Red Sox Keep Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...Buchholz Not Ready For A Bullpen Session
The Boston Red Sox whupped the Seattle Mariners and their ace, Cy Young award winner Felix Hernandez, by a score of 7-4. Who would ever believe John Lackey would beat him? Lackey went seven strong and gave up a solo run on eight hits. He struck out four and walked no one for his third win in a row. The bullpen pitched the last two with Morales the only blemish. He started the eighth but couldn't finish it. After three runs came across and two outs recorded, Boston turned to relief ace (yes, he is just that) Danny Bard, who recorded the third out. Papelbon wrapped it up with a blemish-free ninth and another Red Sox victory was in the books. Here's the Boston manager, Terry "Tito" Francona, on his resurgent at the right time pitcher...
"He (Lackey) has the ability to be a really good pitcher and shoulder a big burden, and it looks like he wants to do that. His stuff, to me, is the same. He's actually been pretty consistent, especially since he came back from the DL. I just think he needs to locate. When he doesn't, he gives up hits. When he locates, he gets people out. It's about as simple as that."
Lackey threw 68 of his 101 pitches for strikes. When he got behind in the count and needed a sure out, the Sox catcher, Saltalamacchia, kept putting down the off speed/breaking ball sign, be it a curve or a nasty slider, and that did the trick. Here's Lackey himself...
"I felt pretty good. I was really commanding my off-speed stuff pretty well tonight. I probably had one of my better changeups of the year, so that was nice."
The white hot Pedey Pedroia kept on keeping on with another three hits and multi-hit games were also had by Youkilis and Ellsbury. Boston collected thirteen hits in all and except for Morales, every Sox pitcher was wonderful. The 'pen is so important to this team and they continue to keep getting better.
Now I have one piece of bad news. Injured starter Clay Buchholz, scheduled to pitch yesterday in a bullpen session, was unable to do it because of continued back discomfort which prevents him from extending himself during the pitching process. I have a short quote from the "missing man" right here...
“It’s definitely better, it’s getting better every day. I still got a little bit of stuff going on in there and it’s already taken way too long for this, in my mind, but I’m already on the DL and it can’t get any worse than it was at the beginning and it hasn’t gotten any worse. It’s the down time after I throw that the soreness comes."
Clay, I hope you'll be back on the mound every fifth day but I know it's going to be a long and slow process. I must say this...thank goodness for Andrew Miller, who has filled in for him admirably. He really has..
Today, Saturday, the Fenway game begins at 7:10pm EDT and features Beckett and Beavan, who has a record of 1-1. If Josh continues his return to excellence, chalk up another game in the win column for our first place club. The NY Yankees demolished the woeful Oakland A's by a score of 17-7 and remain a full two games behind the Good Guys. They've done an amazing job keeping pace with the magic Sox of Boston.
That's it for this Saturday morning post. Enjoy your day, a day sure to be hot here once again in north central Connecticut but nothing like yesterday. At 2pm EDT Friday, my backyard in-the-shade temperature was 103 degrees. IN THE SHADE! Couple that with a huge dose of humidity and it added up to an air conditioning day. After I did all my errands before 10am, I went back home with the a/c on c-c-cold and sat right underneath the living room ceiling fan. With that beautiful breeze, I was one happy guy. You can click on this post's title for more on yesterday's game and as always, BE WELL. That's it from me to you. GO SOX and enjoy your weekend.