Let me begin this by saying I was always slow to the DFA Clay Buchholz bandwagon, however I was pretty close to getting on board. Maybe it was the fact that he looked like a meth addict while pitching or that he carried an ERA of over 7 for the first half of the season. With that said I never was fully there with DFAing him nor trading him for the expired bag of chips radio hosts like Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand were calling for in late June.
I know Boston is a “What Have You Done For Me Lately” kind of town, but I can’t remember any player getting ripped as much by fans and the media as Clay Buchholz. The guy entered the season as our 4th starter and ultimately tanked in the first half of the season. Look around to other teams and tell me how many teams fourth starters are playing well and I doubt those guys got nearly the amount of backlash as Buchholz without the past success Buchholz has on his resume. I’m not going to say I saw this epic turn around by Buchholz, but I will say I always wanted him on this roster for the depth he provides and I and everyone who wanted him DFA’d are probably very happy and humbled today.
Last night Claydro went out and dealt 6 ⅔ innings with 6 strikeouts to 0 walks and allowed just 1 run. Moreover, Buchholz has posted a near dominant 2.95 ERA since the All Star break whether that be as a starter or a reliever. Something I feel Buchholz hasn’t gotten enough credit with is that he has been able to start or come in as a reliever really at a moments notice and at this point I believe he has earned a spot in the Red Sox rotation as they enter the last few weeks of the season tied in first with the Toronto Blue Jays. I would even double down saying if Buchholz continues to pitch like this, I would consider giving him a spot in the rotation in the postseason.
I know this sounds like I’m giving into the hype and in a lot of ways I am. When it comes down to it, I trust Buchholz more than Wright if he’s healthy simply because of how they have pitched recently and the nature of the knuckleball. If you had said in June to me that I would rather have Buchholz pitch a playoff game over Stephen Wright who at the time led the American League in ERA, I would’ve said you’re out of your mind, but that is the nature of the long 162 game MLB season. Buchholz has always had great stuff, and his issues have always been mental. He looks like he has finally worked that out and it couldn’t be better timing for the Red Sox. Clay Buchholz deserves credit for what he has done for this team in the second half of the season. He has earned my trust and I believe he deserves yours. One thing is for sure, if the Red Sox want to make the playoffs, they will need Clay Buchholz to continue pitching the way he is.
Long live Claydro!