Tag: Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

MLB sent Clay Buchholz a letter for stepping out of the batter’s box


Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz had a pretty good day on Monday, Opening Day across baseball. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings against the Phillies en route to an 8-0 win. He even made contact all three times he came to the plate, recording three ground outs.

It was what he did at the plate that ruffled some feathers. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Buchholz received a warning letter from Major League Baseball “informing” him that he had stepped out of the batter’s box. MLB has implemented some new measures with the intent of speeding up games. One of them is rule 6.02 (d):

(d) The following rule shall be in effect for all National Association Leagues:
(1) The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the batter’s time at bat, unless one of the following exceptions applies, in which case the batter may leave the batter’s box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate:
(i) The batter swings at a pitch;
(ii) The batter is forced out of the batter’s box by a pitch;
(iii) A member of either team requests and is granted “Time”;
(iv) A defensive player attempts a play on a runner at any base;
(v) The batter feints a bunt;
(vi) A wild pitch or passed ball occurs;
(vii) The pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound after receiving the ball; or
(viii) The catcher leaves the catcher’s box to give defensive signals.

Buchholz, to his credit, took the warning letter with a bit of humor, joking that he may only take two more plate appearances the rest of the season. Teammate David Ortiz found it amusing that Buchholz has already received a warning while he hasn’t. Ortiz has been an outspoken critic of the new pace-of-play rules.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Masahiro Tanaka

Blue Jays 6, Yankees 1:Masahiro Tanaka’s lowish velocity and poor results probably have everyone in Gotham clenching their sphincters at the moment because there’s really not a path to the playoffs without their putative ace being healthy and effective. And, in this game, his lack of effectiveness is probably going to make many wonder if he’s healthy. Not that getting shelled by the Blue Jays is going to be an uncommon thing for teams this year. A couple of bombs, a couple of manufactured runs and there’s a six-spot against you. That was plenty for Drew Hutchinson.

Tigers 4, Twins 0: David Price cruised for eight and two-thirds. And, to be honest, totally could’ve finished this shutout off if Brad Ausmus’ Manager3000 software hadn’t beeped upon encountering the “base runner on in the ninth inning” subroutine that mandated the Ausmusbot to bring in the Closer Unit. Didn’t matter, of course. Homers from J.D. Martinez homer and Alex Avila were all the Tigers needed. Oh, and welcome to Detroit Yoenis Cespedes.

Rockies 10, Brewers 0: Getting shut down by Kyle Kendrick while allowing him his damn self to get two hits off of you and having your best player get hurt in the same game is pretty bad. Having the other guys drop a 10-spot on your Opening Day starter in the same game? Even worse. But hey, last year the Brewers started strong and then faded. Maybe they’re gonna do it up different this time.

Red Sox 8, Phillies 0: Cole Hamels wasn’t traded to the Red Sox like so many thought he would be, but that doesn’t mean a deal of some sort wasn’t done. Like, say, Hamels being secretly enlisted as a Red Sox spy. I mean, sure, it’s far-fetched, but it’s way easier to ensure a Red Sox win by serving them up meatballs yourself than it is to play for them and trying to stop the other team from doing the same. Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez each hit two bombs and Clay Buchholz looked like an ace (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 9K) even if Curt Schilling doesn’t think he does.

Orioles 6, Rays 2: Trvis Snider had three hits, drove in two and flashed some pretty sweet defense as the O’s beat the Rays. Alejandro De Aza, Steve Pearce and Ryan Flaherty all hit homers.

Mets 3, Nationals 1: All that hand-wringing over Matt Harvey not starting the opener and everyone being stuck with old man Bartolo Colon amounts to the old man allowing one run over six while striking out eight. Four relievers held that lead, but one of them was not Jenrry Mejia, who felt stiffness in his right elbow while warming in the bullpen during the game. He’s supposed to be the closer this year so, yeah, yikes.

Royals 10, White Sox 1: If I remember my 2014 narratives correctly, this is more runs than the Royals scored all last year. Alex Rios had a three-run homer and two other hits. The Royals scored five runs in the seventh. Yordano Ventura gave everyone a scare when he crumpled to the ground in pain, but it turns out it was just a cramp. Jesus, dude, don’t freak us out like that.

Mariners 4, Angels 1: Mike Trout got his in the form of a solo homer in the first, but that’s all anyone got off King Felix, who was otherwise untouchable (7IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 10K). Trout struck out his other three times to the plate so I suppose 2015 is picking up where 2015 left off for all of these dudes.

Reds 5, Pirates 2: With Opening Day, the Reds’ opportunity to sign Johnny Cueto to an extension before he hits free agency basically ended, as he is not going to negotiate during the seasons. And with Opening Day, the Reds are reminded that they don’t have a pitcher anywhere as good as Johnny Cueto, who struck out ten in seven shutout innings. He didn’t get the win because of some unholy combination of Kevin Gregg, the Elias Sports Bureau and society, but he’s still the best pitcher they’ve developed and he’s gonna either get dealt or walk away because, I assume, someone decided that Homer Bailey needed to get paid.

