Our long national nightmare is over.
That hideous 10-game losing streak came to an end in Atlanta yesterday, as the Red Sox came from 6-1 down after four innings to beat the Braves, 8-6.
Clay Buchholz was simply awful yet again, walking 8 in just over 3 innings. He continues to claim he's not hurt. But I just can't see how the Sox can continue to march him out there. The offense came alive and bailed his butt out (thanks in large part to David Ortiz' four RBI and three-run slam). He's allowed a mind-boogling 45 base runners in the last 18 innings. He needs to sit for a while. I wouldn't be surprised to see a DL stint on the horizon, whether he's really hurt or not. His ERA is now 7.02, the highest of any starting pitcher in MLB right now.
The offense has shown signs of life the past three games, scoring 18 runs. And the Red Sox scored all five runs with two outs to tie the game in the fifth, and scored two more in the seventh to break the tie.
And every time the Red Sox put runs on the board, the crowd at Turner Field got louder and louder, as it was predominantly Red Sox fans. The Braves continue to have some of the most apathetic fans in all of MLB. (And they're not a bad team, as they are 28-22 on the season.)
The bullpen continues to be the Red Sox' greatest strength. After Buchholz left in the fourth, they did not allow a run, just four scattered hits and a walk for six innings. And last Saturday, they pitched nine shuout innings in the 15-inning loss at Tampa Bay. I'd hate to think where they would be now without a strong pen. But this also shows the need for the starters to go deeper, as the pen has been taxed as of late, and it will begin to show if the starters continue to struggle.
Jon Lester goes tonight to try to extend the winning streak to two.