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Home » April 2010 Game CommentsApril 2010 » Hall’s Well That Ends Well

Hall’s Well That Ends Well

Clay Buchholz’s first start of the season wasn’t particularly sharp: 5 innings pitched, 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, and 1 strikeout. The leadoff batter in each inning reached base so the slim starter was in damage control mode for most of the afternoon. Unlike the home team starter Gil Meche, Buchholz didn’t let his opposition get hits in bunches.

The first Royals run crossed the plate when Bill Hall pursued a fly ball too far into the outfield, nearly running into Jacoby Ellsbury. Don’t blame Hall; he just thought it was time for his turn to take left. In the ninth Hall shifted from short to right and Marco Scutaro manned the hole.

Hall’s versatility came into play later in the ninth when Ellsbury again crossed paths with an infielder. This time Adrian Beltre ran out hard, chasing Mitch Maier’s pop fly in foul territory while Ellsbury charged in, honing in on the same target. As Ellsbury slid Beltre’s knee hit the left fielder in the rib cage. Ellsbury was removed from the game, J.D. Drew (who was all limbered up thanks to Scutaro’s massage) took over in right, and Hill shifted from right to left.

Terry Francona should text Theo Epstein a note of thanks for having the foresight to roster a player like Hall. Although he went 0-for-3, he did notch a base on balls and played in three different positions in the course a game.

As for the miscommunication between infielders and outfielders, it is as much about Ellsbury learning how to play left as it is about new players like Beltre and Hall learning about Ellsbury’s speed and range. Since Ellsbury primarily played center, he was used to having to cover much more territory and only having to call off other outfielders.

For the second game in a row the Red Sox scored eight runs. Dustin Pedroia’s home run and Beltre’s two-run double to the right-center gap padded their lead to five runs in the fourth, but the visiting team has their own version of Robinson Tejeda in Ramon Ramirez.

Ramirez toed the rubber in the eighth and was granted an opportunity to build on the confidence he gained from his flawless inning on Saturday. Instead he relinquished consecutive singles and capped off his showing by conceding a three-run homer off the bat of Jose Guillen. With a single swing the home team’s run total doubled and Francona had to call upon bullpen aces Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon to secure the victory.

Even more disheartening than Ramirez’s setback was David Ortiz’s four-strikeout performance. Hopefully Pedroia selected some inspirational post-game to raise the designated hitter’s spirits; some Notorious B.I.G. or bachata, perhaps.

Game 6: April 11, 2010
WinRed Sox
8W: Clay Buchholz (1-0)
H: Daniel Bard (2)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (2)
2B: Adrian Beltre (1), Jacoby Ellsbury (4), Jeremy Hermida (1), Victor Martinez (3)
HR: Dustin Pedroia (3)
6L: Gil Meche (0-1)
2B: Jason Kendall (2)
HR: Jose Guillen – 2 (2)

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