The pen was tired. The Club got in very late. The news on Josh Beckett was not good. The shortstop has a bad elbow. A good team was in town. That isn’t exactly the best set of facts so the Sox needed two things from their starting pitcher last night: excellence and length. Clay Buchholz provided both.
It’s hard to find anything in Buchholz’ start to criticize. He went eight innings, struck out seven, walked just one and kept the ball on the ground all evening long. He dominated the bottom half of the Minnesota lineup and best of all, he got the ball to Bard on a night where nobody else in the pen could be counted on to get meaningful outs. As I said, Buchholz delivered exactly what the doctor ordered.
That being said, I will resist the temptation to buy any more CB stock. I got burned earlier this year by adding some CB to my portfolio, only to watch Buchholz throw two stinkers in a row. So excuse me if I am not quite ready to dip my toe back in these waters. Yes, Buch’s last start was passable. And last night goes in the “good” column. But I need to see more before I once again get constructive on CB. Most importantly, I need to see more nights like Wednesday where the Ks are up and the Walks are down. I love the fact that Buchholz is keeping the ball in the park but I can’t be a buyer until I see that WHIP fall.
* You could roll David Ortiz in Frank’s Hot Sauce and Jalapeno seeds and he wouldn’t be any hotter than he is right now. A two-run poke to left center won last night’s game and Papi’s slash for May now stands at .358/.397/.774. And his batting average on balls put in play? Try .527. This is obviously unsustainable but it shows what can happen when twenty percent of the balls you put in play, leave the ballpark. Despite this laser show, I would expect Lowell to get the start tonight against tough lefty, Frank Liriano.
* Kevin Youkilis had ANOTHER hit last night and ANOTHER walk. That brings his OBP for the month to .590! He certainly will be in the conversation for AL player of the month.
* So the word on Marco Scutaro is he has been hitting too many forehands and has developed a case of tennis elbow. Seizing on the news, Theo Epstein quickly claimed that Scutaro’s bad wing has led to some errors because Scutaro has had trouble snapping his glove shut. Please Theo, don’t give this garbage that Scutaro’s elbow was to blame for those two ghastly errors on Tuesday. He could have had swimmer’s shoulder, tennis elbow and a masturbation wrist and still made those plays. For now, it looks like Scutaro is day-to-day but this bears watching.
* Scott Schoeneweis got designated last night and that begs only one question …. What took so long? My guess is this had been decided a ways back and the Sox were simply waiting for a time when a spot on the 40-man roster was needed. That became necessary when Scutaro came down with a bad elbow and Angel Sanchez is now needed to fill in.
* This is what Schoeneweis had to say about the Sox decision to release him. “This game’s a business and it’s a business move.” Uh Scot, this wasn’t a business move at all. You stunk and got cut.
* FARM REPORT: I wrote yesterday that Portland pitcher Felix Doubront, coming off a strong showing Tuesday, was making a case for a promotion. Well, it turns out that Felix got the big P yesterday and will be headed down to Pawtucket. In other news, Michael Bowden continues to struggle in 2010, Lars had a couple of hits, Josh Reddick took ANOTHER o’fer, and Sea Dog second baseman Nate Spears continued his ways as an OBP machine by collecting three hits. Spears OBP over his last ten games: .489
* Tonight, it is a great pitching matchup between Lester and Liriano. Sox could use another win before they head out on the road to face Hamels, Kendrick, Halladay, Davis, Shields and Garza. I would gladly sign for three wins from that basket.