I’ve seen Clay Buchholz pitch twice in person now. Once was back on May 21st against the Texas Rangers, when he threw 7.1 innings, struck out 4 and gave up 3 runs in a loss. A valiant effort, but a loss nonetheless. The Red Sox offense did nothing to pick him up that night, so Clay Buchholz couldn’t be blamed for everything on that particular night, as he did everything possible to keep the team in the game.
The 2nd time was last night, and it was a gem. His performance a couple of weeks ago was nothing like last night, though, when he shut down the Twins, scattering 3 hits over 8 innings and striking out 8 batters, while only walking 2.
Clay Buchholz was nothing short of perfect last night, and he needed to be, since the offense couldn’t do much of anything last night. That is, until Rusney Castillo drove in the lone run in the 7th last night with an RBI single. That was enough for Clay, as he didn’t need the extra help, at least on offense.
The only scare came in the 8th inning when Aaron Hicks drilled a ball to the right field wall, which Castillo made the play on thankfully. Other than that, the Twins never really looked like a threat offensively. They couldn’t put anything together, and that was thanks to Clay Buchholz’s brilliance on the mound.
The only thing stopping Clay from completing the shutout was that he wasn’t 100%, apparently. At least, that’s what Clay himself told the media after the game. Per the Boston Globe:
“Definitely didn’t feel 100 percent, but it wasn’t a reason for me to skip a start,” Buchholz said. “I told them I’d go out there, give them what I got, and fortunately I was able to give them eight innings. If it was any other day and I felt good and that’s how the game was going, I wouldn’t have let him take me out of the game. I was gassed. I’d rather give Koji a clean inning to work with rather than pull me in an inning with a runner on second base.”
If that’s the case, it makes Clay’s performance more impressive. He’s shown on more than one occasion this season that he’s capable of these types of performances. He just needs to do it a little more consistently.