Red Sox Record for the Week of July 13: 1-2
In this edition of Dead Red, there’s some good news and bad news. The good? Over the weekend, Mike Lowell and Jed Lowrie came back from the DL while the disappointing shortstop Julio Lugo was designated for assignment. The bad? With the Yankees sweeping Detroit over the weekend and the Sox losing two of three to Toronto to start the unofficial second half of 2009, Boston enters Tuesday with a first-place tie with the Yanks.
There’s an old saying in baseball that says, “You can never have too much pitching.” In Boston, however, you certainly can. Young right-handed stud starter Clay Buchholz, famous for pitching a no-hitter in his second career major league start back in 2007, has been tearing up AAA in 2009. Surely GM Theo Epstein didn’t expect this, at least no so soon since Buchholz had a lousy 2008, going 2-9 with a 6.75 ERA in 15 starts with the big club. This is likely why Penny and Smoltz were signed in the first place -– the Sox didn’t think Buchholz would be ready to make that next big step (despite the no-hitter).
Unfortunately, with Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny, Jon Lester, and John Smoltz making up the current starting five (and Daisuke Matsuzaka rehabbing his shoulder), there has been no room for Buchholz to prove again he can pitch in the majors. That is, until Terry Francona made the unusual move of starting the second half of ’09 with a six-man rotation for its six-game road trip (Buchholz, Penny, Lester, Smoltz, Beckett, Wakefield, in that order).*
Last Friday night in Toronto, Buchholz got back to the big leagues at last, for one start only, and made his one night stand a good one, as he gave up only one run in 5.2 IP. As promising as his outing looked, Sox fans won’t see him again for a while as he was sent back down to Pawtucket the next day to make room on the 25-man roster for SS Jed Lowrie, who finally came off the DL Saturday and homered in his return to the Sox.