How many times was Clay Buchholz the subject of trade rumors last winter?
Buchholz and prospects for Adrian Gonzalez. Or Miguel Cabrera. Or Joey Votto. Or Adam Dunn. Whether the trade talk was real or invented, he seemed like the right player to dangle if the Sox were going to make a big deal.
Now let me ask you this: Would you trade him straight up for any of those guys now?
The single most valuable commodity in baseball is young, talented starting pitching. Buchholz is 25, he will be paid $443,000 this season and he’s 15-5 with a 2.26 earned run average. Most GMs would do the electric slide across hot coals to get a guy like that.
The Red Sox are 17-5 in the games Buchholz has started and all that is coming in the toughest division in baseball.
Buchholz outlasted two rain delays today and threw six shutout innings against Toronto. The Jays, who leads the majors in home runs, put seven men on base against him but were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
“He’s becoming one of those pitchers that you can count on, which is very exciting for us,” Sox manger Terry Francona said.
Buchholz deftly parried a question about his contending for the Cy Young Award.
“I’m put here to pitch and try and help this team win. Whatever happens after that happens,” he said. “I think that can sort of step in the way if you think about it too much.”
As for other stuff:
* David Ortiz enjoyed his triple almost as much as his teammates did. “Yo, (expletive),” he shouted to Francona on his way out of the clubhouse. “I feel like I can lead off tomorrow.”
Strange but true: Papi, Johnny Damon and Carlos Guillen are the only AL hitters with at least one triple in the last 11 seasons. You could win a lot of bar bets with that one.
“He looked good running the bases. When he smells it he runs a lot harder,” Mike Lowell said. “Maybe we should put some chicken nuggets out there.”
* Felix Doubront has nine strikeouts and one walk in 6.2 innings as a reliever.
* Ryan Kalish snapped an 0-for-15 with that double in the eighth inning.
* Bill Hall is 3 for 4 against Shaun Marcum this season with three homers. He had connected on cutters the first two times, so he looked for a sinker and got it.
“When you make a mistake, he hits it a long way,” Francona said.
* Lowell reiterated his plans to retire after the season. As much as he has enjoyed playing this month, he still plans to hang it up.
That’s it from Fenway. Thanks to everybody for reading and commenting today. Back at it tomorrow.