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Clay Buchholz

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2005 Bowman Sterling #CB Clay Buchholz

Clay Daniel Buchholz

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[edit] Biographical Information

In the 2005 college season, pitcher Clay Buchholz had a 1.14 ERA, fifth-lowest in Division I junior colleges while pitching for Angelina College. He was chosen as an All-American by Baseball America. He was then selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round of the 2005 amateur draft and was signed by scout Jim Robinson for $800,000. He made his pro debut that summer with the Lowell Spinners and went 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 15 starts. He began the next year with the Greenville Drive, where he was 9-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 21 starts before being promoted to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, where he posted a 2-0 record and a 1.13 ERA. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the Red Sox best pitching prospect and second best prospect overall.

Buchholz pitched the 6th inning of the 2007 Futures Game for the US. He allowed a homer to the first batter he faced, Canadian 1B Joey Votto, then struck out two of the next three to wrap up the inning. He made his major league debut for the Red Sox with a winning start against the Los Angeles Angels on August 17. He pitched a 10-0 no-hitter over the Baltimore Orioles on September 1, in his 2nd career start as an emergency fill-in for the injured Tim Wakefield. With Buchholz nearing his career high in innings pitched, manager Terry Francona decided to move him to the bullpen after that start instead of risking his young arm in the rotation.

Buchholz flirted with a second career no-hitter on April 14, 2013, when he defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-0. He held the Rays hitless through seven innings before allowing a broken bat single to Kelly Johnson to lead off the 8th inning. He then gave up another hit that inning, and Andrew Miller pitched the 9th inning to complete the combined shutout. He was the first American League pitcher to record four wins, beating the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, in the Sox's first home game since the tragic events at the Boston Marathon a week earlier. He continued to pitch lights out after that, finishing April with a 5-0 record. He had a 1.19 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings to earn the AL's Pitcher of the Month honors. He then became the first major league hurler to 6 wins when he shut down the Toronto Blue Jays on May 1st, giving up no runs on two hits in 7 innings as the Sox cruised to a 10-1 win. Not everyone was so impressed, however, as Jays broadcaster (and former major league pitcher) Dirk Hayhurst accused Clay of cheating by putting a foreign substance on the ball, showing pictures of a white substance on his left forearm on which he wiped the fingers of his throwing hand. Buchholz brushed aside the accusations, claiming he was simply using rosin, which is allowed. He improved to 7-0 on May 22nd when he defeated the Chicago White Sox, 6-2, giving up a single run over 7 innings. He was named to the All-Star team for the second time, although he had to immediately bow out due to an injury­, having pitched his last game on June 8th. He only returned to the mound on September 10th, when he pitched 5 scoreless innings to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-0 and improve his record to 10-0. His return was timely, as the Sox now had a form grip on first place in the AL East and were looking to him as one of their leaders on the mound in the upcoming postseason.

Buchholz has a good repertoire of pitches. He has a low- to mid-90's fastball complemented by a changeup of just under 80 mph and his out pitch, a looping 12-to-6 curveball which induces a lot of strikeouts.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time AL All-Star (2010 & 2013)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2010)
  • Won two World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2007 and 2013 (he did not play in the 2007 World Series)

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