Like It or Not, Clay Buchholz is Boston’s Only Shot

Like It or Not, Clay Buchholz is Boston's Only Shot
Once again, the Red Sox are in shambles. Or are they?

Three days ago, they were not. They were rebounding from a somewhat embarrassing two-game skid against the 63-91 Kansas City Royals, and as the Red Sox closed in on the AL wild-card berth, they had perhaps the most formidable starting pitching rotation in all the majors.

But now that Jon Lester’s leg has met its match in the form of a Melky Cabrera line drive, October is looking very iffy.

Imagine what this season would be like without Clay Buchholz.

Boston’s wonder boy began the 2009 season in the dregs of Triple-A, hoping and praying that some unforeseeable conundrum would render the Red Sox in need of an 85th starting pitcher. He was just waiting for his chance to shine, after his chances in 2007 and 2008 were wasted due to Rookie Pitch Count Syndrome and Inexplicable Ineffectiveness, otherwise known as the Barry Zito Syndrome.

Buchholz has gotten his chance in 2009, and he’s been ridiculous. But unlike last year, he’s been ridiculous in a good way.

Buchholz can do it all. He can beat Roy Halladay. He can shut down the Rays, two starts in a row. He can pitch through the flu. And now, he’s got a nifty 6-0 record and 2.44 ERA over his last eight starts to show for it.

Moving on to more tragic news, Rodney Harrison’s Twitter account is fake, but fortunately, Adalius Thomas is stepping in to fill his outspoken shoes.

“[I was] a little bit [surprised]. I was expecting to have to battle through, especially after the first inning. Threw some good pitches that got hit, and left some pitches up, and I was able to bounce back the next inning, and go on a pretty good roll.’’
–Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, in The Boston Globe, on pitching effectively through a cold

Everything is better after a win. Your car drives better. Your girlfriend or your wife looks better. Your mood is better. You don’t want to lose, especially a game you could have won. That’s always the feeling if you’re competitive. You always have that strange feeling that, I want this taste out of my mouth.”
–Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas, in the Boston Herald

“There’s not much you can really do about it. Just put a blanket on it. Put it to sleep, lay it down, and burp it.”
–Thomas, in the Herald, on appealing a fine for $5,000 for a hit on Bills quarterback Trent Edwards in Week 1

“A ball gets hit off your body, it hurts. I don’t know what you want me to say. It hurts.’’
–Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, in the Globe, after being knocked out of the game by a line drive in the third inning of Friday’s 9-5 loss to New York

“Rodney doesn’t Tweet, nor does he know how to Tweet.”
–NBC spokesman Brian Walker, in the Herald, after an impostor posted inflammatory remarks aimed at Jets safety Kerry Rhodes last week

"I think there is no better communicator on the football field than Mike Vrabel. I've coached a lot of guys. I wouldn't put him behind anybody. I might put him equal to other players, but as far as knowing what was going on, communicating it and doing the right thing, he's one of the best I've ever coached."
–Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, on Boston.com, on veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel, who was traded to Kansas City in March

“We weren’t exactly a rushing machine. Just because guys are back and they’re good kids and they’re working hard doesn’t necessarily equate to [a great line]. We weren’t exactly leading the league in rushing.”
–Boston College head football coach Frank Spaziani, in the Herald, downplaying the past success of the Eagles’ often heralded offensive line

“If Britney Spears can party it up in Vegas with one of her boys and go get married on a whim and annul her marriage the next day, why can’t a loving same-sex couple tie the knot?”
–Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, in The Huffington Post

"The weather was a challenge. I was amazed we got it in."
 –Royals manager Trey Hillman, in the Globe, after Kansas City overcame two six-run deficits to defeat Boston despite a rain-marred Monday night

“On behalf of the fans, representing the fans, we gave him the game ball. … We gave him one because he does a great job. That’s really the first time I’ve ever seen him. … It’s hard not to notice him when you’re standing on the sideline, and he’s getting the fans going.”
–Jets head coach Rex Ryan, in the New York Post, on awarding a game ball from Sunday’s win over New England to fan Ed Anzalone

"I told Andy [Pettitte] the other day, if I had a vote, I would vote for [Felix] Hernandez. Just watching him pitch the other day in Seattle against us … against this lineup to throw a complete game and get a win. That's the best pitcher in the league to me."
–Yankees hurler CC Sabathia, in the New York Daily News, on who deserves to win the AL Cy Young in 2009

"However we can put points up on the board when the offensive unit's on the field, that's what our goal is, whether those are runs, or pass or whatever they are. If points are scored, then we're doing our job. If they're not, then that's not what good offense is."
–Belichick, to the media, on his team’s lack of ability to score a touchdown against the Jets in Week 2

"I missed almost two months of the season. [Hip surgeon Dr. Marc] Philippon said he thought the hip would get stronger each month. As a result, I feel the freshest I ever have at this point."
–Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, in the New York Daily News, on recovering from hip surgery

"I was the wildcat originator, so it's not foreign territory to me. It's just about making the right decisions and just playing football. It's almost like backyard ball, but it's become quite immense in this league now. Everybody's doing it, so I'm excited about my role."
–Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on ESPN.com

"Fourth, fifth inning, I'm like, 'Whatever, I don't think they have a hit.' I wasn't trying to pitch any different. I’d rather give up five and win 7-5."
–Tigers starter Eddie Bonine, on ESPN.com, on not allowing a hit through 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the White Sox on Friday

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