It’s been a tough week for Red Sox pitchers, most notably closer Jonathan Papelbon, who blew his second and third saves of the year on consecutive nights. But even when the going got tough, Clay Buchholz continued to impress.
Overwhelming the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night, the right-hander tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings to help secure a sweep of Manny Ramirez and company. And he did it by getting out of a bases-loaded, first-inning jam.
When he could have panicked and put his team in an early hole, the recently unflappable Buchholz maintained composure and rattled off two consecutive outs. In all, he struck out four and yielded just three hits before exiting with 106 pitches in front of a national audience on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
“He doesn’t get desperate. He just stayed focus,” catcher Victor Martinez told MLB.com. “That’s the great thing about him.”
What’s even better is that his win over the Dodgers was his seventh in eight starts to place him atop the American League in wins with 10, tied with Tampa Bay’s David Price and New York’s Phil Hughes. The only Boston starter in the last five games to pick up a win, Buchholz also lowered his ERA to 2.47 on the season, good for third in the AL.
As the Red Sox try to get their feet under them after a wild series full of late-game heroics with Colorado, this week’s Amica Pitcher of the Week, Clay Buchholz, has proven that he can ground them when he takes the mound. You don’t leave the bases loaded — or lead the AL in wins — any other way.