Clay Buchholz

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Clay Buchholz
Clay Buchholz on May 21, 2012.jpg
Buchholz with the Red Sox in 2012
Boston Red Sox – No. 11
Starting pitcher
Born: (1984-08-14) August 14, 1984 (age 30)
Lumberton, Texas
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 17, 2007 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
(through 2014 season)
Win-loss record 66–44
Earned run average 3.92
Strikeouts 699
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Clayton Daniel "Clay" Buchholz, nicknamed Bucks (born August 14, 1984) is an American professional baseball starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. On September 1, 2007, in just his second major league start, he recorded a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles, becoming the third MLB pitcher since 1900 to throw a no-hitter in his first or second start.[1] He is the first Red Sox rookie and 17th Red Sox pitcher to pitch a no-hitter.[1]

High school[edit]

Raised in Lumberton, Texas, Buchholz played baseball for the local youth baseball leagues, and then for the Lumberton High School Raiders coached by Mark Brevell.[2]

College Career[edit]

Buchholz began his college career in 2004 at McNeese State University. [3][4] He was subsequently dismissed from the McNeese baseball team after stealing 29 laptop computers from a middle school and selling them on the McNeese State University campus.

Buchholz then transferred to Angelina College. In 2005, while competing for the Roadrunners, Buchholz appeared in 15 games, winning 12 and losing 1.[5] His 1.05 ERA, seven complete games, and 129 strikeouts all stand as team records (through the 2010 season). He was also named an All-American in 2005.[6]

Winning % CG ERA Innings Pitched Hits Runs Earned Runs BB Strikeouts
92.3% 7 1.05 85.2 44 19 10 29 129

Professional Career[edit]

Minor Leagues[edit]

Buchholz was drafted by the Red Sox in the supplemental first round of the 2005 draft. The Red Sox obtained their supplemental pick, the 42nd overall, as compensation for losing free agent Pedro Martínez to the New York Mets.[5]

Buchholz pitched 41 13 innings for the Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League, compiling a record of 0–1 with 45 strikeouts in 15 starts. He then pitched for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Class-A Advanced) and the Greenville Drive (Class-A). Between the two teams, Buchholz struck out 140 and walked 33 in 119 innings while going 11–4.

Buchholz started his first spring training game in 2007 against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched 4 23 innings, gave up seven hits and three runs, and recorded three strikeouts. While competing for the Portland Sea Dogs in 2007, Buchholz played in fifteen games, winning 7 and losing 2. His success led him to be chosen to play in the All-Star Futures Game at AT&T Park.

Buchholz was promoted to the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple-A affiliate of the Red Sox, on July 8, 2007. He finished the Triple-A season with a 1–-L record, while recording 55 strikeouts, 13 walks, and a 3.96 era over eight starts in 38 23 Triple-A innings.

Boston Red Sox (2007-present)[edit]

2007 season[edit]

Buchholz made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 17, 2007 at Fenway Park. The Sox won the game 8–4 and he picked up the win, going six innings and giving up four runs (three earned). After the game, however, Buchholz was optioned to the Sox' Triple-A team in Pawtucket. "I got my feet wet," he said to a reporter. "I hope I can come back in September and help out."[7] Before Buchholz' first major league start, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said: "This kid can come up and pitch a no-hitter, and he's going to go back down... If he throws a no-hitter I may send him back with a present. But he's going back."[8]

No-hitter[edit]

In only his second career major league start on September 1, 2007, he became the first Boston Red Sox rookie to throw a no-hitter when he blanked the Baltimore Orioles 10–0. He threw 115 pitches, struck out nine, walked three, and hit Nick Markakis.[9] After the game, Buchholz told the media, "It's amazing. That's all I can say ... I'm in a blur right now." According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Buchholz became the third pitcher since 1900 to pitch a no-hitter in his first or second major league start. Bobo Holloman did it in his first start on May 6, 1953, for the St. Louis Browns at home against the Philadelphia Athletics, and Wilson Alvarez did it in his second start on August 11, 1991, for the Chicago White Sox at Baltimore.[9]

Buchholz became the eleventh Red Sox pitcher to throw a no-hitter in Fenway Park history, and the seventeenth[10] in Red Sox history.

