Daily Dose: High Five for Buchholz

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Clay Buchholz pitched his way into the Red Sox’s postseason rotation by going 7-3 with a 3.21 ERA through 14 starts, but turned in a disastrous outing Tuesday against the Blue Jays. Buchholz served up a career-high five homers after allowing a total of seven long balls through his first 84 innings this year, coughing up seven runs as his ERA rose nearly 20 percent.
Two of those homers came off the bat of Adam Lind, who chased Buchholz from the game and later took reliever Takashi Saito deep for his third blast of the night. Lind is fifth in the league with a .932 OPS, hitting .305 with 35 homers, 46 doubles, and 114 RBIs to show that his .318/.380/.509 line in the minors was no fluke despite posting a modest .745 OPS through his first 195 games with Toronto.
While the Red Sox clinched the Wild Card anyway thanks to the Rangers’ loss a few hours later, here are some other notes from around baseball …


* Josh Hamilton’s season officially came to an end Tuesday as the Rangers shut him down with a pinched nerve in his back. Hamilton’s first season in Texas was a great one, as he hit .304/.371/.530 with 32 homers and a league-leading 130 RBIs to rank seventh in the MVP balloting, but he was healthy enough for only 89 games this year while hitting .268/.315/.426 with 10 homers and 54 RBIs.
* Philadelphia’s much-maligned and ever-changing closer situation may finally have found a little bit of stability, as Ryan Madson followed up Sunday’s four-out save with a six-out save Tuesday. He certainly hasn’t been perfect when handed ninth-inning duties, but Madson has clearly been the Phillies’ best reliever all season with a 3.18 ERA and 76/21 K/BB ratio in 76.1 innings. He can do the job if they stick with him.
* Tuesday morning reports surfaced that Miguel Angel Sano had lowered his asking price after MLB was unable to verify his age and Tuesday night the Twins signed the 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic for $3.15 million. Considered by many to be the top international prospect available this year before questions about his age became the big story, Sano turned down offers from the Orioles and Pirates.
AL Quick Hits: Mark Teixeira homered in a comeback win Tuesday and leads the AL with 39 homers and 121 RBIs … Brian Roberts smacked his 56th double Tuesday to set a new MLB single-season record for switch-hitters … Minnesota and Detroit split Tuesday’s crucial doubleheader, with both games decided by a run … Scott Kazmir was a last-minute scratch from Tuesday’s start, but manager Mike Scioscia insisted that he’s physically fine … Jack Wilson (heal) has been shut for the year after hitting .224 with one homer in 31 games for the Mariners … Carl Crawford set a career-high Tuesday with his 60th steal, but only 16 have come in the second half … J.D. Drew went 3-for-4 with a homer Tuesday and now ranks second among AL outfielders with an .898 OPS … Jake Peavy’s final start has been pushed back to Friday against the Tigers lineup that he blanked for seven frames last time out … Josh Beckett (back) is on track to make his scheduled start Friday.
NL Quick Hits: Derrek Lee rejoined the lineup Tuesday after missing three starts with neck spasms, but exited early after fouling a ball off his foot … Tim Hudson struggled Tuesday as the Braves’ seven-game winning streak ended … Jamie Moyer might not be ready for the playoffs after straining his groin Tuesday … Aramis Ramirez missed Tuesday’s game because of shoulder soreness … Homer Bailey threw seven innings of one-run ball Tuesday, striking out seven with one walk … Ian Desmond homered and doubled Tuesday, and is hitting .305/.344/.542 in his first taste of MLB … Joel Pineiro was knocked around for seven runs Tuesday, serving up multiple homers for the first time all year … Jay Bruce went deep twice Tuesday, giving him four homers and 16 RBIs in 32 at-bats since coming off the disabled list … J.A. Happ allowed four runs while needing 120 pitches to record 17 outs Tuesday, but still notched his 12th victory … Tuesday’s complete-game shutout was Ryan Dempster’s first since 2001 and he now has a 1.39 ERA in five September starts.

MLB may introduce “tacky” baseballs in 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.

They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.

As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.

Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.

Here we go: Tim Tebow reports to Mets camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets speaks at a press conference after a work out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.

Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.

The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.

In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: