Since the break, the Red Sox have a 2.75 team ERA. In their five wins during that time, that ERA drops to an absurdly low 1.00.
That makes for several worthy candidates for the Amica Pitcher of the Week award. Alas, only one man can win it, and this week it was right-hander Clay Buchholz, who rose above the competition to claim the award for the third time this season.
Buchholz shut down the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, holding the South Siders to one run on six hits while striking out six in eight innings of work. Despite his best effort, Buchholz did not come away with a victory — in fact, he was on track for the loss until Cody Ross blasted a three-run, walk-off home run off White Sox closer Addison Reed in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The start was the latest in a string of successful outings by the 27-year-old, who has begun to find his old form after beginning the season poorly, posting a 7.84 ERA in his first nine starts. Since that point, Buccholz has been one of the Red Sox' top pitchers despite missing almost a month due to esophagitis. He has a 5-2 record and 2.63 ERA over his past seven starts, with a sterling 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Buchholz had competition for the award this week, primarily from Aaron Cook and Felix Doubront, each of whom allowed only one run in their starts in helping the Red Sox to a pair of victories over the White Sox. Cook went seven innings on Monday, allowing just five hits to lower his ERA to 3.34 on the season.
Doubront was equally impressive on Wednesday, becoming the first Boston pitcher to reach 10 wins on the season. He ran into trouble in the first, allowing three hits and one run, but settled down from there, surrendering just one hit over his final five innings.
Andrew Miller and Alfredo Aceves also pitched well out of the bullpen, tossing four scoreless innings and recording the final out in all three of the Red Sox' victories this week. Aceves' ERA continues to plummet after five consecutive scoreless outings and is now down to 3.97 on the season.
Still, Buchholz's performance was enough to earn him Amica Pitcher of the Week, and he'll look to use that momentum in his next start against the American League West-leading Rangers on Tuesday.