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Home » April 2011 Game CommentsApril 2011 » Home Wreckers

Home Wreckers

The elation caused by Boston’s lone win on Friday evaporated like self-tanner off Cameron Diaz’s shoulders on Saturday. Twice the Red Sox came within a run of the Yankees but the home team went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position. Such a paucity of timely hitting by the local nine combined with the power of New York’s bats and relievers equaled another notch in the loss column for the team that most experts said were going to reach if not win the World Series.

Despite Clay Buchholz’s two consecutive dismal starts the starter signed a four-year contract extension worth approximately $30 million. It was similar to Jon Lester’s extension but Buchholz’s contract has two team options compared to Lester’s single team option. Buchholz has already surrendered more than half (5) the homers he gave up the entire season last year (9).

The Red Sox pitching staff has given up 19 home runs, the most round-trippers in 2011 for any team. The Toronto Blue Jays, the team where former Boston pitching coach John Farrell is now skipper, has only four home runs against its staff. Along with this departure Jason Varitek is no longer the full-time catcher with Jarrod Saltalamacchia installed as the starting backstop. It would be difficult if not impossible to quantify the impact of these two changes separately or in conjunction with each other as such corollaries do not figure into even the most assiduous sabermetrician’s equations.

Like a laser pointer punctuating a tedious business presentation Dustin Pedroia’s three doubles were the only bright spot in a dreary game. The second baseman led off the third with a grounder that hugged the third base line all the way to the left field corner and scored by two consecutive ground outs. He drove in two more runs in the fourth with a two-bagger over Curtis Granderson’s head to the base of the wall in center field. He led off the ninth with his third double of the day but was stalled at third when Luis Ayala induced a double play off the bat of David Ortiz to end the game.

Pedroia made a Gold Glove-caliber stop in the top of the sixth, ranging to his left and stabbing at Mark Teixeira’s sharp grounder before it skipped into left field for a single. His highlight reel play at least kept his counterpart Robinson Cano’s monster homer later that inning to a solo score.

All this from a guy not much taller than Ken Rosenthal.

Game 8: April 9, 2011
WinNew York Yankees
W: David Robertson (1-0)
2B: Robinson Cano (4), Eric Chavez – 2 (2)
HR: Russell Martin – 2 (3), Curtis Granderson (2), Robinson Cano (2)
Boston Red Sox
L: Clay Buchholz (0-2)
2B: Dustin Pedroia – 3 (3)

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