Clay Buchholz carried a 2 hit shutout into the 9th inning today at Fenway Park against the Detroit Tigers. After allowing a single and a walk to lead off the 9th inning, Papelbon came in to throw the Tigers back into their cage. Instead, Miguel Cabrera spanked a 1st pitch fastball for a double that sent in both of Pap's inherited runners. After striking out Boesch, Peralta singled in pinch runner Kelly to tie the game. Pap then induced an inning ending double play, but the damage was done, Buchholz's gem wasted, blown save #5 for Pap. Fortunately, the Sox got their 1st 2 batters in the bottom of the 9th on base- Lowrie singled, McDonald pinch ran, and Patterson drew a walk. Scutaro then laid down a bunt single, after which Detroit reliever Weinhardt made a throwing error allowing McDonald in to score and win the game.
While Papelbon still remains one of the league's best closers, he does not instill the confidence in his teammates and fans alike that he once had that he will shut down his oppenents without a hitch as he once used to. When you combine that with his swagger and determination to raise the bar of elite closer's salaries, it's difficult to imagine him in a Red Sox uniform past this year, especially with Bard pitching so well ahead of him, and starters turned relievers Bowden and Doubront lurking in Pawtucket ready to pounce on any opportunity given them.
He hung himself on the hook, then got lucky with Lowrie, Patterson, Scutaro, and Tiger's reliever Weinhardt getting him off the hook. He got lucky today.
Sox 4 Tigers 3 BOX SCORE
Fenway West 08.01.10