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The once banished Buchholz makes his return to the Red Sox rotation this week after every option the team attempted to replace him with failed miserably. The veteran certainly wasn’t thrilled with his move to the bullpen, but rather than allow his sulking behavior to affect him on the mound, Buchholz actually thrived. He allowed only 3 earned runs over 9 1/3 innings of relief, including 3 shutout innings in his last appearance on June 16.
Buchholz’s first start since rejoining the rotation won’t be an easy one, as he’ll be tasked with matching up against White Sox ace Chris Sale. The good news is that Sale hasn’t been his usual dominant self of late. He has surrendered at least 4 runs in three of his last five starts, owning a 6.06 ERA over that span. The Red Sox were lucky enough to avoid him the last time they faced Chicago this season and may now be fortunate to catch him while he’s struggling.
Speaking of struggling pitchers, James Shields has been a disaster since Chicago acquired him from the San Diego Padres last month. He’s allowed at least 6 earned runs in all three of his starts, failed to go more than two innings in two of those starts and owns a brutal 21.82 ERA with his new team. Talk about buyers remorse!
Shields was a pitcher that was once rumored to be in consideration for a Red Sox team in need of another starter. I personally never liked the idea of trading for him and his horrendous performance thus far has only validated those concerns.
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