Just a few short weeks ago, a three-game set involving the Red Sox and Yankees would have been just another series. The Sox were buried in the AL East cellar, double digit games out of first place and a seemingly reeling clubhouse. The scuttlebutt among local radio talking heads were that they may be sellers come the leagues trading deadline.
Buy, what a difference an 9-4 stretch can make at this crucial juncture, the All-Star Break. As it stands, the Sox are still in last place, but are now just 6.5 games back from the division leaders.
Granted, they are swinging the lumber much like we thought they could, and their pitching was bolstered last week by an absolute huge outing by the underachieving Rick Porcello, Boston has been riding the wave of of Clay Buchholz -- who is now on the Disabled List with a sore elbow.
Any baseball connoisseur will tell you that Buchholz has had the stuff of an ace for any MLB pitching staff. Although not the case early on, lately he has fit the bill. Buccholz is 6-2 in his last 8 appearances, 5 of which have been quality starts. The thing that impresses yours truly the most, is the 12 to 6 curve he can drop on a batter when in a groove, and man was he ever in one!
His ERA during this stretch has dropped more than 2 runs, and when the Bronx Bombers came to town this weekend, Buchholz had his chance to solidify his spot as the ace of the staff, and become the "big game" pitcher we've been wanting to see, only to be forced out of the game whit another nagging injury.
With questions concerning the starting staff all season long, having a stopper can heal many a mental wound on a dysfunctional corps. A lot could have been learned on Friday night regarding the direction of the Red Sox, and their temperature moving forward. Clay Buchholz may have been just what the doctor ordered, but now what Buccholz needs to order is a doctor!
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