Time to See What Clay Buchholz is Made Of
The Red Sox are reeling, badly. They’ve lost 8 of their last 9 games and are quickly resembling a team in anticipation of a bridge year. Who do they send to the mound to try and stop the bleeding? Clay Buchholz, the pitcher with the worst ERA in the league. Yes, you read that right. According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Buchholz is dead last of the 119 pitchers who qualify for the ERA comparison. Abraham also notes that Buchholz also has the highest WHIP in all of baseball, something that won’t bode well tonight when the free-swinging Cleveland Indians look to take another game in Fenway Park.
The clock is ticking on Buchholz with Aaron Cook and Daisuke Matsuzaka both on the verge of being activated from the DL. Cries of a Buchholz demotion to AAA Pawtucket have rang through Red Sox Nation for the past couple of weeks and if he doesn’t pull a rabbit out of his hat tonight, he could be on the first bus down I-94.
Justin Germano and Brandon Duckworth are both excelling in the minor leagues with a 2.29 and 4.10 ERA respectively along with a 0.94 and 1.37 WHIP. Both are an option to place in Buchholz starting slot should Dice-K not be ready in what would be six days from now.
Last season we saw a warrior in Buchholz when he returned from an hour long rain delay to continue to pitch, only to try and save a taxed bullpen. He did it for the good of the team and his manager and he did it with heart and courage. I’m not saying he doesn’t have that same heart this year but something is a miff with Buchholz this year.
If it’s fear over hurting his back again that forced him to miss the entire second half of the season in 2011 then he needs time to rest and ensure the back is 100% healthy. If it’s mechanical, a stint in the minors is mandatory. If it’s mental, well, this isn’t the place to try and regain confidence, especially not this year.
The Red Sox need that warrior mentality back and they need it starting tonight. When the Sox gave Buchholz a five-year deal worth over $30M, the plan was to have him as a cornerstone to build a team around. Right now the only thing the team is building around Buchholz is their own grave.
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