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Home » April 2010 Game CommentsApril 2010 » C.J. and the Heir

C.J. and the Heir

Despite the Red Sox lack of offense and eventual loss, this game showcased ace-in-the-making Clay Buchholz’s promise. Over six innings the slim starter allowed a mere three baserunners, permitting two singles and one base on balls.

Converted reliever C.J. Wilson matched him inning for inning across those six innings, turning almost the exact same line but with an additional walk. Wilson’s outs came mostly on the ground (13 ground outs to 4 fly outs) while Buchholz racked up the whiffs (10 total).

Both pitchers wavered in the seventh, hitting an invisible wall of ineffectualness. For Wilson, perhaps it was because he hasn’t been stretched out as a starter. For Buchholz, it could be his lack of major league experience. For both, it may have been an early season lack of stamina.

The Rangers took advantage of Buchholz’s weakening and capitalized on Josh Hamilton’s seventh inning leadoff double. The Red Sox starter betrayed a bit of nervousness when he wildly launched the ball past Kevin Youkilis after fielding Andres Blanco’s bunt. J.D. Drew ran in all the way from right field to track down the ball near the tarp. Adrian Beltre failed to catch Drew’s throw and Blanco ended up at third base and the third run of the inning scored. Thanks to the Red Sox defense the ball traveled about five times as far around the field than Blanco’s original bunt.

As exciting as the prior two come-from-behind wins were, Buchholz’s first six innings were what the Red Sox front office had in mind when they constructed its pitching rotation at the expense of the lineup. If the players learn how to play better together as the season wears on and if the other starters live up to Buchholz’s example, the team philosophy of run prevention may just work.

Game 16: April 22, 2010
3W: C.J. Wilson (1-1)
H: Darren O’Day (2)
S: Darren Oliver (1)
2B: Elvis Andrus (2), Josh Hamilton (6), David Murphy (2)
Red Sox
0L: Clay Buchholz (0-2)
No extra base hits

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