Last night’s game between the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox was a classic pitchers’ duel. The Braves’ Julio Teheran and the Sox Rick Porcello dueled for six innings with each pitcher giving up just three hits and not allowing a batter to reach third base.
In the seventh, Jackie Bradley, the Red Sox streaky hitting center fielder, homered for the only run of the game. He had driven in the winning run in Boston’s 12th inning win at Houston about 20 hours earlier.
The Sox bullpen, with Robby Ross coming in to put out the fire in the seventh and Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel shutting out the Braves in the eighth and ninth finished it up and the Sox ended up with a 1-0 win.
It was the 12th game in a row, dating back to August 6th of last year, in which Porcello had started and pitched six or more innings, the longest streak of any pitcher in baseball. In that time, he has won eight and lost four and posted a 3.25 ERA.
The Sox will start their 217 million dollar pitcher, David Price, against the Braves tonight. Price had a bad game his last time out but is a legitimate Ace, probably one of the three or four best pitchers in the league.
Knuckle baller Steven Wright has a 1.40 ERA in three starts, even though he got the loss in two of them. In his last two starts, aside from one bad pitch to Colby Rasmus that resulted in a grand slam, Clay Buchholz has given up just one earned run in 12 1/3 innings.
In the bull pen, in addition to Kimbrel and Uehara, Junichi Tazawa has been in ten games., pitched 8 2/3 innings, has 11 strikeouts and has given up just one run. Heath Hembree, brought up from Pawtucket a week ago, has been unscored upon in three games and has struck out 11 in 7 2/3 innings.
With starter Eduardo Rodriguez and reliever Carson Smith on the way back from the disabled list and Joe Kelly not too far away from coming back, this Red Sox team’s pitching may be as good as many of us have expected.
Offensively, they have scored more runs than any other team in the American League. Don’t look for this Red Sox team to go away soon. They have the ability to be in it for the long haul.
I am still looking for and expecting a classic World Series, played in Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.