Smoltz Takes The Mound...Buchholz Continues His White Hot Spring
Clay Buchholz took the mound yesterday for the Red Sox and was great again, pitching six innings and giving up one unearned run on three measly hits while walking none and whiffing three. He lowered his ERA to 0.79 (my newspaper says it is 0.46). This is his best spring ever and to NOT have him in the rotation will be tough. But he'll be pitching in nearby Pawtucket and will be just a phone call away. Here's the Boston pitching summary. Hey, Papelbon finally had a normal inning, even though it wasn't one of his 1-2-3 frames. Here you go...
Boston IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Clay Buchholz 6.0 3 1 0 0 3 0.79
Jonathan Papelbon 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 3.60
Hideki Okajima 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 2.70
Javier Lopez (S 1) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 1.80
The man himself, Clay Buchholz, said these bright and shining words...
"It’s the best spring that I’ve had,” said Buchholz, who gave up an unearned run on three hits over six innings in a 2-1 Red Sox win over the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. “I came into spring training ready to make this club, but they went out and got a couple of guys and they’re going to depend on those guys. I just have to stay in a good mind-set and be ready whenever they do call me."
In other HUGE Red Sox news, John Smoltz took the bullpen mound for the first time since his surgery. He threw only fastballs...for now. He tossed forty pitches and pitching Sox coach John Farrell said...
“I think today signifies in his mind that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.”
I see that shining light getting brighter every day. My goodness, when Smoltz progresses, it looks like we might see him at Fenway, doing what he does best, by mid-May. He had this to say..
“As I’m taking these steps forward, I have to tame the beast because, as much as in my mind, I know what I’m going to be able to get to, I want to get there faster than I’m probably capable of getting there. I have to consciously remember to take my time, even though that’s what I’ve been saying every day down here - ‘Take your time, take your time.’ As I told John Farrell,” Smoltz said, “I’m going to deliberately tone it down and not use my legs and my arm as much, even though I wanted to, really bad. I stuck with it. That’s probably the one thing I accomplished. Everything else up to this point really had nothing to do with pitching,” he said. “It had everything to do with strengthening and time. It was all part of the process, but until you get on the mound, there’s nothing like it.”
That's right, John...there's nothing like it, for you and for all of your fans. With Smoltz, the Boston Red Sox have seven starting pitchers ready and willing to go, go go. For now, it's just six. Boston has to make a decision. Will it be Wakefield and Penny or Buchholz or will it be Penny and Buchholz? That's a moot point if Penny isn't ready, so time will tell. The important thing is this...all our starting pitchers are happy and healthy and Smoltz is on his way back. I'm sure that makes Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International plus club officials and owners very happy. I'm happy, too. But Clay might be pitching too well to ship to Triple A Pawtucket. As the band Poco (remember them?) wrote and sang, "it's a good feeling to know."
I have to skedaddle...have a great Thurday, click on this post's title for more Sox news and as always, BE WELL. To life. To you. See ya. Please leave me a comment if you can. Thanks...answer this. What would your ideal Boston starting pitcher rotation be? I want to know, Constant Readers. I'll reply to every comment. Promise.