I’m done with Clay Buchholz

¬†Yesterday’s game went 17 innings and frankly, the Red Sox deserved to lose it.
I don’t care how improved the Orioles are this year. Their bullpen threw a complete game shutout in Fenway. And one of the relievers was Kevin Gregg, who sucks.

And they put a position player on the mound on the road. That is the manager saying “It is better off in the long run for us to lose this game than burn another arm.”

That was a white flag being waved by the Orioles and not only could the Red Sox not cash in, but they let first baseman Chris Davis come in as a pitcher and throw TWO shutout innings.

By the end of the game of course it was a battle between an infielder pitching (Davis) and an outfielder pitching (the Sox had to use Darnell McDonald.)

Do you know a good way to make sure you don’t run out of pitchers?
Make sure your starting pitcher can give you more than 3 2/3 innings pitched!

Let’s be honest about Clay Buchholz. This might be it. He might be done. It is early in the season but not THAT early. His next start will be in Mid May and his ERA is above 9.00.
He’s letting up more than a run an innings and looking REALLY awful on the mound.

I know Red Sox fans are still banking on him being an ace in waiting. Well. We’re waiting.
I know he came up as an explosive pitcher, throwing a no hitter in his second game and giving the promise of a right handed ace to go along with Jon Lester’s left handed ace.

That was in 2007. That was 5 seasons ago.
I know he had a great 2010, won 17 games had the best ERA+ in the league and made the All Star team.

Do you know who also put up big numbers in 2010? Phil Hughes.

Sometimes a pitcher doesn’t work out.
Sometimes a pitcher is overhyped.
Sometimes a pitcher displays some brilliance but then it fades away quickly.

Does Dontrelle Willis ring a bell?
How about Scott Kazmir?
Remember when Chien Ming Wang was the Cy Young runner up? That was 2006. Not that long ago. That same year Brandon Webb won the NL Cy Young. He’s no longer in the bigs.

This might be what Clay Buchholz was. A pitcher who reached his potential briefly and then fell back to Earth.

Maybe he needs a change of scenery where the expectations will be lower.
Maybe he wasn’t as good as people thought after a scouting report or 8.

Maybe he was babied and he is the Red Sox answer to Joba Chamberlain.

But one thing is for sure. Red Sox fans had better stop waiting for him to bust loose and become a superstar.

Right now he isn’t even at “Merely awful.”

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Keep on rolling

The key to any road series is just try and win take 2 of 3 or split a 4 game series.

Well two games in against the Twins and they are playing with house money. Yeah it was a strange game to be sure.

Any game where you are looking to be rescued by Darnell McDonald’s BAT is a strange day. But I am not complaining.

Any day where Matt Albers blows the save but gets the win is an odd day… but again, I don’t care which pitcher gets the win as long as they are wearing a Red Sox uniform.

And yes, having Daniel Bard pitch the 7th isn’t IDEAL… but did they win?

Then that’s all that matters now.

Let’s update the tally.


April 8 – 9-6 win against the Yankees. (The Sox end their 6 game losing streak with a slugfest. John Lackey stinks but Phil Hughes stinks even more.)

April 10 – 4-0 win against the Yankees. (Beckett and Sabathia duel in a game that was 1-0 until the late innings.)

April 20 – 5-3 win in Oakland. (Red Sox survive a lead off homer and two bases loaded situations and facing the tying run at the plate to win their first road game.)

April 21 – 4-2 win in Anaheim. (The Red Sox stranded 15 men on base and Josh Beckett’s went 8 strong with no decision. But the Sox rallied in the 11th to win.)

April 22 – 4-3 win in Anaheim. (Peter Bourjos makes a 2 run errors and the Red Sox survive a bizarre passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that let a run scored from second.)

May 1 – 3-2 win against the Mariners. (Ichiro loses a ball in the sun that turns into a 9th inning triple for Lowrie. Crawford singles him home for the win.)

May 8 – 9-5 win against the Twins. (Dice-K lets up 3 runs in the first but settles down as the Red Sox clobber Carl Pavano.)

May 9 – 2-1 win against the Twins. (A bullpen breakdown cost Beckett the decision but Cark Crawford ended the game with an 11th inning walk off hit.)

May 13 – 5-4 win in the Bronx. (Youkilis homers off of Joba and Bard and Papelbon make it more interesting than it needed to be.)

May 15 – 7-5 win in the Bronx. (Sox fall behind 4-1 but come back as Youk, Papi and Salty all homer.)

May 16 – 8-7 win against the Orioles. (Down 6-0 after 6 innings, the Sox rally and win it with a 2 run walk off double by Adrian Gonzalez)

May 18 – 1-0 win against Detroit. (With 2 outs in the 8th, Salty doubles home Crawford from first for the only run. Papelbon gets himself in and out of 9th inning trouble.)

May 19 – 4-3 win against Detroit. (Bard blows Beckett’s lead but Carl Crawford wins it with a walk off hit.)

