Is it possible? Can it be true? Do some people actually believe that Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz could make the American League All-Star team, in July? Of this year? Apparently, some people still believe.
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Ask Gordon Edes of ESPN. He believes that “overlooked in the wreckage of a 10-19 May has been the emergence of a right-handed starter in the Sox rotation who is on a nice little run of five starts in which he has posted a 1.92 ERA (eight earned runs in 37 innings), shaving his overall ERA from an unsightly 6.03 to a far more respectable 3.82. He is striking out hitters at the highest rate of his career (9.2 per nine), and walking fewer batters, too.”
Edes believes that the Boston bats have let him down to a 3-6 record, this season. “Buchholz has left seven of his 11 starts with just one run on the board in his favor.”
Not last night. Buchholz dominated the Minnesota Twins, even with only one run of support from his teammates. If only he could do that every night.
According to FanGraphs.com, Buchholz has 9.22 strikeouts per nine innings, while posting 2.37 walks in the same span. With a fastball just under 92 mph, it’s not like he’s imposing his will on batters with velocity; it’s the fact that they are not getting much other than groundballs, which Buchholz allows over 51% of the time that a pitch is actually hit.
That result could be due to the assortment of pitches that he provides. Buchholz has a four-seamer and a two-seamer, a cutter, a splitter, a slider, a curve, and a changeup. The wide range of pitches have been finding the strikezone, lately, making it tempting for batters to hit.
Considering all of the insults that he had to take, during spring training and the start of the regular season, Buchholz has settled down into his role as a starting pitcher. It may be unfair to put the ‘ace’ label on someone when they pitch pretty well but the offense does little to nothing. Red Sox Nation has justifiable cause to be upset over some of the pitching woes that Boston has suffered, but can they stand behind the pitcher whom was already here before the mass exodus of last season?
If they can, will Red Sox Nation believe in Buchholz making the All-Star team? Let’s check his stats with the rest of the hopefuls. Buchholz is in the middle of the pack in terms of earned runs allowed by American League pitching. He is tied for first place in least amount of home runs scored, allowing only five. Buchholz is also seventh in the entire AL with 70 strikeouts, with the leader being Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer with 97.
Buchholz likely won’t make the team, through either stigma against how the Red Sox are doing or his overall record and ERA. However, if the American League team needed only one or two inning from him, Buchholz could shine as one of the best pitchers of the night. Heck, it’s not like their bats will be as cold as the Red Sox have been for him. He should get run support while he potentially dominates the National League team, with members whom have never seen Buchholz’s variety of pitches before.
What do you think? Should they bring him on board? Should Red Sox Nation and the team cast him over the side, like they want to do with some of the rest of the team? Have your say! #BelieveInBuchholz
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