This is what I wrote to recap Clay Buchholz' last outing:
The Red Sox seem to have invented time travel.
That, at least, is the only explanation I can come up with for this game. Or, more specifically, for the fact that they just played the same game that they played five days ago on May 16th.
Oh, sure, there were minor differences. The game was, for instance, played in Fenway instead of SafeCo. Against the Rangers instead of the Mariners. The final score was 3-1 instead of 2-1. But we'll chalk that up to Daniel Nava being sent too far back and stepping on a butterfly or something. Because everything else was just too damn similar to actually be considered a unique game.
Lo and behold, they've done it again.
It's eerie, really, just how reminiscent this game was of last week's loss. Clay Buchholz got off to the same rough start, allowing two runs in a first inning that didn't promise great things. But just as he had against the Rangers, Buchholz settled into hit outing. A 1-2-3 second set the tone, and a clean third followed. If he was lucky to get out of a third inning that saw three baserunners without another run coming in, he was unlucky to see one man reach on an error, and certainly earned his zero with a double play ball to end the inning. The fifth inning also proved a bit stressful, but Buchholz managed a clean sixth and seventh before giving way to Alexi Ogando with one out in the eighth.
It was, frankly, a third straight effort worthy of a front-of-the-rotation starter. And the third straight such effort rewarded by the offense with a single run of support. In fact, it's the sixth time that's happened to Clay in just 10 starts. The offense is decrepit these days, but they seem to pull out all the stops to ruin Buchholz' night.
The new lineup obviously did not acquit itself particularly well. Pablo Sandoval grounded into a double play to erase Mookie Betts and end the first inning. The Sox would manage to put together a run in the second courtesy of David Ortiz and Mike Napoli, but their threats were largely scattered otherwise. Their best opportunity would come with two on and two down in the eighth, with Pablo Sandoval once again at the plate. And while this time he managed a lefty-on-lefty single, it was weak contact that Brian Dozier was able to keep on the infield to leave the bases loaded instead of bringing in the tying run. Hanley Ramirez lined out to right field behind him, and the Sox' last real threat died.
And so the Red Sox waste another strong start from the rotation. Nobody thought this is where we'd be 46 games into the season--worrying about why the offense can't back up a two-run outing. But here we are, and it's been the same for weeks on end.