Game 2: New Clay, Same As The Old Clay

by Bryan

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Clay Buchholz’ nightmare goes something like this: There’s a man on first base. After four pickoff throws, Clay finally nails him, and there’s a small celebration, and he looks back over, and the runner’s still there. For all the talk about Clay’s shortened time between pitches this offseason, he’s still crazed by runners at the cold corner. That’s fine, if he can repeat what he did last night — 7 innings, 1 run — for the season. Just don’t tell me it’s a new guy. We’ve seen this show before, and it’s a good show.

The Yankees lost the game when Hiroki Kuroda took a liner off the fingertip, and crawled back into it in the eighth inning when they cut a six-run deficit in half, thanks to Vernon Wells’ three-run homer off Alfredo Aceves, a guy who probably thought Heath Ledger’s Joker was too predictable. The Ace of Chaos’ mess was nothing Joel Hanrahan couldn’t nicely clean up, and the game that will forever be known for the first of Jackie Bradley’s 5,000 hits ended like you finish an ice cream sundae, having saved the cherry for the end. The Sox still haven’t hit a home run this season, but it doesn’t matter when nearly everyone comes to mash. It helps when you’re playing the Yankees’ MASH unit, but a win’s a win, and if the Yanks are going to let Jose “American League for Rey Ordonez” Iglesias hit .600 in the Bronx, that’s not a good sign. Iglesias doesn’t like the cold, by the way, and looked like a human peapod out there, albeit one with the range of Daniel Day-Lewis, or a soprano, or whatever metaphor you want to use. Dude gets to balls, as does Bradley, whose defense Baseball Prospectus nailed:

He doesn’t possess otherworldly speed, but his instincts are so good that the end-product would be above-average in the majors right now.

For the second game in a row, he tracked down what looked like a potential warm-air homer without huffing and puffing his way there; he just sort of materialized under the ball before bringing down as gingerly as catching an egg. Honeymoon periods always end, but they sure are fun while they last.

Fearless prediction for tonight’s game: Jonny Gomes blasts the first homer of the season, and I win my poker game.