BOSTON -- First impressions of the Boston Red Sox’ 6-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks:
Brad Ziegler’s eighth inning was beyond impressive.
The submariner bailed out Matt Barnes after his wheels fell off in the eighth, stranding all three Arizona runners. And did so in the flashiest manner by striking out the side -- and only on 10 pitches.
It’s safe to say Barnes owes Ziegler dinner. It better be somewhere fancy.
The bottom of the order came through again.
Brock Holt scored three runs and knocked in two on his home run, while Sandy Leon scored twice and knocked in a run and Andrew Benintendi scored once and knocked in a run, too.
They scored all six of Boston’s runs, and had four of the Red Sox’ six RBI.
When the bottom third is clicking this offense looks like a totally different team -- even if the top of the lineup isn’t at its best.
The double steal in the fourth inning was costly in Clay Buchholz’s outing.
Had Buchholz paid more attention to Michael Bourn -- a known speedster -- on second base, he probably wouldn’t have swiped third. That swipe was on Buchholz, not Sandy Leon. Clearly there’s a scouting report out on Buchholz that he doesn’t check the runner.
Had he held Bourn at second, the following grounder would’ve been a guaranteed 4-6-3 double play, instead of a grounder that knocked in a run and kept the inning alive
Buchholz had himself a clean first inning for a change.
Boston’s starter didn’t have to use everything through the first two hitters, relying on his cutter and fastball. That made life easier against Paul Goldschmidt, who saw Buchholz’s first two curves of the game. It’s great that Buchholz has depth to his arsenal. But sometimes his best strategy is to not use everything at once.
Moving Buchholz to the bullpen has clearly shown him how and why he needs to simplify his approach -- even if it only lasted a few innings.
The Diamondbacks might have the worst defense Boston has seen all year.
Just one night after two costly miscues to start the game, Arizona shot themselves in the foot again.
And no shock that Jean Segura was involved the dropped pop-up by Brock Holt.
Thankfully for Boston, Andrew Benintendi took advantage of the little league-level miscue.