Tag Archives: Clay Buchholz

God, Just Get Me To Thursday.

I don’t remember if there has ever been an All-Star Break that has been so interminably long (aided by the fact that I was away for the week leading up to it), but that I have been so O.K. with. The Sox are beat to shit, and nothing can do them better than some time off. Sure the All-Star game was fun (no it wasn’t, it was boring and poorly managed, but I’m getting more and more convinced that Bud Selig is a killer robot each day and want to keep him happy), and the NL finally won one, which means that the Sox can sweep at Fenway this year as opposed to some pissant NL town.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a midseason break without some type of list commemorating the first half or looking forward to the second. Seeing as the M*A*S*H unit Sox have limped into the break on pace to win 94 games without half of their team (and still finish third in the best division in baseball history), I’m going to just let all that be and get ready for what’s next. So with no more adieu and without further gilding the lilly, I present to you the short list of things to watch out for the rest of the 2010 Red Sox season.

Dustin Pedroia’s CT scan (Thursday): Seriously, the whole season might hinge on this. If everything goes well, The Laser Show (awesome new nickname from Peter Abraham of Extra Bases) will be off the crutches and back doing something less crutchy this week. That puts a return sometime at the beginning of next month, or knowing our MVP second baseman, the end of July. If this all goes through, our best hitter is back in the lineup with two months to go, we have a gold glover back at a premium defensive position and the sparkplug back in the clubhouse.

If it doesn’t show adequate progress I’m packing up my balls and going home, because that means surgery and see you in February. That’s how important Pedroia is to the Sox.

The Returns of Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, and Victor Martinez (Next two weeks): Beckett is the wild card here. He could power through a rehab start or three and then come in and make the rest of the AL his own personal fire hydrant for the rest of the season. He could come back and do his best Jeff Suppan impersonation, leaving the fans to wonder what that $68 million extension did to him. Buchholz is going to come back from vacation, which is what this DL stint was, not a real injury, and be exactly the guy that he was in the first half and challenge Lester for the Cy Young. (These Two Week DL stints for every pitcher on the staff are truly a brilliant idea). Victor, well, Victor will stabilize the pitching staff because they won’t be throwing to Kevin Cash any more and provide a semblance of normalcy for a lineup that has been missing the three guys at the top. All good things.

Trading Deadline (July 31): Consider this an open letter to Theo, Lucchino, Henry and the rest: Don’t be pussies. Love, the people who pay your bills. This is when we will know if the front office has decided that this team is going all the way, or that this really has been a bridge year and our getting wrapped up in this team was pure folly. If they decide to play the “Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett and Jed Lowrie were our midseason pickups” card then they are pussying out and looking towards next year, but if David DeJesus (my buddy the Reverend’s favorite player) makes an appearance with a B on his cap, and a reliable relief pitcher (or two) strolls in from the ‘pen, then we have ourselves an ownership sponsored contender. Keep an eye on this one.

The expiration date on Daniel Nava and Darnell McDonald (sometime in late August): This may be really pessimistic, but these guys haven’t done it in the past for a reason, and this is when Nick Green melted into a pool of jelly on the infield last season. Don’t get me wrong, these guys have been lifesavers for us and hopefully this doesn’t happen and we get a sequel to The Rookie based on this year’s Sox out of it, but the reality is that there had better be some movement on Ellsbury and DeJesus (yes, I have completely given up on Mike Cameron. He is playing through a lot of pain and not being a sissy about it, but at this point I don’t see him making a significant contribution to the club) soon, or we are heading into one wild ass pennant race with one arm tied behind our backs.

The Parade (early November): Anyone else see a touch of destiny sprinkled on this club?

Go Sox.

Done.

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If This is the Best the NL Has To Offer, Sign Me Up For More Interleague.

Cool Logo for a Bad Idea

After this weekend’s dismantling of the two time NL champ Phillies behind the all-star duo of Scott Atchison and Daniel Nava (not to diminish what they did; Nava can hit and Atchison saved us in a tight spot), and on the cusp of three against the NL worst D-Backs, I’m actually liking the idea of interleague this year. It still let’s the Yanks feast on teams like the Astros (poor Brad Mills) while the Sox have to face the Phils and then the NL west, the best division in the NL, but if that’s all the champs have then it might not be all bad.

Of course, my rose colored glasses may be affected by the fact that tonight the party rolls on with Arizona in town. Proud owners of nine (seriously) road wins on the season, only one pitcher with more than three wins and a GM who is already in the process of dismantling the team, these guys are ripe for the picking. Then again we said that about KC, Baltimore and Cleveland and now we’re .500 against that group.

