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Home » April 2008 Game CommentsApril 2008 » Clang


Game 26: April 26, 2008
Red Sox 1 L: Clay Buchholz (1-2) 15-11, 4 game losing streak
WinRays 2 W: Scott Dohmann (2-0)
S: Troy Percival (5)
13-11, 5 game winning streak
Highlights: Clay Buchholz joined Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield as the only Red Sox starters to have eight-inning outings. The fireballer and knuckleballer won their games, but the ace apparent came one pitch short of doing the same.

Rayscowbell Just as the Rays team is comprised of players who just recently departed the minors, Tampa Bay’s promotions department must have just come off stints with the Durham Bulls or Montgomery Biscuits or still feel the influence of Mike Veeck. Perhaps with the 10,000 cowbells were meant to make the Rays players feel as if they were back in Durham Bulls Athletic Park or Riverwalk, but more likely it was to give a slight advantage to the outnumbered home team fans. Surprisingly, last night’s attendance was 36,048, which is over twice last season’s average per game headcount.

Jerry Remy’s feud with Raymond continued; the rambunctious mascot left a cowbell for the analyst. “I’ll ring this every time the Red Sox scored,” Remy proclaimed.

Remy would only clank in the once in the fifth inning. Coco Crisp led off with a liner into right and his presence at first proved highly distracting to Rays starter Edwin Jackson. Jackson uncorked a wild pitch during Jed Lowrie’s at bat that had Crisp scurrying all the way to third. The starter then walked Lowrie but composed himself and struck out Julio Lugo.

Lugo disputed Dan Iassogna’s call so vociferously the shortstop was nearly booted. Without Terry Francona’s interceding on his player’s behalf Boston’s infield alignment would have resembled Tony LaRussa’s emergency tactic that required Albert Pujols to play second base on April 22.

Next Jackson turned his attention to Jacoby Ellsbury. The home team’s starter was lucky that Ellsbury’s sharp shot found Evan Longoria’s glove after scorching the third base line as the swift center fielder could have easily doubled. Instead, Longoria knocked down the hit, rushed his throw to first, and pulled first baseman Carlos Peña off first. Crisp was off on contact and scored what would be the visitors’ sole run.

Clay Buchholz cruised after a shaky first inning in which he walked batters back-to-back. From that point he didn’t allow another baserunner until B.J. Upton doubled to start the fourth. Facing the most formidable part of the Rays’ lineup Buchholz induced ground outs from Peña, Longoria, and Hinske to sustain the shutout.

It was but a hint of the dominance Buchholz demonstrated; from the fifth through the seventh no member of the local nine reached base. In the eighth, after striking out Gabe Gross, pinch hitter Dioner Navarro singled to right, setting up Akinori Iwamura’s game-winning home run.

Words I never thought I would have to type: The Red Sox failed to score late in the game because of Tampa Bay’s shutdown bullpen.

Like cowbells at baseball games, that’s just wrong.

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