Editor’s note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine’s words. Each game day, we will select the best Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.
In 2010, Clay Buchholz had his best season as a professional. He went an impressive 17-7 and boasted one of the lowest ERA’s in baseball with a 2.33 by season’s end. Buchholz also made his first and only All-Star team that season, and the 27-year-old appears to have finally returned to that form.
Buchholz threw Boston’s first shutout of the season on Thursday night, putting together back-to-back gems for the first time in nearly an entire calendar year. The right-hander allowed just four hits and struck out six, as he dominated Orioles hitters from start to finish in an astounding 7-0 beatdown at Fenway Park.
The win was the Red Sox’ first at home against the Orioles this season, and the win meant even more as it kept the Sox above the .500 mark and put them back on track as they prepare for interleague play over the weekend.
Boston manager Bobby Valentine was thoroughly impressed with Buchholz in another outstanding outing, talking about the importance of Clay’s adjustsments.
“He made an adjustment on the mound [recently] that’s allowed him to see things different,” Valentine said after the blowout win.
Buchholz, who allowed five runs or more in each of his first six starts, has battled back in recent outings to bring his ERA back down to a much more bearable 5.77. The former Cy Young candidate appears to have returned to his old form and could be headed for yet another outstanding standing season if this current pace keeps up.
There is still plenty of baseball to be played and nearly 20 starts left — at least Sox fans hope — for Buchholz before the season’s through. So there remains enough time for the young starter to solidify his role as a top-flight pitcher and establish himself as a perennial All Star once again.
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