Let's forget just for a moment that the Boston Red Sox were swept by the Baltimore Orioles at HOME over the weekend just for a few moments. Why's that?
It's because how many times can you go to a MLB game and see two position players battling it out on the mound for their respective teams.
Well that's exactly what happened yesterday afternoon/evening at Fenway Park because both managers ran out of pitchers in the 17 inning affair, the second extra innings game of the series. They were put in this predicament because of the lackluster starting pitching by both Clay Buchholz and Tommy Hunter.
For Buchholz, it was just another day of struggling out there on the mound. The fact that he is 3-1 is quite deceiving and shows just how unimportant wins and losses are. After allowing five runs in just 3 2/3 innings yesterday, his ERA now stands at 9.09. And after that performance, he may find himself out of the rotation until he can figure things out.
Both bullpens were outstanding yesterday. The Red Sox offense finally got to the Orioles bullpen for a run while theirs allowed just an unearned run thanks to two Jarrod Saltalamacchia errors in the 8th inning.
Andrew Miller returned from the disabled list and struck out three of the four batters he faced.
This game came down to Chris Davis and Darnell McDonald battling it out on the mound. At the plate, Davis was 0-for-8 with five strikeouts, picking up the platinum sombrero in his first five at-bats. Meanwhile, DMac had entered the game for David Ortiz as a pinch-runner in the 8th and scored the tying run at the time on a Salty sac fly.
Davis took over in the 16th inning and struck out the first batter he faced in Salty. After he got Will Middlebrooks to fly out, Marlon Byrd reached on an error. Mike Aviles followed that with a double in the left center gap but a great throw nailed Byrd at the plate to extend the game.
DMac wasn't as fortunate as Davis was on the mound though.
He did walk Wilson Betemit only to have Salty throw him out trying to steal second. But then he allowed a double to J.J. Hardy, a walk to Nick Markakis and then damaging blow, a three-run no doubt home run by Adam Jones.
The game would end as Davis finished off the game by getting DMac to ground into a double play. For Davis, he was the first American League position player to win a game since Rocky Colavito in 1968.
If it weren't for a Middlebrooks grand slam in the 5th inning, the Red Sox might not have been in this game. He finished the game 2-for-7. Ryan Sweeney had four hits for the Red Sox while Aviles had three. Big Papi added two hits to the cause as well. The only member of the Red Sox that played in the game to not have a hit was Adrian Gonzalez, who lIke Davis, went 0-for-8.
The Red Sox are really going to need Felix Doubront to go as long as he can tonight. The bullpen is obviously depleted right now. It wouldn't surprise me or anyone else for that matter if they make a roster move. With Clayton Mortensen the only pitcher having bullpen options, he seems the most likely candidate to be sent down.
Hopefully facing a 9-18 Kansas City Royals team is just what the doctor ordered for the Red Sox. They are a better road team (7-6) than home team right now (4-10). And with the Royals just 2-12 at home hopefully they can turn around this losing streak they are on.
We'll be back later with today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let's take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
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Orioles beat Sox at long ball [Boston Globe]
Mound of woes for McDonald [Boston Globe]
Buchholz struggles along [Boston Globe]
Red Sox lose DH duel in 17th inning [Boston Herald]
Adrian Gonzalez at loss for words [Boston Herald]
Home runs again ruin day for Clay Buchholz [Boston Herald]
A total loss for Darnell McDonald [Boston Herald]
Sox run out of gas, lose to O's in 17 innings, 9-6 [CSN New England]
Red Sox bullpen pitches another gem despite loss [CSN New England]
Buchholz still can't put together quality start for Sox [CSN New England]
Middlebrooks' grand slam caps off hot three-game start [CSN New England]
McDonald picks up the loss [CSN New England]
Gonzalez first Red Sox cleanup hitter to go 0-for-8 [CSN New England]
Rapid reaction: O's 9, Sox 6 in 17 innings [ESPN Boston]
10 observations after Sox lose marathon [ESPN Boston]
No smiles after McDonald's mop-up work [ESPN Boston]
No easy answers for Buchholz's struggles [ESPN Boston]
Boston Red Sox sink to new subterranean lows [ESPN Boston]
Adrian Gonzalez endures a devastating one-day slump [Full Count]
Middlebrooks' first MLB home run is grand [RedSox.com]
Buchholz's string of rough starts continues [RedSox.com]
Is this 2008 all over again for Clay Buchholz? [Alex Speier - WEEI.com]
photo credit: Getty Images