BOSTON, MA - MAY 11: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox knocks in a run with a sacrifice fly against the Cleveland Indians in the fifth inning at Fenway Park May 11, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
A win! A win! A frustrating win that could have been easier or more comfortable, but a win nonetheless!
Beggars, as they say, cannot be choosers.
After the first inning, this looked like just the latest in a long line of Clay Buchholz failures on the mound. Two-out trouble in the first gave the Indians an early run even with their leaving the bases loaded. The Sox were able to jump on top in the bottom half, with Will Middlebrooks' bases loaded double bringing home Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.
It was just the beginning of what would be a long night for Ubaldo Jimenez, who had trouble locating the ball all night and completely failed to fool the Sox. Dustin Pedroia would plate two more runs in the bottom of the second before the Sox really pulled away in the fifth, chasing Jimenez from the game and scoring three more as they sent six men to the plate.
Meanwhile, Buchholz had rounded into form and started recording outs. Through six innings it wasn't the prettiest of outings, but it was a strong, yeoman-like start that left him with just one run to his name.
That would have been exactly the sort of start Buchholz needed to get his head right after a season of frustration, but now it's not so clear what, exactly, Clay left this game with. You see, Bobby V. struck again, allowing Buchholz to surrender two base hits before he so much as got relievers warmed up. Buchholz would load the bases before Rich Hill came in, and with three runs crossing before the frame came to an end, our starter-in-need has four runs in the books, with three of them earned.
It's about as ambiguous an outing as you can get, frankly. Not necessarily a disaster, but also not something that is guaranteed to give Buchholz a sense of confidence going into his next outing. We're a more stat-oriented bunch around here, but if there's anyone who I think can be derailed by bad mojo, it's Buchholz.
Some more hijinx followed as the Sox and Indians wasted opportunities alike, but in the end Alfredo Aceves managed to strand the tying run at second by getting Johnny Damon to hit a lazy fly ball to center. And that's enough to outweigh all the rest.