Red Sox - 130 000 000 - 4 5 0Buchholz (1-1-0-1-2, 17) hyperextended his left knee running to second base in the second inning, so it was up to the firm of Atchison Ramirez Delcarmen Richardson Okajima Bard & Papelbon LLC to uphold Boston's early lead.
Giants - 000 101 000 - 2 6 0
Darnell McDonald hit a solo home run in the first and Mike Cameron drilled a three-run shot to dead center in the second. After Cameron's dong, only two Red Sox batters reached base: Buchholz's single immediately following the HR and Marco Scutaro's two-out double in the fifth. San Francisco pitchers retired 21 of the last 22 Boston batters.
Jonathan Papelbon needed only eight pitches to retire the Giants in order in the ninth.
The Red Sox have acquired infielder-outfielder Eric Patterson from the A's. (SoSH)
The Dodgers lead the Yankees 9-4 in the 7th and the Rays beat the Diamondbacks 5-3, so if LA wins, Boston and Tampa Bay will be 2 GB.
Clay Buchholz / Madison Bumgarner
Buchholz has never come to the plate in a big league game, but hit .387 and slugged .613 at Angelina (Texas) Junior College:Scutaro, SS
Oh, I know what I'm doing up there.Runs allowed by Buchholz in his last eight starts: 1, 2, 1, 0, 0, 3, 3, 0. That's a 1.62 ERA over 55.2 innings.
Buchholz is 3rd in the AL in ERA (2.47) and 1st in ERA+ (181); his ERA+ is 5th in MLB.
Buchholz's BB/9 is still too high, however: 3.7*. It's 10th worst among the 56 qualifying AL starters. Plus, Jon Lester is 11th and John Lackey is 14th. The Red Sox have allowed the 4th most walks in the AL (271, only 10 fewer than the #1 Angels).
Random Thing: Looking at the team pitching stats, there is a huge difference in wild pitches, with the Diamondbacks at 45 and the Padres with 12. (Arizona's Edwin Jackson has 11 all by himself!)
Ignoring Buchholz's four games pitched in 2007, here are his opponents' slash stats:
PA AVG OBP SLG OPS ERA+A nice, steady decline in all three catagories, especially slugging. After allowing 1.3 HR/9 in 2008 and 2009, that rate has dropped to 0.3 this year. In roughly similar numbers of batters faced over the last three years, he has allowed 11, 13, and 3 home runs, respectively.
2008 357 .299 .381 .463 .844 69
2009 399 .256 .325 .404 .729 112
2010 373 .231 .311 .310 .621 181
Bumgarner, a 20-year-old lefty, is making his 2010 debut. His major league experience consists of four games (10 innings) towards the end of last season. With Fresno (AAA) this year, he has a 3.16 ERA in 14 starts.
AL East Watch:
Diamondbacks/Rays, 4 PM
Yankees/Dodgers, 7 PM
1916: During a doubleheader between Brooklyn and the Giants at the Polo Grounds, three fans are arrested for petty looting for not throwing back baseballs hit into the stands.
1982: The Appleton Foxes (Midwest League) get only one hit per game, but sweep a doubleheader from the Wisconsin Rapids Twins 2-1 and 1-0.