Dodgers 6, Padres 3: Clayton Kershaw wasn’t at his best (if you can call striking out nine guys not being at you best) but Adrian Gonzalez was (3-for-5, HR, 2B 2 R) as was Jimmy Rollins, who hit broke a 3-3 tie with a three-run homer in the eighth. I watched this one with my kids because, as I’ve noted recently, they’re Dodgers fans now. They didn’t get my joke about how Craig Kimbrel has gotten to watch all kinds of great moment in Dodger Stadium in recent years without actually getting to participate in them. But Dodgers fans know what I’m talking about. As do Braves fans. Padres fans who had to endure that never-ending eighth inning without the team’s best reliever coming into the game are starting to grok it some too.

Braves 2, Marlins 1: A rain delay in a domed stadium which included the home team’s new star fall on his face because of the slippery track. The Brave may have lost their closer on Sunday, but their pen was just fine yesterday. It escaped a bases loaded no-out jam in the seventh to preserve a one run lead. Nick Markakis drove in both of the Braves’ runs. Julio Tehrean scattered eight hits.

Astros 2, Indians 0: Dallas Keuchel outdueled Cory Kluber, tossing seven shutout innings. The Astros’ runs scored on an RBI single and a sac fly. Not that Kluber was chopped liver. He had a no-hitter into the sixth. His first hit allowed, however, went to Jose Altuve who then stole second and scored on that George Springer single.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4: Madison Bumgarner picked up where he left off last year, scattering six hits across seven innings, allowing one run and picking up the win. The top three in the Giants’ order — Nori Aoki, Joe Panik and Angel Pagan — combined to go 8 for 14 with four runs scored and two driven in.

Athletics 8, Rangers 0: Sonny Gray took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Ben Zobrist had a two-run homer and a double. It was the first time the A’s had won an Opening Day game since 2005, which seems impossible, but it’s true.

Red Sox get a pair of two-homer games in beating Phillies

Dustin Pedroia

The Red Sox became the seventh team in 100 years to receive a pair of two-homer games on Opening Day in beating the Phillies on Monday.

Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez pulled off the feat, with Ramirez hitting a grand slam in the ninth to punctuate the 8-0 victory. Clay Buchholz pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, in his new role as Boston’s nominal ace.

The Red Sox also got a homer from Mookie Betts. Cole Hamels gave up four of the five bombs, with Hanley’s slam coming off Jake Diekman.

The 2009 Diamondbacks were the last two to have two players homer on Opening Day, with Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark going deep against the Rockies. In 2000, two teams did it: the Rangers with Gabe Kapler and Ivan Rodriguez and the Blue Jays with Shannon Stewart and Tony Batista.

Pedroia now has four Opening Day homers, tied for the most of any active player. Others with four include David Ortiz and Albert Pujols. Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Robinson have the most ever Opening Day homers with eight.

Red Sox, Rick Porcello agree to table extension talks during the season

Rick Porcello

WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that the Red Sox and Rick Porcello have agreed not to discuss a contract extension during the regular season. Porcello, who can become a free agent after the season, said he wants to focus on pitching, eschewing any potential distractions a contract negotiation might cause. The right-hander had said last month didn’t expect to negotiate a contract with the Red Sox anyway.

Porcello, 26, avoided arbitration with the Red Sox, agreeing on a one-year, $12.5 million salary for the 2014 season. He will serve as the No. 2 pitcher in the starting rotation for the Red Sox behind Clay Buchholz. He’s scheduled to make his 2015 season debut on Wednesday against Phillies starter Aaron Harang at Citizens Bank Park.

Porcello had the best season of his career in 2014, finishing with a 3.43 ERA and a 129/41 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings with the Tigers. In December, he was dealt to the Red Sox in the Yoenis Cespedes trade.

Curt Schilling says Clay Buchholz doesn’t want to be an ace


Death. Taxes. The sun rising in the east. Curt Schilling peddling bullcrap that, coincidentally, serves to bolster his own legend. These are among the few 100% inevitable things in the cosmos.

An example of that last one came yesterday when, in the course of a media conference call, Curt Schilling said that Clay Buchholz doesn’t have what it takes to be a No. 1 starter:

“Well, I don’t think he wants to be one,” Schilling said Wednesday in a conference call to promote ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. “I think there’s a level of commitment mentally and physically you have to have. You have to have a little bit of a dark side, I think, in the sense that losing has to hurt so bad that you do whatever you can do to make sure it never happens again. Clay is just kind of, ‘Hey, I’m going to pitch today.'”

Pretty classic Schilling in that he cites traits that he himself had and which no one can reasonably dispute and then he asserts that someone else doesn’t have them via mind reading or armchair psychiatry or what have you. As if every top starter for a contending club must be psychologically wired like a Hall of Fame-caliber guy. As if he knows what goes on in Clay Buchholz’s mind.

If you want to say that the Red Sox rotation has questions, say it. Because it does. If you want to say that Clay Buchholz has been an uneven pitcher and it’s not at all certain that he can fulfill his potential in 2015, say that too, because it’s possible. But please, spare me the “he doesn’t want it bad enough” jazz. Especially when your entire basis for saying that is “hey, when I pitched, I did, and that guy ain’t me.”

In other news, Curt Schilling pitched in the majors a mere eight years ago. Imagine how amazing his “these kids just don’t want it bad enough” game will be in another decade or so.