Just a Buchholz Girl at Heart

Meredith AnneCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2008

Chone Figgins is up, and Clay is on the mound.  I get that nervous feeling I always get when he’s pitching.  No, I don’t think he’ll blow up and ruin the game – I just want him to do so well...it borders on anxiety.  I’m more of a nervous wreck then he’ll ever be.  Figgins is down, retired on two pitches.  I happily breathe a sigh of relief.


Casey Kotchman is up, and on a 1-2 count, hits a liner out to center off a hanging change-up that just lingers belt-high.  It turns into double on a poor play by Jacoby Ellsbury, and I instantly freak out.  This probably isn’t healthy.


I notice with regret that Clay still is growing a beard.  Or something that resembles facial hair.  I mentally attempt to tell him to shave it off, but he remains on the mound and doesn’t go rid himself of the caterpillar that seems to have crawled over his chin.  The umpire’s strike zone is tiny, I should mention, and a beautiful 12-to-6 curve-ball by Clay goes to waste.  I boo.


Izturis doubles on a high fastball.


Guerrero singles in Izturis.


2-0 to the Angels already, and I’m already feeling like I want to cry.


Hunter is up, and fouls off the first pitch he sees.  Barely gets a piece of the next pitch and knocks it foul.  And then fouls off another.  And another.  And another.  A nice pitch inside is clearly not good enough for this umpire’s minuscule strike zone, and it’s ball one.  Then a pick-off attempt at first.  Can I say that I love his pickoff move?  He’s got twenty pitches already in the inning, and sixteen have been for strikes.


I think my blood pressure and stress levels rise whenever Clay pitches.  It’s nerve-wracking for me.


And Torri Hunter takes the walk, and becomes the fourth straight Angel to reach against Clay.  Jon Farrell goes out to the mound and Varitek joins them.  It doesn’t look so much like the “You can do it, you’re awesome!” type thing.  Instead, it looks like Farrell is giving it to Clay a bit.  No more Mr. Nice Guy?  If it works, I’m for it.


Anderson is up, and the count is 1-1.


The problem here is obvious.  There’s no location.  He can’t find the strike-zone or anything.  This is painful.  Seriously, there must be a problem with me.  I’ve watched this kid rise through the minor leagues, and seeing him do badly just crushes me.


Another run scores.


Rivera is up.  I’m still staring dully at the TV, wishing that a miracle would happen.  Aardsma is up in the pen for Boston, and if Clay comes out of the game in the first, I’m going to bed.  This will be the shortest live blog in the history of live blogs.  Well, maybe not that bad, but you get what I mean.  This is just too painful, and I’m too tired to deal with the emotional stress.  Rivera pops out to Lowell in foul territory, and I heave a massive sigh of relief.


Next is Howie Kendrick, and I watch uneasily at the TV, not sure what I should do.  Oh wiat, I can’t do anything.  That’s the fate of a baseball fan.  We can’t do anything but watch.  Can’t field, pitch, or hit.  We’re stuck in our seats, watching from a distance.  We’re included they say, but we’re not...we’re never in the game.  We’re like the fat kids on the playground who wish they could play with the cool kids, but can’t.


That’s right – I just called us all fat.


Kendrick lines out to Cora, and I leave my seat to go get Jello, one of the sure things in life.



I’m back, Jello isn’t ready, and we scored two runs on a home run by Youkilis apparently.  Go us.  Now we’re only down by one.  Maybe Clay can redeem himself.  How about a 10 pitch inning?  Or six 10 pitch innings?


And here we go.  Clay’s “Give Meredith a Heart-Attack” Game is back, and the bottom of the second inning begins.


Strike one to Mathis, the catcher for the Angels.  The guy is batting .216, so Clay better get him out.  I mentally put together a care package for Clay, and it includes Jack Sparrow’s compass, which I know will point him towards the strike zone.  Aaand Mathis flies out, thank God.


1-1 to Figgins, and I call him a Fig Newton in order to relieve myself of the stress and anger that is boiling up inside of me.  Like I said, this isn’t healthy.  OMG YAY.  Figgins strikes out!  YES!  I literally just squeaked with happiness.  And then the nervousness returns, and I’m chewing furtively on my fingernails.


Wow – and a 1-2-3 inning for Clay.  And he does it on eleven pitches.  Very accommodating of him.  I won’t bitch about how I wanted ten – I totally am willing to take eleven pitches.


Isn’t it weird how you never realize you’re holding your breath...until you finally let it out and that strange dizziness in your head disappears?  Mmm, well, when that 3rd out was recorded, that’s what I realized.



Cora leads off for us, and I damn him silently if only because he isn’t Jed Lowrie, another of my Pawtucketboys whom I love.  There’s three of them down in Pawtucket (or at least, they used to be there) and I adore them.  Clay Buchholz (my favorite, duh), Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson.  It’s pretty amazing to see the boys up here.


Before I can even blink, Jacoby’s grounded into a double play.  Gooooo us?


Ah, Dustin.  Dustin Doubles.  It could totally be an ad or something.  For Dunkin Donuts!  Man, I should so go into advertising.  Except for the whole “I’m going to be a Red Sox announcer person” goal I have.


JD DREWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.  For the record, I was defending him all last year, and called him being Mr. October.


