Friday, June 4, 2010
Clay Buchholz is a BOSS
THIS is what I looked forward to this season: dominating pitching performances. Yes, I know that the Baltimore Orioles are essentially the doormat of the American League, but throwing a five-hit shutout is impressive regardless of who it's against.
Buchholz controlled the situation all night, walking just one batter in nine innings, and allowing just six baserunners. For me, the most impressive number of the night was 101, the number of pitches required to make 27 outs (and face 31 batters). Clay recorded just two strikeouts on the evening, proof that he is absolutely unafraid to pitch to contact.
In the past, everyone knew Buchholz had the stuff to be a number one or two in a rotation, it was the maturity and confidence we were all waiting on, and I'd say that's arrived. Clay has the lowest starter's ERA on the team (2.39), with only Manny Delcarmen and Daniel Bard below him.
Interestingly enough, it is the home grown pitchers who are doing the best thus far, despite the much heralded arrival of John Lackey, and the excitement over Josh Beckett's extension. Jon Lester (2.97), Daniel Bard (1.91), Manny Delcarmen (2.36), and Buchholz are the only Sox pitchers with ERAs under 3.00. In fact, the only homegrown pitcher on the staff with an ERA over 3.00 is the closer, Jonathan Papelbon (3.13).
Why do I bring up these stats? The draft is rapidly approaching, and the Red Sox have recently done very well in that area. Besides the aforementioned pitchers, the Red Sox drafted and developed current Sox players Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsbury, as well as Marlins star Hanley Ramirez (who was traded for Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett). Personally, I can't wait to see what the team comes out with this year... Another boss like Buchholz, perhaps?