Quick thoughts on Red Sox/Rays – Game 8

The Red Sox, and Clay Buchholz in particular, showed some real gusto yesterday by brushing off a 4 run 1st inning by the Rays and winning the game 13-5.  The Sox now have their 3rd win of the season after 8 games.  It took them 5 more games last year to reach the 3 win plateau.  Here’s some quick thoughts on the game:

  • Buchholz showed what made him an inconsistent pitcher early on – he had control issues and walks would lead to runs.  He had 43 pitches after 2 innings and it was almost inconceivable that he would make it through 7 innings.  Then he started to do what makes him a great pitcher – put the ball around the plate, make the hitters swing.  He’s got great movement and when his stuff is located well it’s hard to get good wood on it.  A lot of balls are hit on the ground, balls are hit right at people and all of a sudden you are breezing through the lineup.  For a Red Sox team that has had horrid results from their starters dating all the way back to September it’s worth noting that they’ve had their starters go 7+ innings for three games in a row now.
  • The Red Sox have hit Tampa Bay pitching terribly over the last few seasons so it is a bit surprising that they’ve been so successful in the early going.  They’ve been more patient and made the Rays’ starters work.  Remember these guys are all young so when they have to throw extra pitches they may become a little flustered.  We’ll see if it can continue with Matt Moore today.
  • Our bullpen received a lot of flak early in the year but Tampa Bay’s seems to be as bad if not worse.  They haven’t put anyone in there during the two games who could get anyone out besides Wade Davis who would go to the rotation if there was an injury.
  • Mike Aviles did a nice job in the lead-off role.  He’ll probably get the lion’s share of at-bats there, at least until Crawford comes back.  I’ve said a few times, these role players the Sox have are all good players.  It may be similar to ’03-’03 when guys like Mueller, Bellhorn, Nixon, etc. all contributed heavily.
  • Franklin Morales’ stuff is very, very good…he may be the set-up guy even when Andrew Bailey is back.  Great trade by the Sox last year.
  • Looks like LINsanity only lasted an inning in Boston.
  • The Sox must be awful confident getting the first 2 from Tampa this season.  They have dominated the Sox over the past few years and seemed to continually kick them when they were down.  The Sox needed a strong start to the home stand and got it by winning the first two against Tampa.  One more and they take the serious and it would be hard to see them not finishing at least 6-3 on the home stand if they take 3 of 4 from Tampa.

An interesting match-up of young lefties today between Doubront and Moore.  The Sox would feel really good about themselves with a win today.  I’ll be at the game.  Looks like there will be nice weather and hopefully another good day at the Fens for the home team.

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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