For the record, I don’t support ground outs, like the one that JD just managed to hit.



Ok, let’s go Clay.  Remember – ten or so pitches per inning.  We can totally make it to the seventh.


Itzuris flies out to Manny, and there’s one down.  I think I’m starting to breath normally.  I don’t feel quite as light-headed, and the fact that Clay has set down six in a row could be helping with that.


Bee-yoo-tiful breaking ball from Clay, and he’s ahead 0-1 to Guerrero.  Then Chewbacca – I mean, Guerrero – gets a single.  Boo.


Hunter is back up, and I fidget nervously for no reason in particular.


OMFG  JACOBY IS MY FUCKING HERO.  He comes running in, makes this awesome running catch, and throws it to first to get Guerrero out.  Boo-fucking-yeah.


Oh...and a seven pitch inning from Clay.



I go back up to get my Jello, and when I come back (this time with my delicious gelatin in hand) I find that I missed ANOTHER homer, this one a solo shot courtesy of Manny Ramirez.  The game – she is tied!


Mikey Lowellhits it hard to the third baseman, but Figgins manages to dig it out, and throw it nicely to Kotchman.  Sigh.


Youk strikes out on a curve, and is not very happy about it.


Still, big shout-out to Lackey who records his 1000thK through that Youk strikeout.  That’s an awesome accomplishment, and total props to him for doing it.


Casey is up!  Casey is down!



Clay’s back, and I’m breathing.  This is good.  The two combined can’t be bad.


Just kidding.  Garret Anderson decides to put a knife to my heart – I mean, hit a home run – and I’m not breathing anymore.  Now it’s sort of a disgruntled fuming.  Clay’s face is heart-breaking, but he just settles back in.


P.S.: Fireworks should not be set off after a homerun.  It’s stupid, and makes things smoky.  Now the entire ballpark is like...foggy.


60 pitches thus far for Clay, 38 for strikes.  Pretty decent, I’d say.


Rivera is up, and I pray that he goes down.  Fast.  And he does!  Clay strikes him out nicely on a fastball.  Nice to see Clay using that pitch more.


Kendrick is up!  Kendrick is down after hitting it to Lowell, who throws it to Youk.  Red Sox Gameday doesn’t even have a chance to record a pitch in the at bat.  Lovely.  Two outs.  I’ll try to move past that homer.


Mathis grounds out to Cora, and it looks like that homer might have just been a bloop.


And I finally get my 10 pitch inning.  Thanks Clay.  -insert hug here-



And the Captain is leading off, and crushes a foul ball.


They show the Devil of Baseball in the crowd, and I boo angrily.  Who am I talking about?  Scott Boras.  May that man burn in hell.  Please?


Cora shows bunt (why?) and takes strike one.  Then he almost gets a hit, but through some scuffle of infielding, a nice throw and a pitcher covering first, Cora doesn’t make it.  –sigh-  PUT IN LOWRIE!  PUT IN LOWRIE!


Jacoby’s up, and I inform him that he better get a hit.  But he doesn’t listen, and he goes down on a ground ball.  I sigh, and prepare myself for the emotional/stressful hurdles that await me as Clay trots – he totally trots, or lopes – to the mound.  Dear God...please, please, please let him do well.



Fig Newton – cough, I mean, Figgins – is up.  And then down on three pitches as he flies out to Manny.


Kotchman takes strike one, and it looks like Clay’s pulling it together, giving the Sox a chance to win this.  Strike two, and it’s 0-2 to Kotchman.  A foul tip.  A ball.  A foul.  And an almost amazing play by Lowell.  Note the word “almost.”  Still, Clay can deal with singles.  Singles can be kept at first, and not in scoring position.  Also, Clay’s ultra-awesome (ok, so I like it because it’s snappy and quick and looks fun) pick-off move might come into play – AND THERE IT IS.  Almost got Kotchman too, which would have been awesome.


37, 11, 7, 10 = pitches per inning thus far for Clay.  Can we just erase that first inning?  Please?  At least take off twenty or so pitches.


Izturis walks.  I think he likes doing that.


Varitek ambles out to the mound, chats a bit, and then comes back to the plate.


So...Guerror hits it back to Clay, who, in the process of dodging, kicks it beautifully to Youkilis.  Looks like a soccer play, and Remy calls him “Beckham.”  After Terry and the medical doctor person on the Sox staff check him out, play resumes.


Cora fucks up a play, and I hate him for it.  Why?  Because he lets another run in.  Totally not Clay’s fault, and luckily, the umpires see it that way too, as they call it an error.  Dear God...please get Clay out of this inning.


Andrew is up, with the count at 1-1.  He hits.  Someone or other scores.  I sink back into the couch, and the way Clay just hangs his head is heart-breaking.  Like, he looks like he’s going to cry, and I feel like I’m going to cry.


Yeah, I know...I’m too emotionally involved.


He’s just sitting in the dugout now, head hung, eyes shut, and he’s pretty much the perfect picture of misery.  And no, I’m not exaggerating.  This kid is not happy.


He’s out, and so am I.  I’ve gotten just seven hours of sleep this week, and I’m not awake enough to see this game go any longer.  Right now I just want to sleep, and to forget this game ever happened...forget that expression on Clay’s face...hah – like that’ll happen.


Till next time.


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