There was a moment during yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays when Clay Buchholz reminded me of someone, but the thought was so unfair I had to wait until I did some further research on the matter.
And yet, there it is. Clay Buchholz today, Aug. 23, is 15-5 with a league-leading 2.26 ERA. On this day 11 years ago, another lanky Red Sox starter was 17-4 with a 2.52 ERA during which many consider one of the greatest pitching seasons in the modern era (I’m in the camp though that his 2000 campaign was better).
Maybe there’s some semblance of reason we should allow Buchholz to remind us of Pedro, yet it’s almost ridiculous to heap that sort of comparison upon him, and certainly, Buchholz isn’t going to go 23-4 like Martinez did, at the height of the steroid era nonetheless (His WHIP that year was a ridiculous .923, which looks absolutely gaudy next to his .737 in 2000). Yet, it’s not out of line to call Buchholz’s 2010 season the most dominant by a Red Sox pitcher since we watched Pedro at the top of his game earlier this decade.
Like Clemens and Martinez before him, Buchholz’s games are now appointment evenings. He’s a pleasure to watch, both in his on-mound presence and his filthy repertoire of pitches. As for whether or not he’s deserving of the Cy Young Award (ESPN.com’s Cy Young predictor currently has him third behind David Price and CC Sabathia…Jonathan Papelbon is actually ninth), it’s really a tossup. George King has presumably already cast his vote for CC Sabathia though nobody should really take issue with that choice. If Carl Pavano, on the other hand, merits consideration then so help me…