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"Clay's performance was not what he wanted it to be, for sure," Valentine said. "Not what I wanted it to be. Left a lot of pitches in a real hittable zone. Gave up a lot of hard-hit balls. ... There were a lot of pitchers used today. He was one of them and I've got to figure out what to do, how to get by with all these guys who really did a yeoman's job today. I have no plans to change them."
Valentine paused before adding to his response, perhaps with Buchholz in mind.
"At this time," he said.
He knows that something is missing, but he is not sure what it is.
"I've been upset with myself for the past six weeks," he said. "It's just frustrating to go out there and make some good pitches and still get hit. It's not easy. I have to keep telling myself it's not that easy. It looks easy for some guys but sometimes you have to go through some struggles to get where you want to be. I think that's where I'm at right now. Just gotta find a way through it."
ESPN Boston: No easy answers for Buchholz's struggles
We are all wondering what the hell is wrong with Clay Buchholz. It doesn't seem to be an injury and Bobby hasn't come out with any information regarding an injury so we can rule that out. Buchholz may be trying too damn hard to get back to his old form. Trying to get back to the Clay Buchholz that threw a no-hitter. Trying to get back to the 2.33 ERA Buchholz.
Buchholz may need a brief DL trip that results in a start in Pawtucket to build up his confidence.The Sox need him to settle down and pitch well in the worst way and they will do what it takes to get this rotation stabilized before the season is lost.
On Page 2, Mark Melancon may be ready to help the pen in this time of need
“There were a lot of pitchers used today,” Sox manager Bobby Valentine lamented after Sunday’s 9-6 loss in 17 innings. “I’ve got to figure out what to do, and how to get by with all these guys who really did a yeoman’s job today.
“Everyone is pitching great. It’s just, I don’t know if anybody can pitch [Monday],” he added. “I’m sure a few of the guys can. I bet you … I’ll have enough. Atch will not. A lot of the other guys, I pushed them to the limit tonight. I think every guy. We’ll see how they bounce back.”
While the Sox might not make a move, they do have a pitcher in the minors who is performing at a level that suggests he is capable of helping. While Mark Melancon endured historic struggles in his first four outings with the Red Sox, he has been overpowering since heading to Triple-A Pawtucket.
In seven appearances spanning 7 2/3 innings, he has not allowed a run. He’s recorded all of his outs by either strikeout (12) or groundball (11). He has yet to walk a batter. He’s given up six hits — five singles, one double. He’s looked very much like the pitcher whom the Sox thought they were getting in a trade last offseason.
“He’s dominating,” said Will Middlebrooks, who saw most of Melancon’s outings in Triple-A. “It seems like he’s throwing all his pitches for strikes, and when he wants to throw one off the plate for a swing, he’s getting it. He’s got good action on his pitches and it looks like he’s got good velocity. He’s living at the knees or below and he’s getting a lot of swings at his stuff. It shows he’s getting good movement.”
We has said it before, Mark Melancon is a great 4-A pitcher. He dominates AAA batters, but pitches BP in the majors. The problem is, the Red Sox are in need and Melancon has proven himself worthy in AAA. When any player of any position performs well in AAA, there is no guarantee that it will carry over to the majors, but the level of competition is closest to that of the major leagues. Melancon has done what they sent him to Pawtucket for and the Red Sox should give him another shot, but they must keep him on a short leash. One slip-up, and Melancon will be making the 45 minute drive south to McCoy.
The rest of the links:
Globe: DH Davis gets win, O's outlast Sox in 17 | ESPNBoston: No smiles after McDonald's mop-up work | Herald: Home runs again ruin day for Clay Buchholz | CSNNE: Red Sox bullpen pitches another gem despite loss