Just when it seemed like Clay Buchholz was finding himself on the mound, the Red Sox right-hander took a giant step backwards on Wednesday night. The 29-year old endured his first bad start since the start of the month, as he allowed 6 earned run in as many innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday night. The Red Sox gave Buchholz and early 3-run lead, thanks to David Ortiz’ 30th home run of the season, and contributions from Yoenis Cespedes and David Ross. However, Buchholz ran into trouble in the 5th inning, as he allowed the first 4 base runners to reach, which opened the flood gates to a 6-run inning for the Angels. Buchholz departed after the 6th inning, but that didn’t stop the Angels from scoring their 7th and 8th runs against Burke Badenhop and Craig Breslow, respectively. Boston’s only real bright spot came from David Ortiz, who went 4-for-4 with a home run and 3 singles. The designated hitter reached the 30-home run plateau for the 8th time in his career, which tied him with Ted Williams for the club record.
- During a radio appearance on Wednesday morning, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling revealed that he underwent treatment for mouth cancer. Schilling, who was part of the curse-ending 2004 Red Sox team, blamed past use of smokeless tobacco for ushering in the disease. While the 47 year old appears to have made a full recovery, others that have battled mouth cancer haven’t been so lucky. Earlier this year, salivary gland cancer claimed the life of former MLB star, Tony Gwynn. The MLB hopes that both Gwynn and Schilling’s stories will serve as a wake-up call to those big leaguers still dependent on smokeless tobacco. (Curt Schilling reveals he was treated for mouth cancer)
- It’s important to remember that starting pitchers usually aren’t finished products when they first break into the major leagues. The Angels certainly learned that lesson with newly named staff ace Garrett Richards, and the Red Sox are learning that lesson with their young arms this season. For Los Angeles, Richards is a perfect example of why teams shouldn’t give up on homegrown talent so quickly. It took the right-hander parts of 3 season before he fully utilized all of his pitches effectively. In that regard, the Red Sox can learn from Los Angeles, as they look to replace 3 starting pitchers this offseason. (As Sox search for ace, Angels provide blueprint)
- While Jackie Bradley’s bat looked dreadful during his 112 games with the Red Sox this season, the same can’t be said for the 24-year old’s defense in centerfield. Bradley’s struggles at the plate were grounds for demotion recently, but the former first-round pick’s glove work has entrenched him in the Gold Glove award conversation. Currently, Bradley ranks second in the American League in ultimate zone rating and defensive runs saved; two substantial defensive metrics. When looking at the big picture, Bradley’s defensive numbers grade far better than the usual Gold Glove award candidates. (Making a Gold Glove case for Bradley)
- It’s not even November yet and baseball scribes are already naming front-runners for the services of Jon Lester. The southpaw is expected to garner a lot of interest this winter from both American and National League clubs in the market for a staff ace. As it stands now, a return to Boston seems unlikely for Lester, and teams like the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees appear poised to make a run at the lefty. (Lester return to Boston a long shot; Cubs, Yankees are likely players)
- The Red Sox are reportedly one of the finalists in the Rusney Castillo sweepstakes, but will the Cuban defector be worth the lucrative deal he’s set to sign. Scouting outlets such as Baseball America believe that the 27-year old isn’t going to set the league on fire like his fellow countrymen, but he will be a serviceable everyday asset. (Scouting report on Rusney Castillo: Good tools, but not a superstar)
- Tweet of the day: Hotter than Jamaica in August
David Ortiz is slugging .640 since the All-Star break.
— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) August 21, 2014