May 24 – 4-2 win in Cleveland. (Varitek throws two runners out and homers as the Red Sox win their first game against the Indians.)

May 29 – 4-3 win in Detroit. (The Red Sox blow an early 3-0 lead but David Ortiz wins the game with a pinch 9th inning homer.)

June 3 – 8-6 win against Oakland. (Buchholz lets up 4 runs in the first but the Sox come back thanks to Carl Crawford’s 2 run single.)

June 4 – 9-8 win against Oakland. (Red Sox blow a 4 run 9th inning lead and trail in the 11th before Ellsbury ties it and Drew wins it in 14.)

June 7 – 6-4 win in the Bronx. (Papelbon strikes out A-Rod to end the game with a runner on base.)

June 9 – 8-3 win in the Bronx. (Down 2-0 to Sabathia in the 7th, the Sox score 7 runs as Papi exacts revenge after getting plunked. A 3+ hour rain delay pushed the game past 1:30 AM)
June 15 – 3-0 win in Tampa Bay. (Youkilis homers in the 7th for the only runs in Beckett’s 1 hit masterpiece.)

June 16 – 4-2 win in Tampa Bay. (Papelbon wiggles out of a 2 on, nobody out jam in the 9th thanks to Youk’s diving catch.)

June 26 – 4-2 win in Pittsburgh. (The Pirates make 4 errors and the Red Sox score 2 in the 7th to avoid a sweep by the Bucs.

June 30 – 5-2 win in Philadelphia.(An injury to Cole Hamels leads to the Red Sox bats waking up.)

July 1 – 7-5 win in Houston. (The Sox score 6 in the 7th inning to come back and win.)

July 3 – 2-1 win in Houston. (The Red Sox score a run in the top of the 9th on a walk to break a tie.)

July 5 – 3-2 win against Toronto. (Lester gets hurt but Darnel McDonald throws out the tying run at the plate to end the game.)

July 6 – 6-4 win against Toronto. (The Sox score 4 in the 4th to take the lead and Wakefield and company hang on for dear life.)

July 10 – 8-6 win against Baltimore. (The Orioles score 6 runs off of rookie Kyle Weiland in the second, but the Red Sox hit three homers in the bottom of the second to tie the game and hold for dear life.)

July 16 – 9-5 win in Tampa. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 3-0 first inning hole, but 3 Sox homers bring them back for the win.)

July 17 – 1-0 win in Tampa. (Beckett throws a masterpiece and the bullpen throws 8 amazing innings. But the Sox bats go dead, leaving 17 men on base before Pedroia drove in a run with 2 outs in the 16th inning.)

July 18 – 15-10 win in Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 6-2 lead but score 8 runs in the 8th to take the game.)

July 22 – 7-4 win against Seattle. (John Lackey beat Felix Hernandez and Mike Carp’s error helped the Red Sox score 5 in the 7th to give them some breathing room.)

July 23 – 3-1 win against Seattle. (Ellsbury gets Beckett off the hook in a tight pitchers duel when he got a 2 out, 2 strike 2 run go ahead single in the 8th.)

July 26 – 13-9 win against the Royals. (The Sox trailed in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th before the bats exploded in the 5th.

August 2 – 3-2 win against Cleveland. (Youk tied the game with a 6th inning homer and Salty dove home for the winning run in the 9th.)

August 3 – 4-3 win against Cleveland. (Ellsbury hits a walk off shot in the 9th.)

August 7 – 3-2 win against the Yankees (The Sox rally off of Rivera in the 9th and win on Josh Reddick’s 10th inning single)

August 8 – 8-6 win in Minnesota. (Down 5-1, the Red Sox rally back, then score twice in the 9th to give the Sox the win.)

August 9 – 4-3 win in Minnesota. (Darnell McDonald’s homer ties the game and Ortiz singles home the game winner as Bard worked out of trouble in the 7th.)


April 1 – 9-5 loss in Texas. (The Sox tie Opening Day in the 8th with an Ortiz homer only to have Bard implode and the Sox let up 4 in the bottom of the 8th.)

April 5 – 3-1 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox drop their 4th straight as the bats are dead in Cleveland.)

April 7 – 1-0 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow a great Lester performance on a squeeze bunt and Darnell McDonald overrunning the bag to end the game.)

April 12 – 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. (A solid Lester performance is wasted as Kyle Farnsworth of all people shuts down the Sox.)

April 15 – 7-6 loss to Toronto. (Bobby Jenks implodes with a 4 run seventh inning as the Red Sox waste Pedroia and Youkilis homers and a clutch RBI double by Scuatro.

April 19 – 5-0 loss in Oakland. (Pedroia gets picked off, the Sox bats go dead and waste a solid Lackey start.)

April 26 – 4-1 loss in Baltimore. (Buchholz pitches tentatively and the Sox let Kevin Gregg of all people to close out the 9th.)

