And the winner of 2010’s worst start of the year goes to Clay Buchholz for his September 10 masterpiece in Oakland. If that award has already been handed out, then it is being rescinded and re-awarded. And it should be noted that with this award, Buchholz has broken his stride and is no longer a threat to sneak up and steal this year’s Cy Young Award. Boy was that heinous.
To say that Buchholz just didn’t have “it” last night is a bit like saying Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley just didn’t have “it” back in January. In a nutshell, Buchholz was basically cracking wishbones on the mound last night, just praying for called strikes. Because left on its own, Clay’s fastball couldn’t have found the zone without help from a guide dog.
We simply haven’t seen “that” Clay in a very long time. Sure, he stunk up Oakland the last time the Sox were out there in July, but this was different. This was Buchholz operating without any fastball command whatsoever. And I mean that literally. Last night, he couldn’t have won a stuffed animal at a state fair let alone navigate a big league lineup.
The numbers were just ghastly. Eleven batters faced. Five hits. Four walks. Thirty-nine pitches and just seventeen strikes. And all this against an Oakland team that is 11th in the AL in scoring and 12th in the AL in OPS. So much for my theory that Clay had lucked into two easy starts this trip.
With this stinker now on the ledger, it’s pretty clear that Buchholz will not be this year’s Cy Young award winner. His candidacy was set back a couple weeks ago when he couldn’t finish off Tampa and it was hurt further last week with an ordinary five-inning effort against Chicago but it was put to rest last night. Frankly, he was a long shot coming out of Tampa but just in case there was any hope for a late surge, it has now gone by the wayside.
Other than that …. Not much to say about last night. It pretty much started poorly with Crisp robbing Kalish of his fourth home run and got worse from there. And no, it is no consolation that the bullpen mutts of D-Rich, Bowden, “No chin” Coello, and Manuel managed to hold Oakland down for seven innings. That only further illustrates how horrible a job Buchholz did last night. After all, shouldn’t your ace be able to outpitch the four stooges?
Keeping it short today. Heading out for some outdoor drinking on a beautiful NYC afternoon. Just one final thought …. Missing my friend Andy today. He was obviously taken too soon.