Clay Buchholz Blossoming at the Perfect Time

Clay Buchholz has had better starts — but you wouldn’t know it looking at the box score from Friday night’s 3-1 win over the Orioles.

The 25-year-old hurled six innings and allowed one run on five hits, improving his record against Baltimore to 3-0 in 2009. The Red Sox are unbeaten in his last seven starts, and since Aug. 29, Buchholz has allowed just six runs in five starts.

Buchholz is blossoming at the perfect time, and none of that is lost on manager Terry Francona.

“He really competed well,” Francona told NESN’s Heidi Watney during Friday’s edition of Red Sox Extra Innings. “I don’t think he came out of the bullpen with his good breaking ball or really good command, but he used his fastball effectively which always sets up his changeup.”

After months of uncertainty concerning the status of the Red Sox starting rotation, one thing is certain now: Boston will head into October with at least three very capable, very hungry pitchers in Buchholz, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. It’s been a long road for Buchholz, but it seems that he can finally put himself in the same category as his rotation-mates.

“He was aggressive with his fastball and he competed,” Francona said, “and he’s going to
have better command in other starts, but that really bodes well for us.”

You can watch Francona’s full postgame interview here: