In a game that exemplified both the best and worst of this strange team of ours, the Red Sox completed a sweep of the Minnesota Twins.
The best is clearly encapsulated in the offense. Jumping on the Twins' starting pitcher for a third straight game, the Sox found themselves out to a very early 4-0 lead thanks in large part to Mike Aviles, who launched his second homer of the series and fourth of the year to score Kevin Youkilis and Cody Ross.
The Sox added two more in the third, and a seventh run in the fourth. That should be enough to keep things nice and easy, but Clay Buchholz was on the mound, Bobby Valentine was in the dugout, and the Sox had their usual assortment in the pen.
Buchholz had been surviving by the skin of his teeth for the first five innings, allowing just the one run despite hit after hit after hit. That went away in the sixth after a bunt and ground ball brought two more men onto the basepaths. A double and a walk later, and Clay was gone with Atchison (and a run) in. All it took to knock Atch out was the lone ground ball single, and then came...
With two men on in a suddenly close game. Where have we seen this before? Oh, right, when Bobby Valentine was issuing one of his infamous apologies for bringing Justin Thomas on in an important situation. That Thomas is a lefty hasn't kept major league lefties from batting .500 against him, so why have him face Justin Morneau? Why, to give up a double, of course.
So the Sox got in trouble because of more terrible bullpen performances and questionable bullpen choices, their offense went in the hole for the rest of the game, and of course...they won?
It's a much nicer ending to the unfortunate story we've heard so many times before, thanks to Vicente Padilla, Franklin Morales, and Alfredo Aceves, who managed to stop a few hearts with the shakiest of saves, but still ultimately got the job done.
A sweep! Celebrate!