Buchholz Impresses; How Do You Pick Just Five?

I was only able to follow the game on the mlb gamecast, but it was a strong showing for Clay [boxscore]. Great start to the game–six first pitch strikes (and just missed getting a borderline call on the 7th batter), excellent command hitting the edge of the plate. Lived on the black in the first inning. Mostly fastballs and change-ups. Recorded first two outs on change-ups to Scutaro and Hill, and a curveball to Lind. All in all, a 15 pitch 1-2-3 inning.

He had two more first pitch strikes in the 3rd inning, and got a nice double play while down in the count 2-0 to Aaron Hill. His control faltered a bit in the fourth–he failed to get a first pitch strike on the first two batters, and then had his next three first pitches put in play. He escaped the inning giving up only one run. He came back and had a nice fourth inning, inducing two ground outs and a strike out.

He left a few on in the sixth, but had a great night overall, throwing 103 pitches, 66 for strikes. Word on the street is that he will be headed back to Rhode Island anyway, but its nice to know that he has really developed his location after his struggles last season. Whether it is for the stretch run later this season, or next season, Buchholz figures to be a strong addition to the rotation. The Red Sox will need to make some serious decisions soon, they are in the rare position of having too many starters:

  • Beckett
  • Lester
  • Wakefield
  • Smoltz
  • Penny
  • Dice-K
  • Masterson
  • Buchholz
  • Bowden

A few of those names might not be too familiar to anyone outside of Beantown, but they all are potential starters for this team. I’ve got some real work to do this morning / afternoon, so I won’t be able to really think about my top five until later. Its a great question to ponder.

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