For good reason, most Red Sox fans weren’t comfortable with the idea of Clay Buchholz heading the starting rotation in 2015. Over the course of his 9 year career, the right-hander has combated his flashes of greatness with injuries and under performance. Even when he was in the midst of his best season in 2013, the then-29 year old Buchholz couldn’t sustain success by and hit the disabled list after 12 starts.
Approaching a plan that features Clay Buchholz as a reliable starter should, and probably always will be, done so trepidatiously. And it didn’t take long for this notion to be reaffirmed this season for an umpteenth time.
Flash back to the Red Sox Opening Day game against the Phillies. Buchholz kicked off his 2015 season by breezing through Philladelphia’s order over 7 innings. He pitched like the ace the Red Sox were selling him as. Buccholz threw an economical 94 pitches in his inaugural outing of 2015, and collected 9 punchouts and yielded 3 hits and a walk. Of course, this is the Phillies we’re talking about here, and they’re not exactly the best team to use as a measuring stick, there’s still something to be said for what Buchholz was able to do that day.
Opening Day was Mr. Hyde. Sunday night, however, was Dr. Jekyll.
A quick look at Buchholz’s line from Sunday night, will tell you everything you need to know about his performance — none of which is good. Gone was the Opening Day hurler, in his place was an arm that surrendered 7 runs in the first inning alone, and finished his 3.1 inning start with a 10 spot on the score board.
While it would be easy to point to the two teams, and claim that one is stronger than the other, that’s not necessarily the case here. Of course the Yankees aren’t “Phillies bad”, but their offense has been a major disappointment so far this year. Sure they have some fire power in Teixeira, McCann and even A-Rod, they’re, more or less, the same team that scored the 20th most runs in the MLB in 2014 — just three spots above the Phillies. The same Yankees team that held a .245 team average and a .307 on-base percentage.
In short, there’s after two turns through the rotation Clay Buchholz still needs to answer the questions that he needed to heading into the season. The good news for Buchholz is that it’s early, two starts rarely, if ever, define a pitchers season. But for a pitcher with longstanding health and performance concerns, every start is under the microscope, especially since the team is relying so heavily on him.
- The Red Sox activated closer Koji Uehara from the disabled list ahead of the team’s opening series at Fenway Park on Monday. Uehara, who landed on the DL with a bum hamstring to start the season, will assume his normal role in the ninth inning. Temporary closer Edward Mujica will now shift back to his spot as a late innings arm. Boston optioned left hander Tommy Layne in order to clear a roster spot for Uehara. (Red Sox activate Koji Uehara from the disabled list)
- By now we all know that it’s uncharacteristic of Dustin Pedroia to be anything other than loud and rambunctious. But so far this season, the second baseman has ditched his normal routine, and traded it in for a more focused approach. (A quieter Pedroia? Say it ain’t so!)
- Although Ryan Hanigan has yet just one hit in 11 at-bats this season, the Massachusetts native has been more productive than you would be lead to believe. (Ryan Hanigan’s patience paying off at the plate)
- Joe Kelly’s stellar season debut last Saturday at Yankees Stadium was a good start on the road to his self-proclaimed Cy Young, but is it an indication of things to come? (The same and improved Joe Kelly)
- Tweet of the day: Giving credit where credit is due.