Postgame, Blue Jays 7-6: Just want to leave you with a quote from Bobby Jenks that pretty much sums up the vibe in the clubhouse right now.
When asked how far this team could continue to fall before it loses hope, Jenks said: “I think we’re there now. We’re in a tough division. To come back right now it’s going to take all year long. We need to get on it now. We need to turn this thing around.”
Realistically, the AL East is so bad right now in terms of wins and losses that nobody has run away from Boston. But the mood has begun to shift. Guys are started to truly express their frustrations and their concern over the hole they are digging.
But tomorrow is another day, and it’ll be here soon. Josh Beckett is on the mound in a 1:10 p.m. start. See you then.
Final, Blue Jays 7-6: The Red Sox made it interesting, but that doesn’t count for a darn thing in the standings.
Boston is now 2-10 and has not won a game since Josh Beckett’s gem on Sunday. He will go tomorrow.
We will go downstairs and get some reaction for you. Back soon.
Mid 9th, Blue Jays 7-6: It will be the top of the order coming up against Blue Jays closer Jon Rauch to try to extend what is already the longest game of the year for the Red Sox.
If you are looking for one of those moments, the kind which can turn around miserable slumps, this is one of them. The Red Sox need a defining rally to develop some kind of swagger. Here’s their chance.
Jonathan Papelbon escaped a small situation in the top of the ninth when he got Adam Lind to line into a double play.
End 8th, Blue Jays 7-6: Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro are essentially fighting for playing time at shortstop. Both had clutch hits in the eighth.
Lowrie hit for Jarrod Saltalamacchia with two on and two out and hit an infield RBI single deep to third. Scutaro then clanged one off the scoreboard to score a pair and bring this place to life.
And here comes Jonathan Papelbon! Dan Wheeler started to warm before Terry Francona came out with the hook.
Jason Varitek is your new catcher. Lowrie is in at short.
10:30 p.m.: With the sight of Jarrod Saltalmacchia swinging a bat in the on-deck circle representing the potential tying run, the name “Jed Lowrie” began to get bandied about the press box.
Indeed, Lowrie was sent up to hit for the catcher and promptly singled in a run. Now, Marco Scutaro is up as the tying run against Casey Janssen.
Mid 8th, Blue Jays 7-3: Hands, Touchin’ Hands, Reaching Out, Touchin’ Me, Touchin’ You.
Mark Rzepczynski is the new Blue Jays pitcher. Yes, I spelled it right.
End 7th, Blue Jays 7-3: Every time the Red Sox give the fans something to cheer about, it just ends with a groan.
With Jacoby Ellsbury on third base (he singled, stole second and went to third on the catcher’s throwing error) and two outs, Dustin Pedroia put forth a great battle with Jason Frasor. That gave the fans reason to make some noise, but Pedroia grounded to second.
Dan Wheeler will work the eighth.
If it makes you feel any better, the Yankees and Orioles have lost. New York still leads the division, but with just a 7-5 record. The AL East is not wowing many people right now.
Mid 7th, Blue Jays 7-3: A sarcastic roar from the full house now sitting in 35-degree weather and watching the Red Sox fall apart once again.
For good measure, the Jays stole another base in the seventh. They have four in the game, and none have come from guys noted for their speed. Teams will run any chance they can get against Jarrod Saltalamacchia right now.
By the way, the Red Sox have two hits. Both of them are home runs, but still. Where is this offense?!?!
9:41 p.m.: John Farrell has made a promise to have the Blue Jays playing a different brand of ball than the 2010 team, which just waited for three-run homers.
They had Bobby Jenks dealing with all sorts of garbage in the seventh inning, dancing off bases, stealing his concentration and then making him pay with a series of hits, one of which came on a hit-and-run that vacated the hole at short.
There was also a double steal with sluggers Jose Bautista and Adam Lind. If that doesn’t signal a renewed mindset, I don’t know what does.
Four singles, a walk, the two steals and a wild pitch all adds up to four runs and there is still a man on and just one out for Felix Doubront.
On the note of Jenks, who had not given up a hit prior to this outing, the club is hoping that he is effective with runners on and runners moving. His new role will necessitate handling those situations on a more regular basis. He seemed rather bothered by it all this time out.
End 6th, 3-3: Jarrod Saltalamacchia just looks lost at the plate right now. He is now 4-for-29 (.138) with 13 strikeouts, easily the highest total on the team, after looking a sinker for strike three.
