Red Sox Weekly Recap: Podsednik Power, Super Saltalamacchia and Better Buchholz
21st May – 27th May
Clay Buchholz came into this week as a two start pitcher but I’d be surprised if anyone was using him in any fantasy league. He took the ball for the series opener against the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles and allowed an all too familiar 5 runs. Fortunately the Sox were able to pick up enough runs of their own to win the game despite Buchholz’s continued struggles.
The following night Brian Matusz threw a gem of a game allowing only one run and the Orioles won 4 to 1. The only hits in the game for Boston came from right fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, and first baseman, Kevin Youkilis. Felix Doubront pitched well again with 9 strikeouts over his 6 innings allowing just 2 earned runs, and he remains solid in the rotation.
Daniel Nava, Kelly Shoppach and Scott Podsednik each slugged home runs to powered the Sox to a 6-5 victory in the series finale. While this still sounds unlikely, it did happen. Daniel Bard picked up his 4th win of the season but was still unconvincing and Jerry Remy talking to WEEI said Bard was “still feeling his way through the starting thing” but “Has the stuff to make it happen.”
With that victory the Red Sox completed a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, the most allowed by the collective bargaining agreement.
After the off day Boston welcomed Tampa Bay to Fenway for a 3 game series.
The Rays knocked Jon Lester for 7 in the opener, including a grand slam in the 3rd inning from Matt Joyce. The Sox had pulled to within three by the time Franklin Morales hit Luke Scott with a pitch in the 9th inning. Scott started to walk towards the mound (bat still in hand) before he was intercepted by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia causing both benches to clear, there was some jawing and pushing but nothing more. There were many things said by both sides in the post game and the following morning but Bobby Valentine ended by saying “I like Joe, by the way”.
Saltalamacchia was right in the thick of it again in game two but this time with the bat in his hands rather than the shirt of Luke Scott. 2-1 down in the bottom of the 9th, after another good start from Josh Beckett, Salty was called up to bat as a pinch hitter with Daniel Nava already on base. Salty drilled an 0-1 pitch from the Rays surprisingly successful closer Fernando Rodney deep to center field for the walk-off win. The first walk-off home run of his career.
The Sox were down 2-0 in game three of the series until Adrian Gonzalez attempted to put his Fenway power outage behind him, crushing a 3 run home run into the Monster seats in the 7th inning. The game would stay 3-2 into the 9th inning until Boston closer Alredo Aceves who, struggling to find the strike zone, gave up a 2 run shot to Sean Rodriguez on a 3-1 pitch straight down broadway. Rodney rebounded to convert the save chance and the first good performance of the season by Clay Buchholz was wasted.