Buchholz not there yet
Clay Buchholz had produced three consecutive stellar starts for the first time in his career, but took a major step back tonight.
He had a 9-4 lead after four innings, but couldn’t even finish the fifth inning. In other words, he is now ineligible for the win.
This wouldn’t be so concerning if it wasn’t the second time it has happened to him this season. Remember on Aug. 2 in Baltimore, when Buchholz had leads of 6-0 and 9-7 and was pulled with nobody out in the fifth?
Obviously, he can be a tremendous pitcher when he is focused, as was the case when he faced Sabathia, Verlander and Halladay. But if the Red Sox are going to count on him heavily down the stretch, they can’t afford inconsistencies.
There is some thought that Buchholz could be the No. 3 starter in the playoffs, but he would have to really go on a roll to earn that faith from manager Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell.