AP Photo – Chris O’Meara
One of the big reasons why the Red Sox were awful in 2012, World Champions in 2013 and lousy in 2014 was the pitching. Anyone could see that if they were not distracted by Bobby Valentine and beards and Boston Strong.
For that matter, that caused the collapse of 2011 as well.
And the ups and downs are personified by Clay Buchholz.
Good Buchholz = Good Red Sox.
Crappy Buchholz… well you get the idea.
Buchholz was an All Star with a 12-1 record and a 1.74 ERA in 2013.
This year, he has been grotesque. After another bad start against the Yankees on August 3, his ERA reached 6.20.
But have you noticed something? GOOD Buchholz is making his presence known. 4 of his last 5 starts, he has gone 7 or more innings, giving up 3 or fewer runs. In his last start he took a shutout into the 9th before Koji blew the lead.
Today? No need for the bullpen. He went all 9, letting up no runs, no walks and just 3 hits. And the kids Christian Vazquez, Xander Bogaert and Mookie Betts all contributed to their 3 runs and the nominal defending champs won 3-0 in Tampa Bay.
Is there hope for 2014? No way and Buchholz’s ERA will never be lowered to “good.” Even with the current positive streak, it sits at 5.40.
But is this a preview for 2015?
Let’s hope so.
Meanwhile the A’s got battered in Anaheim and the Giants crushed Brewers hopes.
Time to update the Dodged Bullet/Teeth Grinder tally.
An explanation of what this is all about can be found HERE.
A’S DODGED BULLET – TEETH GRINDER Tally
49 Dodged Bullets 45 Teeth Grinders
GIANTS DODGED BULLET – TEETH GRINDER Tally
50 Dodged Bullets 46 Teeth Grinders
RED SOX DODGED BULLET – TEETH GRINDER Tally
Clay Buchholz wins a pitchers duel with Alex Cobb and completed a 3 hit shutout for a 3-0 win for the Red Sox in Tampa Bay. DODGED BULLET
Dodged Bullets 58 Teeth Grinders 70
Giants finish a suspended game with Rockies tomorrow and the A’s mercifully get out of Anaheim. September baseball is starting. It is getting real.