|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Marlins got to Clay Buchholz early in this game. Hanley Ramirez singled with one out in the first inning. Following a strikeout from Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison sent a home run to center field, putting the Marlins up 2-0 early.
It didn’t take long for the Red Sox offense to respond, as Dustin Pedroia doubled to center field. David Ortiz then sent his 17th homerun of the season over the right field wall, tying the score at 2. Runs were not at a premium in this game, as the scoring continued in the very next inning. Following a one, two, three top half of the second inning, Will Middlebrooks led off the bottom half with a single. Kelly Shoppach stepped into the box after Cody Ross and Ryan Kalish both recorded outs, and drove a homerun of his own over the Green Monster. Shoppach’s homerun gave the Red Sox a 4-2 lead
A lack of accuracy would get Buchholz in trouble in the third inning. He walked Hanley Ramirez and then hit Stanton with a pitch. Logan Morrison struck again, doubling to to left field, scoring Ramirez and making the score 4-3. The Red Sox continued to ride the long ball in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Cody Ross made a triumphant return to the Sox lineup as he blasted his ninth homerun of the season putting the Sox up 5-3.
The Marlins refused to go away quietly in this game. In the top of the fifth inning, Buchholz was able to register two quick outs, but then faced some struggles. Ramirez and Stanton both singled, and once again Logan Morrison terrorized Buchholz by hitting his second double of the game, scoring both Ramirez and Stanton to tie the game at 5. However, those would be the last runs the Marlins would score.
The Red Sox responded in the bottom of the fifth inning as Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly scoring Mike Aviles. Kevin Youkilis led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a double to right field. Will Middlebrooks then followed that up with a double of his own scoring Youkilis and putting the Sox up 7-5. The scoring finally came to an end after the sixth inning as both bullpens settled in and calmed the offenses down. Alfredo Aceves came on in the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced, en route to locking down his 17th save of the season.
Clay Buchholz has been finding his groove as of late. He struggled at the beginning of the season, especially with his command. He appeared to be uncomfortable on the mound, but his past few starts of suggested otherwise. While tonight may have not been his best, that can really be attributed to how well Logan Morrison was hitting the ball, he did enough to keep his team in it and notch his eighth win of the season. Clay went six innings, allowed nine hits, five earned runs, struck out three, and walked one on 87 pitches.
The Red Sox bullpen pitched three strong innings, and were the key to victory in this offensive showdown. Matt Albers, Andrew Miller, Vincente Padilla, and Alfredo Aceves combined for three innings pitched, struck out three, and only allowed one hit. A strong showing from multiple relief pitchers is a good sign going forward for this Red Sox team.
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, Clay Buchholz, Cody Ross, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Kelly Shoppach, Kevin Youkilis, Logan Morrison, Mark Buerhle, Matt Albers, Mike Aviles, Ryan Kalish, Vincente Padilla, Will Middlebrooks