MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12: Pitcher Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox throws against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 12, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Clay Buchholz, ladies and gentlemen, is the stopper.
The Sox are an abysmal 2-7 over their last nine games, but 2-0 in the games started by Clay Buchholz. On those two nights? 16 innings, just the one run.
Clay was not quite the same shutout pitcher he was against the Orioles, giving up some good contact and long fly balls that in another park could have spelled trouble, but he certainly did what he had to tonight.
He set that precedent in the first, when after seeing a hard ground ball from Jose Reyes go for a leadoff triple (again!), he proceeded to strike out Omar Infante and Hanley Ramirez on changeups, and Giancarlo Stanton on a curveball to escape the inning unharmed.
He would pitch through the end of the sixth scoreless, as would Mark Buehrle before the Sox finally put a couple of runs on the board on hits from Will Middlebrooks, Kelly Shoppach, and Mike Aviles. While Clay proceeded to immediately give one back on a very long home run to Logan Morrison, he got out of the inning with the lead, and Vicente Padilla and Alfredo Aceves would hold onto it to snap the losing streak. All-in-all, it was seven innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts to just five hits and two walks for Clay.
It took a bit of luck to get this one between the size of the park and a baserunning error by Jose Reyes which spared the Sox from facing a bases loaded situation, but plenty of bad luck went their way as well, so it's a wash. For tonight, we take the win. Tomorrow, we hope just hope that the Sox will run with it.