Not enough sunscreen in the world could have prevented what happened to Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox tonight. Not enough fried chicken and beer will make the loss sting any less either, although I'd be willing to test that theory. After Boston blew out the Blue Jays 14-1 one week ago today, Toronto came back in a big way tonight to settle the score. R.A. Dickey's knuckler confounded the Red Sox and the bats provided more than enough support to seal the victory.
The game got off to a swell start for the Blue Jays with Melky Cabrera smashing a two-run homer in the first inning after Jose Reyes drew a leadoff walk. The home run came off a Clay Buchholz fastball, which he decided to throw a whole lot less afterwards. The Boston starter normally throws his fastball, cutter, or sinker about 70% of the time, but tonight the curveball and changeup saw a lot more action against the fastball-mashing Blue Jays. Only 60 of his 100 pitches were one of the three aforementioned fastballs, while the splitter was thrown 18 times against the lefty-heavy lineup of the Blue Jays.
With rain falling fairly hard in the fourth inning, John Gibbons decided to have Josh Thole sacrifice bunt with runners on first and second to try and get a third insurance run in case the game was going to come to a premature end. I'm not actually sure that's why Gibbons made the decision, but I'm trying to justify the move as best as I can. It worked out all right as Ryan Goins singled past a shallow Red Sox infield to score both runners.
The next action, aside from R.A. Dickey making Red Sox hitters look silly, came in the top of the sixth inning when things got WILD and WEIRD. After Munenori Kawasaki walked and Josh Thole singled off the Green Monster, Ryan Goins smashed one off the wall to score the Japanese fan favourite and advance Thole to third. Felix Doubront came on to relieve Clay Buchholz, unaware of the fact that he was about to have a very unenjoyable time.
Things get fun here so try to keep up okay? The score is 5-0 as we embark on this magical journey. Anthony Gose walked to load the bases, which brought up Jose Reyes who drove in Thole with a sacrifice fly. Then Melky Cabrera hit a ball out of the stadium for his second home run of the night and his fifth RBI as well as his first broken windshield of the evening. Jose Bautista proceeded to single, while Juan Francisco followed that up with a walk.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Melky Cabrera broke a windshield in the parking lot behind the Green Monster <a href="http://t.co/07ve1GHpLe">pic.twitter.com/07ve1GHpLe</a></p>— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) <a href="https://twitter.com/cjzero/statuses/493932600675692545">July 29, 2014</a></blockquote>
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The Blue Jays were hitting the ball wickeddd hardddd off of the lefty Doubront and the Red Sox faithful were beginning to leave Fenway Park to go count down the days until the Patriots season starts. Doubront couldn't leave though because he was pitching in the baseball game and he decided to allow back-to-back doubles to Colby Rasmus and Munenori Kawasaki to make it 12-0. Josh Thole followed with a single before Ryan Goins came up for his second at-bat of the inning and grounded into a force out that scored Kawasaki. Anthony Gose grabbed another single before Doubront was relieved to a sweet-sounding chorus of boos from the Fenway crowd. Burke Badenhop got Steve Tolleson, who was pinch hitting for Jose Reyes, to go down on strikes to mercifully end the inning.
R.A. Dickey's shutout was finally broken in the bottom of the sixth as David Ortiz singled home David Ross. There was no bat flip. The Blue Jays completed my football joke (this is a rouge) in the seventh when a wild pitch scored Melky Cabrera to make it 14-1. The most hilariously depressing playing of "Sweet Caroline" followed as Red Sox fans were forced to sit and look gloomily at Jays fans belting out the words to their famous song. Sweet Caroline indeed. SO GOOD SO GOOD. Rob Rasmussen came on for the final two innings and flashed a nice curveball to collect a few strikeouts in a fairly smooth end to the game.
There was some impressive performances tonight:
- R.A. Dickey went 7.0 innings allowing just one run on three hits, while recording 10 strikeouts.
- Melky Cabrera went 2-4 with a walk, two home runs, and five RBI.
- Munenori Kawasaki went 2-4 with a walk and three runs scored.
- Ryan Goins had his best game in the major leagues going 4-5 with four RBI.
Jays of the Day are R.A. Dickey (0.243 WPA), Melky Cabrera (.143), and Ryan Goins (.110). The game was already in the Blue Jays favour in the big sixth inning, so there wasn't a lot of WPA to be handed out despite the offensive explosion. There are no Suckage Jays obviously.
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2014-07-28&team=Red Sox&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2014-07-28&team=Red Sox&dh=0&season=2014">FanGraphs</a></span>