Kevin Youkilis is the only other player with double figures in that category. He has 10.
Bobby Jenks will pitch the seventh for Boston.
Mid 6th, 3-3: Clay Buchholz’s chance for his first win of the season goes out the window when Travis Snider rips a two-out RBI double over the glove of Carl Crawford in left.
Buchholz threw only 46 of his 94 pitches for strikes. Not exactly what you would call commanding the zone.
It looked as if the Sox might escape when Alfredo Aceves induced a 5-4-3 double play on the first batter he faced. But with a man on third, Snider poked one the other way. Crawford might’ve had a chance with a full-fledged leap at the wall, but he seemed to shy away from it just a bit, perhaps unsure if he should play the carom or not.
Buchholz allowed three runs on three hits and five walks in five innings. He struck out three.
9:07 p.m.: Just three hits in five-plus innings for Clay Buchholz, but it was an uneven start for him. Five walks, his highest total since May 14, 2010, did him in.
Alfredo Aceves is on with two on and no outs in the sixth. His first appearance with the Red Sox in the lead, and it’s a big one.
End 5th, Red Sox 3-2: Clay Buchholz’s pitch count is at 88 as he heads out to begin the sixth. Just two hits but four walks allowed so far.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-2: Seen the walks and the damage done (you Neil Young fans know where I’m going with that).
Clay Buchholz walks a pair with one out before Corey Patterson rips a two-run triple to right. Buchholz finishes the inning with a big strikeout, but the Jays are right on the doorstep.
End 4th, Red Sox 3-0: A much better inning for Brett Cecil, who saws through the trio of Marco Scutaro, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, whose average is down to .143.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-0: There will be no no-hitter, folks. Aaron Hill gets the first hit of the game for Toronto, an infield single with two outs in the fourth.
Clay Buchholz gets the next man to get out of the inning and has retired 11 of the last 12 since the home run reversal. A game of inches, for sure.
The play of the inning was Jacoby Ellsbury tracking down an Adam Lind drive and slamming into the wall in center. Lind has crushed two Buchholz offerings but has nothing to show for it.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: Dustin Pedroia on the homestand: 11-for-21 (.524) with two homers, four doubles and six RBIs.
His solo shot on a 2-0 fastball landed in the first row of the Monster seats.
A walk to Adrian Gonzalez preceded a mammoth shot to center by Kevin Youkilis. That is his first home run of the season and gets his average back over the Mendoza Line. Youkilis is hitting .206 now.
You figure that when this group breaks out it’s going to be downright explosive. We may be seeing the initial rumbles right now.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Eight straight have been set down by Clay Buchholz. The seventh in that series required another in a seemingly never-ending run of defensive gems by Dustin Pedroia.
The second baseman ranged to his right for a ball up the middle, hauled it in on a backhand and rose to his feet to fire, all in one motion. Good stretch by Adrian Gonzalez to make it count.
End 2nd, 0-0: Kevin Youkilis is back in a tie for the major league lead in walks after drawing his 14th to start the bottom of the second.
On the other end of the spectrum is Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has 12 strikeouts in just 27 at-bats. The 12th came moments after the Red Sox got a gift when left fielder Travis Snider dropped a J.D. Drew fly to put two on with one out.
Marco Scutaro followed with a walk to load the bases with two outs. But Jacoby Ellsbury struck out, stranding all three and continuing the team’s season-long slump with runners on base.
David Ortiz also had a fly to medium left that, for whatever reason, ellicited a huge roar off the bat from the crowd. Seems these fans are so eager to have something to cheer about that 260-foot pops have the ability to get them going.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Since giving up the three-run homer that wasn’t, Clay Buchholz has retired five straight.
There is still plenty of discussion about that call reversal in the first. Just an awkward situation with the way the line and the pole do not match up.
End 1st, 0-0: Adrian Gonzalez’s first at-bat as the $154 Million Man results in a pop to third, the culmination of a 1-2-3 inning for Brett Cecil.
Gonzalez smacked a long drive to right earlier in the at-bat that drifted foul.
Carl Crawford nearly beat out an infield hit to open the inning. He didn’t, falling to .149 on the season. He’ll be out of the leadoff spot against some of these lefties on the upcoming slate, and might need to be even if they were righties.
Mid 1st, 0-0: We had a little bit of everything in the top of the first, but no scoring.