April 27 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (The Sox tie the game with a 3 run 8th only to have Bard lose it in the bottom of the 8th.)

April 29 – 5-4 loss to Mariners. (Bobby Jenks blows a 7th inning lead, wasting 2 Mike Cameron homers.)

April 30 – 2-0 loss to Mariners. (The Sox strand 11 runners and let Milton Bradley double home the go ahead run.)

May 4 – 5-3 loss to Angels. (7 hours with rain delays and stranded runners. Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate in the 12th)

May 10 – 7-6 loss in Toronto. (8th and 9th inning heroics, including a homer by Adrian Gonzalez, are undone by a walk off sacrifice fly by David Cooper.)

May 21 – 9-3 loss to Cubs. (Up 3-1 in the 8th inning, the bullpen and defense implode. The Cubs score 8 runs while both teams wear their 1918 uniforms.)

May 23– 3-2 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox blow a 2-1 8th inning lead when the Indians rally with 2 outs. Crawford ends the game on a double play.)

May 29 – 3-0 loss in Detroit. (Verlander keeps the Sox off base and prevents the sweep.)

June 1 – 7-4 loss to White Sox. (Konerko drives in three, spoiling a game tying Ortiz homer.)
June 14 – 4-0 loss in Tampa Bay. (Wakefield’s solid outing is spoiled. Longoria scores on a passed ball.)

June 18 – 4-2 loss to Milwaukee. (The Brewers hit three homers early off of Lester and hang on.)

June 21 – 5-4 loss to San Diego. (Ortiz hits a double play in the 9th to stifle a potential winning rally.)
June 24 – 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox strand 7 runners in scoring position.)

June 25 – 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox fall out of first as Pedroia’s error leads to a Pirates run.)

June 29 – 2-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Vance Worley duels John Lackey and slumping Raul Ibanez drives in both runs.)

July 4 – 9-7 loss to Toronto. (John Lackey’s miserable start puts the Sox in too big a hole to climb out of.)

July 19 – 6-2 loss in Baltimore. (Scutaro gets thrown out stealing and the Orioles tack on 3 big runs late.)
July 25 – 3-1 loss to the Royals. (Scutaro botches a potential game winning squeeze play in the 12th as the Red Sox lose in 14.)
July 28 – 4-3 loss to the Royals. (Crawford’s bid for a walk off homer falls just short.)

July 29 – 3-1 loss to the White Sox. (Sox blow a late 1-0 lead and spoil a solid Wakefield start.)
August 1 – 9-6 loss to Cleveland. (Asdrubal Cabrera’s second home run was an 8th inning tie breaking shot off of Daniel Bard.)
August 4 – 7-3 loss to Cleveland. (Carlos Santana’s homer broke a 3-3 tie.)

August 5 – 3-2 loss to the Yankees. (The Sox leave the bases loaded in the 5th and the Yankees score 3 in the 6th to take the lead.)

Now it is up to +9.

Double digits is within the Sox grasp.

And more importantly…


Lester tonight

Go for the sweep and then off to Seattle. Try for 2 of 3 THERE as well.

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The Blue Jays actually tied the game last night

I listened to the last inning of the Red Sox/Blue Jays game last night and I heard a real thriller.
A tight game became razor thin at the end.

With 2 outs, JohnMcDonald singled home Edwin Encarnacion for the tying run and Jonathan Papelbon blew the save.

That’s what really happened.

That’s not what was recorded. That’s not what history will tell us.
History will tell us a mistake.

History will tell us that Darnell McDonald threw out Encarnacion at the plate. A little research will tell us that Jason Varitek blocked the plate and Encarnacion couldn’t touch the plate.

But that’s not what happened.

The replay showed that in fact Encarnacion missed home plate at first but his left leg touched home plate before Varitek actually put a tag on him.

Despite Darnell McDonald’s wonderful throw and Varitek’s gritty defense, Encarnacion scored.

Umpire Brian Knight got the call wrong.
It was a tough call. It was a bang bang play involving lots of movement at home and I am not blaming him.

But why should we pretend that he got the call right?
He didn’t. I saw the replay.

And do you know what? It sours the game a little for me. It makes a win, that was already bittersweet with the Lester injury, less satisfying. The Red Sox didn’t earn it.

One of the most common illogical complaints I hear from people who are against instant replay is “it will take away the HUMAN ELEMENT.”

Let me ask you something. Isn’t John McDonald getting a clutch hit off of an All Star closer with 2 outs in the 9th inning part of the human element?

Isn’t Edwin Encarnacion making a great slide when he realizes that he doesn’t have a clean lane to the plate part of the human element?

They both did something clutch and terrific on the road against a division rival and they are denied being credited as such because… why? Because technology is scary? Because you’d rather have something done now than have it be right? Because first impressions are better than reality?

It’s clearly not “The Human Element.”

And this is coming from a Red Sox fan who benefited from the blown call.

I’d rather my team earn their victories.

For more on this subject, watch the video.

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