Both David Buchanan and I made our 2015 debuts tonight. This is my first recap of 2015, and tonight was Buchanan's first start of 2015.
One of us would be finished by the fourth inning. It would not be me.
Tonight was not David Buchanan's night, as he was the main reason for the Phillies 6-2 loss to the Red Sox. He labored through the first inning, gave up a single and a walk in the second, and in the third he vomited up six runs in a never ending string of unfortunate baseball plays. Buchanan managed to get the first two outs of the inning, and then the magic started. David Ortiz hit a ball right into the shift, and Chase Utley overran it and couldn't get a throw off in time. Then Hanley Ramirez smacked the ball right back to Buchanan, and Buchanan proceeded to absolutely LOSE HIS MIND. Let's take a look at what I imagine was happening in his brain right after the ball was hit to him:
oh god the baseball is coming toward me oh god OH SHIT i dropped it where is it THERE I’VE GOT IT I NEED TO THROW IT I'M THROWING ITTTTT!!!!!!
Buchanan knocked the ball down, lost it, found it, and then wildly flailed the ball toward first base. Instead it landed in the crowd and Ortiz had moved to third and Hanley to second. He walked two batters, one for a run, and gave up another run when Shane Victorino hit a ball to deep third. No one was warming in the bullpen at this point, or at any point during the inning, so Ryne Sandberg wanted Buchanan to ride it out. He rewarded his manager's faith by serving up a triple to Xander Bogaerts that cleared the bases. And if that wasn't enough, Justin Masterson, the pitcher, then singled up middle and another run scored. Six runs total in the third inning. All with two outs.
In all, it was pretty bad.
Recent signee Dustin McGowan took over in the fourth inning, followed by Justin De Fratus in the sixth inning. Luis Garcia and Jake Diekman handled the eighth and ninth. Every reliever gave up exactly one hit, but they all kept the score right where it was.
Unfortunately, so did the Phillies offense. They answered Boston's six runs with two of their own in the bottom of the third, and then Masterson shut them down for the next three frames. The Phillies managed five hits all night. (The Red Sox had 11.) But at least Freddy Galvis and Chase Utley broke their 0-fers and got on the board for 2015.
But don't leave this recap thinking that the Phillies handled things well defensively. Oh ho ho! Don't think that at all! Because they didn't. Buchanan's panic freak out was an error, and Freddy Galvis made two others. Plus, Carlos Ruiz had a passed ball. There were a few other ugly plays, but they ended up being ruled hits. I decided that I would rent a skywriter to spell out "I MISS YOU JIMMY ROLLINS" over Dodger Stadium.
The only thing tonight's game graph is missing is a tiny Wile E. Coyote setting up an edge-of-cliff contraption to trap the Road Runner. Oddly appropriate.