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Home » August 2008 Game CommentsAugust 2008 » Hazy


Game 127: August 20, 2008
Red Sox 6 L: Clay Buchholz (2-9) 73-54, 1 game losing streak
WinOrioles 11 W: Chris Waters (2-0) 61-65, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: Last night the Orioles got back all of the hits and runs they were deprived of back on September 1, 2007. Is Clay Buchholz the next Billy Rohr but with a better story? Buchholz got the no-hitter while Rohr fell one hit short, Buchholz got the World Series ring while the 1967 Red Sox got to be runners-up in one of the best Fall Classics ever. Rohr’s major league career lasted a mere two years, Clay’s future is hazy.

I don’t have a living memory of Billy Rohr but I have seen clips from his auspicious debut on April 14, 1967, a game where the 21-year old carried a no-hitter into the ninth. His brush with baseball history happened in Yankee Stadium, which is probably why Rohr is still remembered. The game log dryly recounts the first out of the second half of the ninth inning as “Flyball: LF,” but the image of Carl Yastrzemski at full sprint to intercept Tom Tresh’s screamer is seared into my mind. In The Impossible Dream Remembered, Ken Coleman recounted the incident eloquently:

His drive to left over the head of Carl Yastrzemski left a rising trail of blue vapor… At the crack of the bat, Yaz broke back, being guided by some uncanny inner radar. Running as hard as a man fleeing an aroused nest of bees, Yaz dove in full stride and reached out with the glove hand in full extension, almost like Michelangelo’s Adam stretching out for the hand of God. At the apex of his dive, Yaz speared the ball, and for one moment of time that would never register on any clock, stood frozen in the air as if he were Liberty keeping the burning flame aloft.

It would be a pity if all that is remembered of Clay Buchholz is his moment of brilliance in a championship year, but I believe his demotion to Double-A Portland is but a temporary setback. If he doesn’t, the teenyboppers will tire of squealing at Jacoby Ellsbury’s every dive back to first.

The adulation of Ellsbury has reached Sizemorian proportions. Now, if only his production matched his Cleveland counterpart’s. The outfielder has seemingly snapped out of his June through July doldrums to retake the leadoff spot and lead the team to victory… but not last night.

Even though Chris Waters pitched with as much uncertainty as Buchholz, the Orioles starter settled down after a couple of innings and was supported by a surprisingly solid outing by the mercurial Dennis Sarfate.

At least Bartolo Colon is primed for big league action. Tonight he went four no-hit innings tonight against the Syracuse Sky Chiefs with a matched pair of walks and strikeouts. He’ll slip right in Buchholz’s spot, perhaps requiring the aid of a shoehorn.

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