Clay Buchholz The 8th Inning Guy Is Off To A Roaring Start

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

Let’s use Clay Buchholz during one of the most crucial, pressure-inducing situations in the game on a consistent basis. I see absolutely no flaws in this thought process.

From the Boston Globe:

The eighth inning belongs to Clay Buchholz — at least some of the time, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.

In the latest reconfiguration of their bullpen, the Sox plan to use Buchholz as a set-up man for closer Craig Kimbrel.

“I want Clay to feel like that’s his place in this bullpen right now . . . You want guys to grab the opportunity and run with it.”

He’s running with it, John! Look at ‘em go! He’s flying! You can’t make this shit up. I mean, I know he had been pitching great for about a two-week stretch there, but that was in a completely different role(s). When I think of Clay Buchholz, the absolute last thing that I think of is some sort of mental warrior who thrives in high pressure situations. I actually laughed writing that sentence. He’s the exact opposite of that, and everybody knows it. What does it say to you that Buchholz could have an ERA of 1.88 over nine appearances coming into Monday night, and yet, STILL, nobody wanted this guy sniffing a mound with the game on the line?

I’ve written this before, because Evan Longoria has done this before — very recently, actually — but Longoria is the ONLY guy in that Rays lineup who you can’t let beat you. If it feels like Longoria kills the Red Sox every chance that he gets to kill the Red Sox, it’s because he does. That was his 30th career home run against the Red Sox. And the second I saw that ball sail past the moon, I knew that Buchholz was going to talk about how he only made one mistake, and blah, blah, blah.

Dick-high fastball.

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Longoria knew, Buchholz knew it, the umpire knew it, the crowd knew it, your mom knew it.

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Up by the fuckin’ light tower.

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By the way, Brad Ziegler has the flu and wasn’t even in the bullpen last night. I criticized John Farrell for using Buchholz in the eighth instead of Ziegler, but the beat writers didn’t share that minor piece of information until after the fact. Wasn’t important, I guess.


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One last note — Yoan Moncada Watch is officially on. Travis Shaw has been brutal at the plate, and Aaron Hill hasn’t been much better. I’m not crazy about bringing Moncada in here to play everyday, because he’s only played nine games at third base as a professional, but I’m starting to buy into the “he can’t be much worse than what’s already up here” line of thinking, especially since his bat and his speed will likely play at the major league level.

Final score: Rays 4, Red Sox 3