2 months ago Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was struggling to get out of the minors and today he is no worse than the teams 3rd best starter (and he just might be their 2nd best over the last 3 weeks). So what were the Red Sox thinking keeping him wasting away in the minors? I mean isn’t this the same guy who no-hit the Orioles 2 years ago?
2 Years ago Buchholz was a 23 year old kid, and I do mean kid. His head was not ready for the majors tho his arm was. His September call up that year was a good idea. He pitched 4 games. Now he pitched well (a 1.59 ERA) but it was just 4 relatively pressure free games at the end of a season that the Red Sox were not in playoff contention. But that 3-1 record and low ERA made expectations go thru the roof in the off season. Pretty heady stuff for a 23 year old kid.
2008 was a rude wake-up call-an ERA of nearly 7.00, a record of 2-9. Ouch. A little more seasoning(maturing) was needed.
So 2009 comes and the Red Sox had stockpiled their starting pitching with veterans so quite frankly there was no room on the Major League squad for Buchholz, until that is the veterans began to wilt. Buchholz bided his time in the minors. Well, kind of, Buchholz pitched well and his patience was running thin. He was ready for the majors and he knew it. Finally he got the call and he should never be demoted again.
All of a sudden Buchholz is somewhat of a saviour to a pitching staff which was depleted by old age and injuries. In 11 games he is 5-3 with an ERA of 3.93. How will he handle the pressure of starting a playoff game? You can bet ALOT better than he would have handlded it last year or the year before. We are going to find out in 4 weeks.