In his second rehab start, Buchholz threw 53 pitches (34 strikes) in 31⁄3 innings of work last night before a crowd of 11,017 at McCoy Stadium. He allowed seven hits, one run and struck out two while not walking a batter against the Syracuse Chiefs. His fastball ranged in the low 90s, topping out at 94.
After a rough outing in his first rehab start last week, Buchholz came away from last night’s outing in far better spirits.
“Tonight I was much more impressed with the velocity I was able to sustain over the period I was out there,” he said. “Getting over that hump of not really worrying about anything whenever I’m trying to get a fastball down and away to a righty and have something on it. Being able to throw all my pitches it felt like with the same effort levels and same arm angles. That’s basically the final hump I had to get over as far as not having a second thought in the back of my head. Now it’s just getting that release point down on each of my pitches and obviously, not having a long first inning.”
The Boston Red Sox are a better team with Clay Buchholz than without him. No one denies this. But he's really not needed now.
When he got stashed on the DL after his blazing start, we panicked. I thought we were going to see a string of AAA pitchers rotate on the mound, hoping one caught fire. Lester struggled. Dempster was Dempster. No one really trusted Lackey or Doubront. That was all true for a little while. Then everything changed.
Doubront has been frustrating at times, throws too many pitches, but he's pitched quite well. In a month and a half Lester has only given up more than 3 ER once. Lackey has been, well, I don't want to jinx anything. Let's move one. Dempster continues to be Dempster; strong outings sandwiched between 5 and 7 run games. And Peavy has been borderline-phenomenal, minus one rough outing against KC.
So where does Clay fit in? We could try to get all 6 guys work, throwing some extra rest around. But that's unlikely. I think we'd all be more comfortable to see Dempster dropped from the rotation, but that's no certainty. It may be Doubront, just based on his stature with the team, but he's earned his starts. This is certainly a situation where pitching guru Farrell earns his cash.
And not to get ahead of ourselves, but assuming Clay comes back and pitches well, what is that playoff rotation going to be? Kind of unbelievable to find ourselves with too many good pitchers heading into September.
Of course, we could always just trade one to the Topeka Blockbuster Video for Willy Mo Pena's services.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Tomase: Sox have a call out for a relief plan | Dempster plans on staying put | Peavy aims to avoid being un-Dunn by pal | Papi picks key time to end drought, spark Sox | Globe - Big hit for Ortiz and another win for the Sox | Dempster works into 7th, Red Sox top White Sox 4-3 | WEEI - Source: Red Sox not close to deadline deal | Victorino: Ortiz proves he belongs in HOF | CSNNE - Victorino raking after ditching switch hitting