Buchholz Chimes In on Friday’s Base-Running Blunder


Buchholz Chimes In on Friday's Base-Running Blunder The ninth inning of Friday night's 8-4 win over Texas brought many questions to the minds of Red Sox fans.

The primary one: Did Clay Buchholz switch uniforms with someone, and if not, why is he on base? (Hint: It wasn't because the Boston and Texas were engaged in interleague play, as one particularly uninformed bartender tried to claim.)

The next question: Why in God's name is Clay Buchholz being used as a pinch-runner?

Ladies and gentlemen, your questions are answered, courtesy of the pitcher himself.

Facing a one-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning, Jason Varitek singled, and one batter later, he found himself on second base, representing the tying run. Manager Terry Francona wasn't comfortable with the prospect of the catcher scoring from second on a single. He needed someone else, and the usual suspects — Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie — were unavailable. Ellsbury was on first base, and Lowrie was on the disabled list.

"I was just sort of walking around in the dugout, and they were like, 'Hey, go get your jersey and cleats on because…if [Varitek] gets on second, you're going to pinch run for him,'" Buchholz told the Boston Globe on Saturday. "So I ran up in [the clubhouse] all in a frenzy and the first thing that came in my head was, 'Road game, we're away.' So I got down there and [Francona's] like, you got the wrong jersey on. I was like, 'Oh my God,' so I had to run back up here, put the blue one on. Finally I got back down there — obviously I got back down there an at-bat late — but I went out there anyway.

"But yeah, the jersey situation was probably the funniest thing out of it all."

Funny, of course, only because Buchholz's less-than-stellar base-running skills got him thrown out at home plate when Dustin Pedroia doubled off the wall but it didn't end up costing Boston the game. Victor Martinez took care of business with a two-out, two-run, game-winning double.

But Buchholz has the battle scars to prove he put forth a valiant effort, including a cut on his right hand, courtesy of a head-first slide into home.

The pitcher told the Globe he got thrown out becuase he couldn't read the ball off Pedroia's bat; as the ball went out toward the wall and the crowd roared, Buchholz assumed it was because outfielder David Murphy caught it, not because it dropped for a hit.

He was mistaken, and he had to get a move on, fast.

"No thought of going feet-first or running into the catcher went into my head," Buchholz said. "I thought I was going to be safe just from where the ball was coming in from. It was a messed-up play. I'm glad it didn't cost us the game."

Well, better luck next time. If there is a next time.

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