There it is. That's what Red Sox fans have been waiting for all season. A little fire, a little bat action, a little resiliency.
A little winning.
Bobby Valentine and his players have been saying all season (all eight games of it) that they would get it together. On Fenway Park's Opening Day, they did, and on Saturday, they did it again, this time in a 13-5 romp.
But it wasn't smooth the whole time — and that's the best part of it.
Clay Buchholz was the starting pitcher the last time the Red Sox' bats got going, but that ended up a 13-12 extra innings loss in Detroit. Buchholz returned to the mound Sunday looking for his first great start not only for this year but also in what seemed like ages, since he missed much of last year with a back injury.
At first, it looked like greatness — or even goodness — was not to be. Buchholz gave up a three-run homer in the first inning en route to a 4-0 hole. By the end of two innings, he had thrown 43 pitches and was expecting the hook.
But if there's anything the Red Sox have become known for over the past decade, it's resilience. No lead against Boston is safe, and management looks for players who know how to dig deeper and deeper.
Buchholz was the epitome of that Saturday. After the rough opening two innings, he stuck around for five more. He found his pitches, and he figured out how he wanted to throw them. He hung in there as the offense worked its way into the game.
When it was all over, Buchholz and the Red Sox had a win, and the optimistic answers Valentine gave after the game no longer seemed to be a stretch.
"He didn't really have his cutter early," Valentine said of Buchholz. "He got his cutter, changeup and curve going, but most of all, he didn't give up."
Valentine saw in his starting pitcher what he has prized in his team — whether he knew they had it or not — all season. These Red Sox can dig it and make it happen. They're resilient.
And now, they may finally be ready.