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Last chance for Clay Buchholz?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 11, 2012 08:39 AM

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As you plot ways to run Josh Beckett out of town, Clay Buchholz will start against the Indians tonight. Here's how his season has gone:

April 8 at Detroit: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 7 ER

April 14 vs. Tampa Bay: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER

April 20 vs. New York: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 ER

April 25 at Minnesota: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 ER

April 30 vs. Oakland: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER

May 6 vs. Baltimore: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER

Of the 119 qualified pitchers in in baseball, Buchholz has the highest ERA. It's not even close. He also has the highest WHIP (2.02) and FIP (7.63).

FIP is Fielding Independent Pitching, a statistic that measures results a pitcher can control: strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches, and home runs. It's more accurate than ERA.

(By the way, how inconsequential are win-loss records? Buchholz is 3-1.)

If Buchholz gets shelled again tonight, the Red Sox have some decisions to make. To keep running him out there would be to give up on the idea that winning matters. They would have to either option him to Triple A or find a reason to put him on the disabled list.

The issue then becomes replacing him in the rotation. Daisuke Matsuzaka is an option. The best starters in Pawtucket are Justin Germano (4-1, 2.29); Brandon Duckworth (4-0, 4.10), and Ross Ohlendorf (3-3, 4.55).

Sliding Matsuzaka into Buchholz's spot makes sense. If he's not the worst pitcher in baseball, he would be better.

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