BOSTON (CBS) — Clay Buchholz turned in another fine outing Tuesday night in the Red Sox’ 5-1 win over the San Diego Padres. Knuckleballer Steven Wright, meanwhile, remains shelved with a lingering shoulder injury. This means that, for better or worse, Buchholz’s spot in the Red Sox starting rotation could be secure.
Buchholz fired 6.2 innings Tuesday night against the Padres, allowing just one earned run on eight hits and no walks while striking out six. He is 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts since being moved to a bullpen/spot-start role and 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA overall since July 21. Now, in light of Wright’s injury, he may be in the rotation to stay.
“He’s pitching his best baseball of this year at the right time for us,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters after the game. “That’s why you can’t give Clay enough credit for the role he’s been put into, some of it by his own doing early on. Again, it’s how you finish and he’s finishing in good fashion.”
Buchholz has struggled with his consistency throughout his Red Sox career. He has gone on stretches where he looks unhittable, and others where he could not get anyone out. Prior to moving to the bullpen, Buchholz was 3-9 with a 5.91 ERA in 13 starts. The Jekyll-and-Hyde act continues for Buchholz as it has over the course of his career, but he is at least pitching well and feeling good at the best possible time, despite not having a consistent, defined role for the past two months.
“Regardless of the role, it’s a part of the game, and whenever my name is called, I try to go out there and give the team the best chance I can to win,” said Buchholz. “I’m feeling good right now.”
However Buchholz performs down the stretch, it’s becoming more apparent that he will ride out his season in the rotation.