Following the game, general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona each independently confirmed that they had spoken by phone to each other in the seventh and eighth innings concerning Buchholz' pitch count. He had not thrown more than 98 pitches in a game all year, and was threatening to significantly exceed that total if he finished the game. Epstein reported that in no way would Buchholz have been allowed to face a batter after reaching 120 pitches, expressing concern about excessive pitches potentially damaging such a young and inexperienced arm. Buchholz finished the game with 115 pitches, allowing Francona to escape what would have been an unpleasant decision to remove a pitcher from the game in which he was throwing a no-hitter.[11]

Buchholz' no-hitter was the third of a record-setting four caught by Jason Varitek. The first two were for Hideo Nomo and Derek Lowe (in which the final score was also 10–0); the fourth was Jon Lester's on May 19, 2008, against the Kansas City Royals, which was also the first no-hitter in major league play after Buchholz'.

Shut down[edit]

Buchholz pitched in two more games after the no-hitter, earning a win while pitching three innings of relief at Baltimore on September 6,[12] and taking a loss after a start of 4 23 innings at Toronto on September 19.[13]

When Buchholz experienced shoulder fatigue, Red Sox management made a decision to shut him down for 2007. Buchholz was left off the postseason roster but was still eligible to receive his first championship ring as the Red Sox eventually won the 2007 World Series in a 4-game sweep over the Colorado Rockies.[14]

2008 season[edit]

Buchholz pitching for the Portland Sea Dogs, Double-A affiliates of the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2008.

Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell stated that Buchholz would most likely be in line for 180–190 innings in the 2008 season.[15] On May 15, Buchholz was placed on the 15-day disabled list as the result of a torn fingernail.[16] He was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following the injury, and remained there for several weeks to work on his fastball. On July 11, he was recalled to Boston and was part of their regular pitching rotation, though he did not record a single win after his return. On August 20, as the Red Sox were trying to sweep the Orioles, the team that Buchholz had no-hit the preceding year, he gave up a 4–0 lead by allowing three runs in the second inning and two more in the third. He was removed after only pitching 2 13 innings. In his previous start, he had only lasted three innings. In 2008, the Red Sox were 3–12 in Buchholz' fifteen starts. After the game, Buchholz was demoted to Double-A Portland. Buchholz stated "I've never had a streak like this," and "I've never been one to say the pressure was too much for me, but I've felt like I've had a lot of weight on my shoulders just trying to be perfect and trying to do everything as well as I could to help this team win".[17] Following the 2008 season, Buchholz pitched in the Arizona Fall League.

2009 Season[edit]

Following spring training, Buchholz was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.[18]

In his eighth start at Pawtucket in 2009, Buchholz took a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Louisville Bats, but it was denied after a leadoff single; ultimately, he pitched a one-hit shutout.[19]

After a July 12 win before the All-Star break, Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced that Buchholz would be activated to pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 17, in order to give more time off to the starters who were in the All-Star game.[20] Buchholz went on to win the game, pitching five and two thirds innings, allowing four hits with one run, while walking three and striking out three. It was his first major league win since May 2, 2008.

The Red Sox pitching staff floundered in the second half of the year. Wakefield, Beckett and Lester were the only dependable starters in the first half (John Smoltz, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Brad Penny all had losing records). While Lester remained effective in the second half, Beckett began to struggle, and when All-Star Tim Wakefield was placed on the disabled list, Buchholz replaced him in the rotation. Buchholz' pitching down the stretch played a large role in helping the Red Sox make it into the playoffs (along with a strong return from Matsuzaka). He finished the season 7–4 with a 4.21 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 16 starts.

2010 Season[edit]

Buchholz delivered a strong first half of the 2010 season. On the strength of his 10–4 record, and a 2.45 ERA, he was selected to the American League All-Star Team. In the month of June, Buchholz went 3–1 with a 1.84 ERA, including a five-hit shutout at Baltimore on June 4[21] — his first shutout since his 2007 no-hitter. On the road in the season's first half, he went 5–1 with a 1.70 ERA. Though earning a spot on the roster, Buchholz was not called upon to pitch in the All-Star Game; he pulled a hamstring June 26 during an interleague game against the San Francisco Giants and was placed on the disabled list.

