Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bullpen Bends. Doesn't Break.

Oh brother. I can't take much more of this.

The Red Sox got the bats out on Wednesday night, and staked Clay Buchholz to a six-run lead by the fifth inning, 7-1. Mike Aviles blasted a three-run shot in the second, and Dustin Pedroia had a single, double and triple. It looked like another laugher against the Twins.

Then, Buchholz, who was struggling most of the evening, faltered in the sixth, and left with one out and a 7-2 lead with the bases loaded. In came Scott Atchison, who gave a sharp single to Joe Mauer off his leg that scored two runs. And for whatever reason I cannot fathom, and Tom Kelly, who was doing color on the Twins feed which I was watching, wondered the same thing: Bobby Valentine took Atchison, who was not injured, out after just the one batter.

Why? I still have no idea.

Justin Thomas, who has been absolutely worthless this season, allowed two more runs to score on hits, and then hit Chris Parmelee in the helmet with a fastball. He had to leave, but appeared in the dugout later to be fine.

Valentine brought in Matt Albers, who got a ground ball DP to keep the lead at 7-6.

Vicente Padilla and Franklin Morales pitched an inning apiece, and both looked sharp.

And then comes the ninth, and the Alfredo Aceves Highwire Act.

He got the first out, then gave up to straight singles, and then got a ground out to put men on second and third. He hit Ben Revere to load the bases. He then struck out Denard Span to preserve the win and sweep the series from the Twins.

Now it's off to Chicago for four with the White Sox.

I've always said this team has taken at least five years off my life. It's gonna be ten by the time 2012 ends.

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