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Red Sox on Wrong End of Walk-off

Victor Martinez homers in the 8th. If only he knew it would all be for naught. (AP Photo / Steve Nesius)

If nothing else, this season has been full of drama for the Red Sox. This time, it was another trough rather than a crest, and the Rays walked off with a win 3-2 in 10 innings. The Sox took the lead in the 4th when Adrian Beltre hit a sac fly following a single from Victor Martinez and a double from David Ortiz. Meanwhile, the Rays couldn’t even get a runner past 1st base, until the 7th, that is.

Carlos Pena made it to 1st with one out. And you know how Clay Buchholz has a nasty habit of throwing to first? Pena didn’t even really have a lead, and only has five stolen bases in six attempts, and Buchholz still threw it over there. On the second pickoff attempt of the at bat (and fifth of the inning), Buchholz threw it clear away into right field. That brought Pena all the way to 3rd. Then J.D. Drew caught a sac fly, but it happened it foul ground.

With two outs left, and guys hitting around .230 and .150 at bat and on deck, and with runs at a huge premium in this series, how do you not let that ball drop? Worse yet, Jerry Remy said Drew was right to catch the ball (when dropping it was [in all likelihood] the game-winning decision); at least Dennis Eckersley was properly enraged.

Then, Victor Martinez hit the game-winning homer in the top of the 8th. At least it should have been. Despite throwing 107 pitches through seven innings, and showing poor judgement, Buchholz came back out for the 8th, and promptly gave up a home run to the first batter after that. Much was made after the game in the NESN crew’s critique of the departure from the Bard/Papelbon formula for winning.

Speaking of home runs on the first batter, the Sox brought in Scott Atchison to make an attempt at maneuvering around the Rays until a save situation could be brought up for Papelbon, but uninspired name Dan Johnson hit the walk-off shot, then came to home plate for the celebration, which really isn’t fun anymore ever since Kendry Morales.

Sox Stud of the Game: Victor Martinez

That home run really ought to have done it.

Sox Dud of the Game: Clay Buchholz, J.D. Drew, and Terry Francona

First, Buchholz committed the throwing error. Then, Drew handed over a run that needn’t have scored. Then, Francona leaves Buchholz in. Then, Buchholz can’t stand leads. And of course, Atchison lost the game officially.

That’s What He Said:

“That will be on ‘SportsCenter.'” – Me, after seeing Ryan Kalish dive to catch a ball in the 2nd, which resulted in him somersaulting over. Seriously, check out “SportsCenter’s” Top 10 Monday.

Game Notes:

W: Randy Choate (4-3)
L: Scott Atchison (2-2)

  • Clay Buchholz built up a streak of 26 straight scoreless innings before having that snapped.
  • Hideki Okajima was activated from the DL before the night’s game; Michael Bowden was sent to Pawtucket to make room.
  • Jason Varitek threw to 2nd during rehab exercises for the first time.
  • We would all like to wish a happy 6th birthday to Victor Martinez’ son Victor Jose. He also has a daughter Maria Victoria. This sounds like a George Foreman complex.

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