Read the initial reaction to the no hitter by Evan Brunell
Even if Clay Buchholz pitched a no-hitter in his first major league start he was going to be sent back down to the minor leagues. No need for Buccholz to go back down to the minors now as Buccholz pitched his first MLB no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in only in his second start letting the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox Nation know that he was here to stay.
“There’s no going back to Triple-A,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
Buchholz had every pitch going for him in the no-hitter against the Orioles as the fastball and the curveball kept hitters off balance and the change-up he was sporting was plain filthy baffling plenty of O’s hitters including Nick Markakis who struck out twice on it and struck out to end the game on his curve.
The 23-year-old rookie walked three ending the chance of a perfect game against Markakis in the first inning hitting him with a pitch. Buchholz also struck out nine in the Boston 10-0 win over Baltimore.
Miguel Tejada almost broke up the no-hitter if it weren’t for Dustin Pedroia who snagged a sharp line drive up the middle turned around and pivoted and fired a strike to first base just getting Tejada out as he slid into the first base bag.
It always seems like in a no-hit bid or perfect game bid that there is at least one special defensive play to save the chance of the no-hitter or perfect game and once Pedroia made that play Buchholz knew something special was brewing.
Buchholz finished the seventh inning striking out Kevin Millar looking and getting Aubrey Huff to foul out to Kevin Youkilis in foul territory near first base.
In the eighth inning, Buchholz, turned in a stellar defensive play of his own to save the no-hitter snagging a line drive off the bat off of Jay Payton to end the inning. If the ball got by Buchholz it was easy to say good bye no-hitter as Pedroia had seemingly no chance to get the ball and throw out Payton at first with his speed.
Come ninth inning everyone in Fenway Park was standing, cheering, and anxious to see if Buchholz could pull off a feat that only two other pitchers in the Major Leagues have done: pitch a no-hitter in the first or second start of his MLB career.
Buchholz (2-0) struck out Brian Roberts blowing a 93 mph heater by him and finished off Corey Patterson making him line out to Coco Crisp in center field who shaded over to make the catch.
The only batter left was Markakis who had struck out against Buchholz twice on two changeups, but Jason Varitek called a different pitch on the 1-2 count, a curveball. Markakis took the 77 mph pitch for strike three looking and the frenzy ensued.
Varitek picked up Buchholz and David Ortiz added a bear hug of his own as the 23-year-old was mobbed by every teammate on the mound and was cheered by all in Fenway Park including Theo Epstein who added some fist pumps of his own in the his luxury box.
Buchholz is the third Major Leaguer to throw a no-hitter this year following Mark Buehrle and Justin Verlander.
The offense was lead by an Ortiz double that cleared all three runners on base giving Boston an early 4-0 lead in the fourth inning. Mike Lowell extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the third inning on a single to left field and drove in Julio Lugo in the sixth inning on a double to left field that was just fair down the line off the Green Monster.
Youkilis added a three-run homer in the inning just clearing the Monster and breaking the game open 8-10.
Jacoby Ellsbury pitched in with a two-RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning making it 10-0, but clearly the night was all about Buchholz.
Read the initial reaction to the no hitter by Evan Brunell