First impressions of the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Detroit:
The Red Sox can’t let this loss deflate them
This looked like a sure-fire loss for the Red Sox entering the game because of the quick turnaround from the night game in Baltimore paired with travel issues caused by the inclement weather.
Then they had a makeshift starting lineup, Hanley Ramirez coming off bereavement leave and Clay Buchholz starting after having his early Wednesday flight postponed by the weather and instead traveling with rest of the team, which arrived in Detroit after 3 a.m.
As much as they lost the game because of one inning -- with both Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler coughing it up -- this game was one they didn’t expect to be easy, no matter how much they tried rally behind it.
That’s no excuse, but the fact is winning this game was a significant challenge to overcome.
The fact that they played as well as they did should help the Red Sox realize they are a tier above the Tigers -- and must take care of business the next few days in Detroit.
This performance is why the Red Sox wouldn’t just give Buchholz away.
At the deadline potential suitors for Buchholz said Boston’s asking price was too high for the scuffling righty.
Well, he gained some momentum out of the bullpen and has been competitive in his two starts in place of Steven Wright.
One might even say his one-run, six-inning start Thursday was impressive. Not for Clay Buchholz, but for any pitcher.
He dealt with the wild second inning, had a shutdown inning in his only opportunity and not only gave the bullpen a controllable game, but also did plenty to get the red-hot offense back to the plate quickly.
That’s all a direct result of Buchholz simplifying his approach. Aggressive with his fastballs (four-seam, two-seam and cutter) and using his curve and change-up as compliments.
The indirect result is Buchholz has done everything he can to make Wright’s injury a non-issue.
Sandy Leon has emerged as one of Boston’s hottest bats.
Mookie Betts might have the quickest swing in the lineup, but every time Sandy Leon makes contact it seems like he’s trying to hurt the baseball.
And that’s something all Red Sox hitters have stressed this year: putting good swings on the ball and making quality contact.
Well, Leon keeps doing it -- and still hasn’t come down to Earth as a result.
Buchholz did well to minimize the insanity of the third inning.
Between the call in his favor, to the change that put J.D. Martinez on third -- not to mention the extensive delay -- Buchholz did a good job.
It would’ve been miraculous if he’d walked out of that completely unscathed, especially given his track record in high-pressure situations.
Then he came out the next inning and took care of business.
It seems the Red Sox are getting something similar to the Buchholz they hoped for all season.