Clay Buchholz is one win away from unbeaten history

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I’m not much for pitcher win-loss records, but this is still kind of neat.

Yesterday Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Yankees, improving to 11-0 with a 1.51 ERA on the season. Buchholz has been limited to just 14 starts because of injuries, but he’s one win away from tying the all-time record for most victories in a season without a loss.

Tom Zachary    1929   Yankees     12
CLAY BUCHHOLZ  2013   Red Sox     11
Dennis Lamp    1985   Blue Jays   11
Aaron Small    2005   Yankees     10
Howie Krist    1941   Cardinals   10

Buchholz is the only full-time starter on that list and his 1.51 ERA is by far the best of the bunch.

I’m of the opinion that knowing a pitcher has a 1.51 ERA, 90/34 K/BB ratio in 95 innings, and just two homers allowed in 14 starts is more than enough to tell you they’ve pitched incredibly well, but “11-0” still looks pretty cool and 12-0 would make some history.

Starters? Openers? Who cares? It’s the lack of offense killing the Brewers

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The talk of Game 5 of the NLCS — and, indeed, the talk of the postseason so far — has been the Brewers’ creative use of their pitching staff. Indeed, Craig Counsell calling for Brandon Woodruff, and removing Miley from the game after just one batter and five pitches, stands as one of the more audacious acts of bullpenning in recent memory.

In light of that strategy, it was tempting to compare and contrast the Brewers’ approach to that of the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw gave up an early run and, as has so often been the case lately, didn’t look super sharp early. But as the game wore on he got stronger, his curve got more devastating and he turned in an ace-like performance, leaving after seven innings of work, retiring the final 13 batters he faced. The Brewers may have an army of pitchers they throw at you, but the Dodgers, on this night, had a Hulk.

That’s all a lot of fun, and it was a tempting narrative to grab a hold of, but you know what? It doesn’t matter a bit. The fact of the matter is that the Brewers have scored two runs in the last 17 innings between Games 4 and 5. Two runs, with one of them being an oh-by-the-way run with out in the ninth tonight. They’ve only scored three runs in their last 24 innings. They could have a college of coaches using a murder of pitchers and they’d still be staring at being down 3-2 like they are right now because the bats have gone cold.

The presumptive NL MVP, Christian Yelich, was 0-for-4 in Game 5 and is only 3-for-20 with three singles in the entire NLCS. Ryan Braun is 5-for-21. Lorenzo Cain is 6-for-24. Games 3 and 4 have, obviously, been the big problems for the Brewers. In those games the entire team is batting .168 with 26 strikeouts and they are 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Craig Counsell could go back in time, bring back Pete Vukovich, Rollie Fingers, Teddy Higuera, Moose Haas and Jim Slaton, use them all for an inning and two-thirds each and it wouldn’t matter if the Brewers can’t score. That’s the story of the series so far. No matter how much we might want to talk about the pitching shenanigans, that’s the only thing that really matters.