Along with Nava leading off (Bill Hall is at short with Scutaro getting the night off after dealing with a nerve issue in his arm), we’ve got Buck on the hill tonight against old asshole Ian Kennedy, who wasn’t good enough to make it in New York. Remember when he got sent down to the minors by the Yanks and never came back? Yeah, this should be fun for Youk, Beltre, Pedey and the boys.

And I hear there’s something that may be parade related happening at 9. Go Celtics.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Kevin Millar Returns to NESN – Awesomeness Ensues.

Back in February, when Beloved old friend Kevin Millar was released by the Cubs (if they had kept him they would have won the World Series finally), we invited him to come back and join NESN for our entertainment:

Unfortunately for fans of hard drinking backup first basemen/outfielders, Kevin Millar was cut by the Cubs yesterdat in his attempt to continue his career into a thirteenth season. Though it is sad for Millar, and all of the Chicago college girls who he was going to “pleasure,” It brings up a new opportunity for those of us who love an miss Millar in Boston (just not in the lineup).

For one he could do as I’ve always hoped and join NESN as a sideline reporter and analyst. He is the natural successor to Remy and would be hilarious on the set with Jim Rice’s suits and Dennis Eckersley’s hair constantly reminding him that they are in the hall of fame and he’s not. They could also send him out on the road to do live check ins with fans in the bars as he gets drunk and see how many innings it takes until he gets incoherent, throws up on air or pulls a Joe Namath with some random college chick he’s interviewing. Eventually, when Remy decides to leave the booth, he and his bottle of Jack Daniel’s would be the guy to step in along with Donny O.

– Snip-

The best option is to redefine reality TV by giving Millar his own show. It wold basically be a reality version of Cheers, but the bar would be in the Sox clubhouse, and the part of Diane would be played by DeMarlo Hale. Every night, when the game ends, the guys would come back to their lockers to find Millar set up behind he bar, serving drinks and spitting old timey bartender wisdom. The players would be able to come to Millar to talk about their issues, work through a rough day on the field, or just to see what Northeastern girl he was trying to give his special brand of love to that night.

And now he’s back. Officially. And it’s giving me a stiffy.

Meanwhile:

Saving the Bullpen, Kicking Cancer's Ass, All In A Day's Work.

Jon Lester is the man. He of the one time 8.44 ERA in April (when he was 0-2) is now 3-0 in the month of May with  2.32 ERA. Last night he pitched a complete game, giving up one earned run and striking out 9, saving the bullpen for a trip to pitcher’s hell this weekend in Philly (the ballpark is as much a launching pad as the New Yank is). Lester is nasty, and homers from Youk (pitching, defense and the three run home run) and Beltre didn’t hurt either, especially coming against a guy who hadn’t given up a single one all year. Basically, for the rest of the year he will be treating the American League the same way he did cancer. Eliminating with extreme prejudice.

I want to extend a personal thanks to Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Over the past two nights they have shown me, and the rest of the Nation, what this season was supposed to look like. 17 innings pitched, 11 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, and 2 wins in 2 games for the young stars of this supposedly dominant pitching rotation. With Josh Beckett going to the DL, John Lackey not performing the way he did to start the year, and Daisuke Matsuzaka being, well, Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Sox needed a pick me up during what is the toughest stretch of the schedule for them, and what has already been a brutal season.

Youk is not sitting down this weekend.

This is where it gets dicey. The Sox have yet to get themselves more than 2 games over .500 at any time this season, and to make the playoffs, the logical assumption is that they must get to about 30 games over. They are at 2 games over right now, but play their next six games against the teams with the best records in both the NL and AL. If the Sox can manage to break even over the next six games, three of which will have to be played without either David Ortiz (hotter than Cindy Crawford in that Pepsi commercial from the 90s) or Adrian Beltre (still hitting an under-the-radar .316) due to the NL park, it will be a very good sign.

I effing hate interleague play.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Ortiz and Buchholz: The Law Firm That May Save The Red Sox.

8+ IP, 2 ER, 1 Ace

.358 BA, 1.170 OPS, 7 HR in May. The Zombie is back

It was a good win.

Go Sox.

Done.

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So That is What Baseball Season is Supposed to Feel Like.

Yesterday I woke up with a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t the usual bad taste, from a combination of Narragansett and lack of sleep, it was worse. It may have been the water, but it was more likely the fact that my Boston Red Sox were now 11-14 and had suffered a weekend sweep at the hands of the Baltimore f#$%ing Orioles. It was too late to say that they were still finding their groove, and that there was plenty of time to dig themselves out of any early season hole, and reports from the Herald that there was unrest in Tito’s house did nothing to assuage my fears.

