NEW YORK -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Yankees:
* The Red Sox couldn't have asked any more from Clay Buchholz.
Buchholz turned in what was likely his best start of the season, tossing six shutout innings while yielding just one hit -- an infield hit at that.
Brett Gardner was the only New York hitter to solve him. The leadoff hitter walked twice and reached on a slow roller to third, the only hit Buchholz allowed.
Twice, Buchholz retired eight Yankees in a row. He consistently pitched ahead in the count and showed a good rhythm on the mound.
Only a few months ago, the notion of Buchholz being part of the Red Sox' postseason rotation was laughable. Now, the Red Sox view him as a dependable, consistent starter.
And why not? Over his last seven starts, Buchholz is 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA.
Funny how quickly things can change in baseball.
* Don't invite Craig Kimbrel to your celebration.
Kimbrel came on for the bottom of the ninth, with a 3-0 lead and needing just three outs.
He barely threw a strike, allowing a leadoff single and three straight walks, the latter of which forced in a run.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, Toronto had already lost, clinching the division title for the Sox before the bottom half of the inning began.
Still, it was troubling to watch Kimbrel. This was, after all, a save situation, even if some of the adrenaline was taken away by the Blue Jays' loss.
Kimbrel seemed completely incapable of throwing a strike. At all.
Hardly the way you want your closer to be a week before your first post-season game.
* The Red Sox lineup poses all sorts of problems for opposing managers.
In the eighth, Joe Girardi had a choice to make -- pitch to David Ortiz with two on and first base open. Or walk Ortiz and pitch to Mookie Betts, with Hanley Ramirez waiting on deck.
Pick your poison.
Girardi picked incorrectly, though there might not have been a correct one.
That's what happens when you face three hitters in a row with 110 RBI or more.