Friday, June 17, 2011

Buchholz And The Boston Bullpen Wrap Up A Great Red Sox Road Trip At 8-1

Another timely and clutch home run clobbered by superstar Adrian Gonzalez in the ninth inning provided one run's worth of breathing room and the Boston Red Sox concluded a very successful 8-1 road trip with a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bays Rays. Here's Adrian Gonzalez, who is important to Boston in too many ways to mention right now...

"It was a good road trip. We started the road trip in second place and finished it in first place. Any time you can do that, that's a good thing."

Clay Buchholz pitched well enough to allow his team to win but that darn nagging back cut short his day after five innings. He allowed only two hits and one earned run. Heal thyself, Clay. Here he is...

"Nagging back that has been the same since last year. I just felt like I was in a better position tonight to come out a little early and not put any more stress on my body than I had to. The way we're playing right now, nobody wants to go on the DL. That was my first thought -- try to get through five innings with it and give it to the bullpen. Josh Beckett pitched his game yesterday, and the bullpen had a day of rest. That was my thought process with it."

Clay gutted it out and the bullpen rewarded him by being stingy. Aceves fired 1 2/3 frames and except for the solo shot hit over the wall by Casey Kotchman, he was good. That's one bullpen run. Next up was Danny Bard, who was perfect for 1 1/3 innings. And then came Jonathon Papelbon. I had turned the game off on TV (thank you for your great coverage, NESN) and went to WTIC 1080am radio after the first two batters reached base on a double and a single. But Adrian Gonzalez had hit his huge tater in the ninth so the Sox had an insurance run on the jolly green scoreboard. Paps was rusty from lack of use but reared back and, after inducing a foul pop for out number one, blew away the final two batters. Here he is speaking about his rustiness...

"It was tough for me for the simple fact it had been six days since I pitched. I definitely had some rust. I had to shake off the first couple of batters that put me in that situation with my back up against the wall. I was kind of able to get into my element. I don't think anybody realizes how tough it is for a guy in my position to have five days off and pitch. I think that's pretty much what it boiled down to tonight."

With all the excuses, he got the job done and the Boston Red Sox came home to Boston with their heads held high after finishing this nine game trip with eight victories and sole possession of first place. Great job guys!

Next up is a three game Fenway Park series with the NL's Milwaukee Brewers, a team that used to be owned by Bud Selig. That was back in the days when I was seeing one of his daughters. We met in St. Maarten. But that's ancient history mixed thoroughly with fond fuzzy memories. Here are the pitching match-ups...

Fri. 17 Mil** 7:10 PM ET FxWi/NESN** J. Lackey (4-5) vs. S. Marcum (7-2)
Sat. 18 Mil** 7:10 PM ET FxWi/NESN** J. Lester (9-2) vs. R. Wolf (4-4)
Sun. 19 Mil** 1:35 PM ET TBS/NESN** T. Wakefield (3-2) vs. Y. Gallardo (8-3)

It's Friday so the weekend is almost at our doorstop. I hope yours will be a terrific one and don't forget to click on this post's title to be zapped to the Red Sox homepage where you can see all the highlights of the game. I thank you for stopping in and as always, BE WELL.

There's been a time change for Saturday's game, which was originally moved up because of a possible Bruins game. The Bruins wrapped it up and the game will be moved up. Here is yesterday's release...

ST. PETERSBURG -- "Two weeks ago, the Red Sox changed a Saturday game from night to day so that fans could watch the Bruins play in the Stanley Cup Final. Now that the Bruins have won the Cup, the Sox are making another change this Saturday.
With the B's holding a victory parade at 11 a.m. ET, the Red Sox have moved the time of their game against the Brewers from 1:10 p.m. to 7:10 p.m."

I just wanted all you possible ticket holders to know. OK, that's a wrap. Thanks.


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