Our own Matthew Pouliot wrote yesterday about Clay Buchholz’s struggles and wondered how much longer the Red Sox would leave him in the rotation.
Buchholz failed to make it out of the fourth inning yesterday as his ERA rose to 9.09, but afterward manager Bobby Valentine told reporters: “I have no plans to change him at this time.”
That obviously leaves the door open for a change in the near future and Valentine did note that “Clay’s performance is not what he wanted or I wanted it to be for sure … he left a lot of pitches in a real hittable zone and gave up a lot of hard-hit balls.’’
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes that Buchholz has allowed at least five earned runs in all six of his starts, but with Aaron Cook joining Daisuke Matsuzaka on the disabled list the Red Sox are almost forced to give him some more time to get back on track.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.