What happened last night at Fenway, however, did make me feel better. It may be a sign that things are turning around, but it also may just be a righteous beatdown that erased memories of the sad end to the 2009 ALDS. Either way, it was great. The Sox got on the board early and often, pitched well and generally went all Paul Revere on their asses (quote the Beasties: I did it like this, I did it like that, I did it with a wiffleball bat). J.D. “I’m awake, promise” Drew continued his quiet return to life, going 4-5 with three RBI to bring his once anemic average up to .247, Mike Lowell continued to prove that he should at least get a shot as an every day DH by going 4-4 with three doubles, four knocked in and a walk (say goodbye, Papi), and even Beltre and Bill Hall finally got into the act by hitting their first home runs in a Red Sox uniform. To top it all off, old reliable Youk and Pedey chipped in with homers of their own.

Victor Even Chipped In By Nailing a Base Stealer.

Was it a sign of things to come? We can sure hope so, because I am sick and tired of seeing sub-.500 numbers and the (Roy Halladay-less) Toronto Blue Jays ahead of us in the standings. I don’t know if this was brought on by one of those players only meetings, if the hazing of the new guys ended or if the old guard was just so pissed about what happened last fall that they put everyone else in line, but something happened. It got so bad for the Angels (17 runs, 20 hits) that when Delcarmen took the mound, and looked absolutely dominating (sorry about blaming you for everything, you have been the one truly solid reliever these past few weeks), in the seventh inning, he and Victor were practicing calling pitches the way that they do when there is a runner on second. Practicing. That’s how much they want to win.

There are still warts, and who knows if this was a step in the right direction or just a blip on the radar, but it was good. Schoenweis gave up four in the ninth, continuing his lack of effectiveness, and Buchholz actually had his worst outing of the season (5-2/3, 4ER) but a win is a win. Now they’ve pulled me back in.

Is it 7:10 yet?

Go Sox.

Done.

P.S. This is the song I got in my head every time Lowell came to bat.

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Clay Buchholz Saves Red Sox Tired Bullpen, Has Really Hot Wife.

The Sox may not have truly put it together, but the offense showed just enough, and a more than quality start from one of the starters helped big time. After using their whole bullpen the night before, Clay gave the Sox exactly what they needed, going eight, giving up a lone run and saving the staff for tonight. Meanwhile the offense, who still refuses to show up on the same night as the pitching staff, did just enough to win, as pinch hitter Mike Lowell walked with the bases loaded to take the lead.

Sox go for the sweep tonight at 7:08 (crazy canadians) behind Lester, who finally looked like him self last time out.

And (I can’t believe I’m actually writing this) Go Canadiens. The B’s want home ice.

Go Sox.

Done.

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You can almost taste it; Opening ‘Day’ nearly upon us

I'm also really excited.

Like a distant tide, you can almost smell baseball season. And no,  not in the haven’t-washed-my-jock-since-last-spring kind of smell. It’s like an invisible energy that fills the city every early April. The texts start going out and coming in: “meet up b4 game?”… “bball tavern @ 5” … “I’ll perform any favor you can think of for your ticket” … buddies start making plans to come home, and beer sales go through the effing roof. Whatever the signs are for you, because it is unique and personal to each of us, one thing is as certain as taxes: Father Fenway comes out of his winter hibernation this Sunday.

As I have always maintained, Boston is a better place when the Sox are playing, and better even still when they’re winning. The cold, white, sissy-repellent that litter the streets during the cold months has melted away, and for those brave enough to bear it (or for those simply forced to) we have earned ourselves the right to another season of Red Sox baseball.

"Right here... Right now... I'm peeing."

With so many new faces this year, there is an unfamiliar air of uncertainty… kind of like the beginning of in 2004 and 2007 seasons. Like everything else in New England, there is no gray area, you either can’t wait to see the boys of summer hit the diamond, or you are already calling for Theo’s head on a blunt spit.

Let me settle all for everyone: We have the best 1,2,3 in all of baseball, the best number 4 pitcher in the game (Dice K) and our fifth starter is either a member of last year’s all-star team or a young stud with top-of-the-rotation stuff.

Our lineup is a mixture of solid doubles hitters with power and speed sprinkled in for garnish.

Our fielding consist of about a zillion combined gold gloves, a new left side of the infield that seems to be meshing with the right side, our new catcher behind the plate looks great and we’ve tacked on three (what will prove to be) terrific new starters in Cam, Scutaro and Beltre.

Cameron kinda looks like Willie Mays Hayes. Hopefully Big Papi swings better than Serano this year and even though the Papelmoose/Wildthing comparison is an easy one... Buccholz is definitely Ricky Vaughn.

Clay Buccholz

The Red Sox will win 98 games this year (like they always do) and narrowly lose the division to the Yankees, which is OK because the Yanks are a team built like winning the regular season is their goal. It’s an exciting season we’re on the doorstep of… And all I want for October is a World Series.

Go Red Sox.

StartMattCassel

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