The Boston Red Sox took on the Houston Astros last night at Fenway Park. to finish the four game series, Game 22, (140 more to go). David Ortiz, Big Papi, hits his first home run of the season (he hasn’t missed a beat since he’s been back); Clay Buchholz goes 5-0, pitching well into the 8th inning; Mike Carp makes a remarkable presence at bat (due to Shane Victorino’s bad back he was able to play) and #51, Daniel Bard, is back at home.
It could not have been a better game to watch. It was the bottom of the first; the Red Sox scored 4 runs of 7, which would eventually win the game. Pedroia stole second by a long shot in the first and Jarrod made his seventh RBI of the season. If they keep swinging their bats as they did last night and many nights before, the Sox could possibly take it all the way. Their aggressiveness on the plate is astounding and it’s such a thrill to watch. 109 pitches into the game, Clay Bucholz was taken from the mound with an appreciative applause by the fans, in the middle of the eighth inning, leaving Andrew Miller (with his new haircut) to finish the job. In which he did. It always scares me when Farrell brings Miller into the game, but lately, ever since he got his new haircut, he’s been showing improvement.
On the other hand, Mike Napoli struck out three times out of his four at bats, and Will Middlebrooks missed a tag at third base in the top of the third. The players can’t all be on their game all the time, although we would like to think so. The great thing about this team is when one player breaks down, another one gets right up.
What truly made this particular game an event to watch was Daniel Bard’s entrance onto the field in the top of the ninth. I can recall my asking long ago, “What happened to #51?” Well, #51 is back and what a remarkable job he did on the mound tonight in the short amount of time he had to perform. Upon his return, Bard threw at a 96 mph velocity which is great for him. In the ninth inning, he threw a 93 mph fast pitch to the plate striking out the batter for his 218th strike out in his career. The win came when Bard scooped a line drive into his glove and made the out at first with Napoli’s assistance. The Red Sox won 7-2.