Closing Time: Yu Darvish falls one out short of no-hitter as Rangers blow out Red Sox
|05.09.14 at 11:21 pm ET|
The Red Sox came within just one out of being no-hit for the first time in more than 20 years, as Texas ace Yu Darvish was nothing short of masterful in firing 8 2/3 innings of one-hit ball, punching out 12 and retiring the first 20 batters on a night when just four Red Sox hitters reached base — one by error (David Ortiz, who reached when rookie second baseman Roughned Odor failed to catch a routine pop-up, breaking up the perfect game with two outs in the seventh) and two by walk.
But with two outs in the ninth inning and the Red Sox down to their last hope, Ortiz smacked a single through the shift for the only hit of the game. Still, that was the only “offense” that the Red Sox produced on a night when they were blown out by the Rangers, 8-0.
Darvish struck out eight batters through the first three innings. The Red Sox were unable to even make solid contact for the most part off of Darvish; Grady Sizemore hit a hard line drive to left field, but otherwise, Darvish cruised.
As the pitch count grew for Darvish, Red Sox hitters were able to draw a couple walks, but that’s all they would be able to muster.
On the other hand, Clay Buchholz regressed. The righty gave up six runs on 10 hits and was knocked out of the contest after just 4 1/3 innings. Buchholz was unable to build off his past two encouraging outings and failed to make it out of the fifth inning for the third time this season. The 10 hits allowed stand as his second-highest total of the season, and the righty has given up an average of almost 13 hits per nine innings. He managed to record just two strikeouts on the evening while walking three, and suffered his third loss of the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
— It was the third time this season that Buchholz allowed six runs in a game. Buchholz’s fastball sat in the 90-92 range for much of his outing, occasionally touching 93 after he averaged over 93 mph on his fastball in his previous start. Six of the 10 hits allowed by Buchholz came off his four-seamer.
— Chris Capuano had a tough time in relief of Buchholz, allowing two inherited runners to score before allowing two runs of his own. He gave up his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to Leonys Martin.
— Xander Bogaerts’ defense continues to be a work in progress. With one on and no outs in the third inning, Elvis Andrus hit a ground ball to Bogaerts’ left side, and the shortstop ended up diving over the ball as a possible double play ball went under his glove. Though a double play was far from guaranteed had Bogaerts gotten a handle on the ball, a clean play almost certainly would have secured at least a force out at second base. Both Andrus and Shin-Soo Choo, who was the runner on first at the time, would come around to score later that inning.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
— Not much. One of the few bright spots was A.J. Pierzynski‘s defense. The former Rangers’ backstop gunned down two would-be basestealers in the same inning, firing a perfect throw to nab Leonys Martin and two batters later, denying Odor his first major league stolen bag. Pierzynski has now thrown out 41 percent of runners (10 stolen bases in 17 chances), well above the league average of 25 percent.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. keeps proving time and time again that he’s the real deal in center field. Bradley made another great catch on Friday, leaping at the wall and robbing Prince Fielder of extra bases.
—Edward Mujica pitched a clean seventh inning, striking out one.
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