Buchholz Sharp Once Again As Red Sox Ground Birds
The Boston Red Sox have taken a firm hold in the race to win the American League Wild Card playoff spot with yet another victory Friday night coupled with another Texas Rangers loss. Their lead is now seven games. They defeated the hapless Baltimore Orioles by a score of 3-1. It would be hard to fathom them blowing a post season spot considering how strong their starting rotation has been. Would you believe that they're just about the best in all of major league baseball? BELIEVE IT. Clay Buchholz is a big reason that last statement is true. The Sox have won the last seven times Buchholz has started. Eight of his last nine outings have been quality starts, and Buchholz has a 2.63 ERA during that run. Even better, Red Sox starters have allowed three runs or fewer in 11 straight games, their longest such streak since they reeled off 12 in June 2006. The Sox are 9-2 over the span (thanks Boston Herald). Even without his best stuff, Buchholz excelled. Here's the Boston manager, Terry "Tito" Francona, on his starter...
“Every five days, you send him out there, and you feel like you know what you’re going to get,’’ Francona said. “That’s part of him growing into this. It’s exciting. It’s really exciting.’’
You see, he's beoming automatic as he grows and matures and learns how to win even when he doesn't have his best stuff. That's exactly what he did last night in Maryland. The entire rotation, with the exception of Paul Byrd in the number five spot subbing for Timmy Wakefield, has been lights out. I know the jury is still out on Daisuke but he sure looked aces in his last start. Here's Pedey Pedroia, a very wise baseball guy and a fairly good player, too. One day, he might become a star (ha ha)...
“Our pitching, that’s the reason why we’ve been on a run,’’ second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “If we continue to pitch the way we are, I don’t think it matters if we’re at home or away or playing in Japan or anywhere. We’re going to win if we pitch the way we’ve been. The guys are stepping up their game at the right time. They’ve proved to us in the last month that we’ve got one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.’’
The bullpen was flawless over the last three innings with Papelbon finishing the game up and proving to all of Red Sox Nation that his back is fine. And that's just fine with me. Tonight at 7:05pm EDT, it'll be the always dependable Jon Lester versus Hernandez, who has a record of 4-8 and is eminently hittable. So GO SOX. Let's close out the Wild Card race as early as possible so that Tito can rest the right players at the right times to get ready for October. After all, we're out of off days. Only Mother Nature can provide them...we don't want that. What we want is to get through the rest of the regular season without any further injuries. Period.
Enjoy your weekend, click on this post's title for more Sox stuff from the Boston Globe and as always and forever, BE WELL. I'll see you soon....you can bet on it.