He made his first start after his stint on the DL on July 21 against Gio Gonzalez of the Oakland Athletics, pitching four innings, giving up five earned runs, with two strikeouts and three walks in a 6–4 loss. Buchholz returned to his pre-injury form after the start in Oakland by going 4–0 in August with a 1.03 ERA and winning the AL pitcher of the month award. Buchholz finished the season with a 17–7 record and 2.33 ERA, thereby finishing second in ERA to Felix Hernandez.[22] Buchholz finished sixth in the voting for the American League Cy Young Award, also won by Hernandez.[23]

2011 Season[edit]

Buchholz began the season as the number three starter in the Red Sox rotation. On April 10, Buchholz signed a 4-year contract extension, worth nearly $30 million.[24] On June 16, he went on the disabled list unexpectedly and in August it was reported that he had a stress fracture in his back. He then missed the rest of the season.[25] In 2011, Buchholz made 14 starts going 6-3 with a 3.48 ERA.

2012 Season[edit]

Buchholz started the 2012 season 8-2, winning four consecutive decisions. However, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list after he was hospitalized with a "gastrointestinal situation," stated then-manager Bobby Valentine. On August 16, Buchholz pitched an immaculate inning against the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth inning. He went on to win the game 6-3 in eight innings of work.[26] On June 26, he was diagnosed with esophagitis, an inflammation that damages tissues of the esophagus. For the 2012 year, Buchholz made 29 starts with an 11-8 record and a 4.56 ERA.

2013 Season[edit]

On April 14, Buchholz took a no-hitter into the top of the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays before allowing a hit. Buchholz went on to finish the month of April with a 5-0 record, followed by picking up his sixth win in his first start of May. This made his ERA in those six starts 1.01, to go with a win in every appearance. In April he was named Pitcher of the Month along with Matt Harvey. Buchholz was placed on the disabled list on June 18 due to a neck strain that had been bothering him since June 9,[27] causing him to be out until September 10. Buchholz won 3 of his 4 starts after returning from injury, finishing the regular season with a record of 12-1. In the postseason, Buchholz made 4 starts despite re-aggravating his shoulder injury and won his second World Series ring when the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games.[28]

Scouting report[edit]

Buchholz throws a four-seam fastball (90–94 mph) topping out at 96 and has reached 99 in the past, a two-seam fastball (89–93), a cutter (87–91), a curveball (75–79), and a straight changeup (78–81). Since 2010, he has not thrown a slider (78–81). In 2012, he threw a handful of splitters to left-handed hitters, but the pitch was thrown just 2% of the time the whole season.[29] His most commonly thrown pitch when ahead in the count is his 11–5 curveball. His repertoire does not vary greatly between left-handers and right-handers. Buchholz has never compiled large strikeout totals, but his changeup does have a high whiff rate of 45%.[30]

Major league statistics[edit]

Year Team G GS W L SV ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO CG SHO
2007 BOS 4 3 3 1 0 1.59 22.2 14 6 4 0 10 22 1 1
2008 BOS 16 15 2 9 0 6.75 76.0 93 63 57 11 41 72 1 0
2009 BOS 16 16 7 4 0 4.21 92.0 91 44 43 13 36 68 0 0
2010 BOS 28 28 17 7 0 2.33 173.2 142 55 45 9 67 120 1 1
2011 BOS 14 14 6 3 0 3.48 82.2 76 34 32 10 31 60 0 0
2012 BOS 29 29 11 8 0 4.56 189.1 187 104 96 25 64 129 2 1
2013 BOS 16 16 12 1 0 1.74 108.1 75 23 21 4 36 96 1 1
Total 7 years 123 121 58 33 0 3.60 744.2 678 329 298 72 285 567 6 4

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (August 21–27, 2006)
  • Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month (August 2006)
  • 2006 Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year
  • Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month (May 2007)
  • 2007 Futures Game All Star
  • 2007 Eastern League All Star
  • Eastern League Pitcher of the Week (June 25 – July 1, 2007)
  • Pitched a rookie no-hitter (September 1, 2007)
  • 2007 American League Player of the Week
  • MLB.com TYIB Single Game Performance of the Year (December 13, 2007)
  • Selected to the 2010 AL All-Star Team
  • American League Pitcher of the Month (August, 2010)
  • 2010 Guest Speaker of Lowell Spinners Alumni Dinner
  • Selected to the 2013 AL All-Star Team
  • 2013 World Series Champion

