monster completely.  In the second inning, it was Gonzalez’s turn, and with two out he smashed one of his own over the AAA sign, also clearing the Monster.  I didn’t even know he had that much power.  Then came the third inning, and with it Pedroia the Destroyah’s second long ball followed by JD Drew, who made a mark on the score with a three-run shot with two out in the frame that ended up in our bullpen.  (He probably figured hitting one over the Monster would’ve been a little boring at that point.) So that’s his twentieth of the season so far, which is already one more than his total for all of last year, and something tells me he’s not quite finished.

In the sixth, V-Mart kept it interesting by grounding out to first while Gonzalez scored, but by the bottom of the seventh we were back to normal as Big Papi swung for the fences and knocked a leadoff solo blast into the center field seats.  That was his twenty-third of the season and the 269th of his career, tying Frank Thomas for the most home runs ever hit by a designated hitter.  And that, much to the relief of the seven Oriole pitchers who were on duty last night, was the ballgame.

But not before Clay Buchholz had his way with the Birds, which is where the 0 in 10-0 comes in.  He pitched seven beautiful shutout innings.  No runs on three hits with a single walk and five K’s.  This kid has to be one of the most interesting pitchers to watch in all of Major League Baseball.  It’s rare to have someone so young who has such a command with off-speeds.  And let me tell you, his command wasn’t there last year but it is now.  You watch him and he just exudes confidence.  This is the Clay Buchholz we’d been waiting for.  Ladies and gentlemen, he has arrived!

Michael Bowden did well.  Two innings of two-hit shutout ball.  No walks, one strikeout.  Nice and clean and simple.  I like it.

Dice-K will start for single-A Salem tonight, and that should be it for his rehab.  Meanwhile, Wakefield will receive another cortisone shot tomorrow or Friday for his back.  We called up catcher Dusty Brown and Jed Lowrie yesterday.

In conclusion, that makes one small spread for Baltimore and one big blowout for Bostonkind.  I don’t really know how else to say this: Baltimore stood no chance.  We were winning that one all the way.  We were on the road for a while, we were tired, we lost games we probably shouldn’t have lost and it was sometimes difficult for us to win when it should have been easy.  But for better or for worse, we came back home, we faced a team we love to face, and we made it count.  Man, did we make it count.  Dave Trembley has work to do.  A lot of work to do.  But not as much smiling as we citizens of Red Sox Nation have to do.  I’m just saying.  And after all that, we were only three for seven with runners in scoring position.  But hey, that’s what happens when you score nine of ten runs with long balls.  You don’t wait for guys to get on base.  You just hit it out and make the round trip yourself.  Trust me.  I can live with that.  Byrd will close out the two-game set with Jason Berken.  After last night’s performance, I’m feeling pretty good.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis and Getty Images

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