Clay Buchholz walked the first hitter of the game on four pitches, then issued another one out later to Jose Bautista.
Adam Lind then poked one down the line in right that landed in an awkward space next to Pesky Pole but above the yellow foul line painted on the wall.
It was initially ruled a three-run homer but after a lengthy review in 38 degree conditions, overruled. Lind grounded to second and Buchholz struck out Aaron Hill to escape.
There was also a minor scare when the trainer and Terry Francona paid a visit to the mound after Buchholz appeared to tweak something on one of his legs. Appears to be fine. Still, 25 pitches and just 11 for strikes for Buchholz. Not a very fluid first frame (alliteration!)
7:04 p.m.: One of the many missing pieces to the Red Sox puzzle early on was Clay Buchholz, who is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA
He has a great chance to get it together against the Jays. Buchholz is 6-3 with a 2.50 ERA in his career vs. Toronto. He allowed only one earned run in 22 innings against them in 2010, the 0.41 ERA the best mark in the majors against an opponent (there must be some minimum IP for that).
The one guy to watch for against Buchholz is Adam Lind, who is 9-for-24 (.375) with two home runs off of him.
5:46 p.m.: The Toronto starter in this one, Brett Cecil, is the first of three left-handers the Red Sox will face in this series. They will see and five in the next six games overall.
That will make the lineup card look a bit different each and every day. It’s also why Marco Scutaro is in the lineup today, even though Jed Lowrie was in there Wednesday before the rainout.
Essentially, knowing he will be using Lowrie and Darnell McDonald and Mike Cameron quite a bit during this stretch, manager Terry Francona wanted to use all of the regulars tonight, just to make sure they get some playing time. Given the fact that the team had two days off, it makes it even more important to get Scutaro and J.D. Drew and David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in there.
Also, Scutaro is 5-for-8 against Cecil. Drew is 2-for-7 and both hits are homers.
Boston is batting .221 and has a meager .614 OPS against lefties. Those numbers reflect struggles that many people thought the Sox would have in such situations, due to the many left-handed hitters. Francona is confident it won’t last.
“I think we’ll hit everybody,” he said.
On another note, it is Jackie Robinson Day throughout baseball. There will be some pregame ceremonies, and all players are sporting Robinson’s No. 42. Francona was asked about the significance of the day.
“It transcends way past baseball,” he said before expressing hope that the day is not all celebratory. “Hopefully it can be a reminder of what we did wrong [before Robinson broke the color barrier].”
Lastly, it is absolutely arctic in the press box as there is an issue with the heat. If I mistype a few more items than usual tonight it’s because I can’t feel the tips of my fingers. Bear with me.
4:30 p.m.: OK, back up after hearing from Adrian Gonzalez and Theo Epstein, and then Terry Francona after that.
Gonzalez gave us all a nice glimpse of the confident air that has so impressed his teammates through this rough start. He said that the team will make the playoffs and that the Sox are the best team out there.
For those of you who want to watch the news conference in its entirety, click here.
It was also interesting to hear from Gonzalez’s agent, John Boggs, who said that he nearly had a heart attack when his star player was hit on the hand by a CC Sabathia offering on Sunday. Look for more from all of these guys in a bit.
If you are looking for lineups, look no more. Just click here.
2:30 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where some members of the Blue Jays are taking early batting practice on a chilly, but otherwise beautiful afternoon.
We will have the lineups over to you within the next hour or so, as well as all your coverage on Adrian Gonzalez’s contract extension.
John Farrell will also meet with us a little later, so it’s a busy day at the old park.
11:38 a.m.: In case you had not heard, Adrian Gonzalez has agreed on a seven-year, $145 million contract extension with the Red Sox.
NESN will carry the press conference live for you at 3 p.m., so be sure to tune in.
10:45 a.m.: Clay Buchholz will seek his first win of the season against a team he has dominated of late, when the Red Sox return to action with a contest against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
Buchholz enters 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA after a lackluster start against the New York Yankees his last time out. The following day he was formally given a contract extension worth roughly $30 million.
The young righty is 6-3 with a 2.50 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays. He went 3-0 and allowed just one earned run in 22 innings versus Toronto last season.
Lefty Brett Cecil goes for the Jays, who are 6-6 early on under new manager John Farrell, the former pitching coach for the Red Sox.
First pitch is 7:10 p.m.
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