Charity Work[edit]

Buchholz has regularly supported the Jimmy Fund charity while a Red Sox. In November 2006, when he was Red Sox minor-league pitcher of the year, Buchholz was announced as a member of the New Stars for Young Stars team. In 2010, he was named Jimmy Fund Co-captain with Tim Wakefield. He signed on for the same role in 2011. He and Wakefield are the 2011 Spokesplayers for the Rally Against Cancer. [31]

In March 2011, he partnered with Charity Wines to release his own wine label under the Longball Cellars brand. Proceeds from sales of his ChardonClay chardonnay support the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber. He partners with teammate Jon Lester, who is also releasing a Charity Wine, called CabernAce, to raise money for the Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.[32]

Personal life[edit]

On November 14, 2009 he married Lindsay Clubine, a model on the TV show Deal or No Deal who was featured in People magazine's "100 Most Beautiful People."[33] Their first child, a daughter named Colbi Dawn, was born on August 4, 2010.[34]

He is related to pitcher Taylor Buchholz.[35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McPhillips, Alex (2007-09-02). "Rookie Buchholz no-hits Orioles". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  2. ^ "Clay Buchholz Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ Siegel, Alan (2007-08-17). "Buchholz a man among boys". GloucesterTimes.com. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  4. ^ Edes, Gordon (2006-03-31). "System stocked with talent many project will pitch in". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  5. ^ a b ESPN.com News Service. "In 2nd career start, Boston's Buchholz throws no-hitter on O's." September 1, 2007. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=270901102. Accessed September 2, 2007.
  6. ^ records
  7. ^ Buchholz earns his stripes – MLB.com
  8. ^ Busy day as Sox make moves – MLB.com
  9. ^ a b http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/09/01/orioles.redsox.ap/index.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  10. ^ The Official Site of The Boston Red Sox: News: Red Sox boast long list of no-hitters
  11. ^ No-no an affirmation to Sox front office
  12. ^ September 6, 2007 Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com
  13. ^ September 19, 2007 Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com
  14. ^ No postseason for Buchholz | redsox.com: News
  15. ^ Benjamin, Amalie (2008-02-13). "Twist regarding this turn?". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  16. ^ Red Sox updates and insights
  17. ^ "Buchholz's short night leads to Sox loss". redsox.com. 2008-08-21. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  18. ^ Sox Option Buchholz to Minors Yahoo Sports, April 4, 2009
  19. ^ Buchholz stays zeroed in for Pawtucket Boston Globe, May 26, 2009
  20. ^ Buchholz will Start Friday – Extra Bases
  21. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2010_06_04_bosmlb_balmlb_1&mode=wrap
  22. ^ 2010 American League Pitching Leaders - Baseball-Reference.com
  23. ^ 2010 Awards Voting - Baseball-Reference.com
  24. ^ Clay Buchholz Signs Extension, Becoming Latest Product of Red Sox Organizational Map | Boston Red Sox | NESN.com
  25. ^ Sean McAdam (August 1, 2011). "Buchholz has stress fracture, likely out for year". CSNNE. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  26. ^ Clay Buchholz injury update: Red Sox place RHP on 15-day disabled list - MLB - Sporting News
  27. ^ Periatt, Michael (June 18, 2013). "Neck strain lands Buchholz on 15-day disabled list". MLB.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Clay Buchholz is Back with the Boston Red Sox". 
  29. ^ MacPherson, Brian (June 7, 2012). "How adding a split-fingered fastball helped Buchholz get his changeup back". Providence Journal. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  30. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Clay Buchholz". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  31. ^ Clay Buchholz - The Players - Boston Red Sox- The Jimmy Fund
  32. ^ Charity Hop Sports Marketing :: Jon Lester & Clay Buchholz Charity Wines Unveiled for Boston
  33. ^ Shanahan, Mark; Goldstein, Meredith (November 14, 2009). "Wedding bells for Buchholz". The Boston Globe. 
  34. ^ We Hear: Clay Buchholz, Aerosmith, Wes Hayden and more... | Boston Herald
  35. ^ Abraham, Peter (November 15, 2010). "Clay's cousin could be a good find". The Boston Globe. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Justin Verlander
No-hitter pitcher
September 1, 2007
Succeeded by
Jon Lester