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Clay Buchholz scratched from final start due to back stiffness

Oct 2, 2010, 8:41 AM EDT

Clay Buchholz was scratched from his final start of the season today against the Yankees due to lower back stiffness, according to Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com.

Because of last night’s rainout, Tim Wakefield will oppose Andy Pettitte in the first game of a day-night doubleheader this afternoon.

Buchholz said he felt his lower back “grab” at him during his normal throwing session Friday, but also admitted that his back has been an issue over the past several starts.

“I would like to throw another [game]. [The back soreness]
has been there for the last five or six starts. It might have something
to do with the cold weather. [Monday in Chicago] was the first cold game
I’ve pitched in a while, and I had a couple of innings I was in the
dugout a little bit longer and then cranked it back up to 100 percent
once I got off the bench. It was one of those that’s in a sensitive
spot.”

Buchholz, 26, wraps up the year with 17-7 record to go along with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP over 28 starts. There was a little bit of intrigue going into his final scheduled start of the season, not only because he had a chance at 18 wins, but also because he could have won the ERA title over Felix Hernandez. For instance, he would have passed King Felix if he managed to pitch five shutout innings. 

Ah well, doesn’t matter now. Still a pretty fantastic season for Buchholz.  

  1. SouthofHeaven - Oct 2, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    Grandpa Tim vs. Grandpa Andy. Awesome.

  2. JBerardi - Oct 2, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Too bad, I was looking forward to his last start. Clay’s emergence as a starter has been the highlight of the Red Sox season, easily. If you watched him pitch back in ’07 and ’08, he was relying so heavily on his changeup and curve. Soon enough, MLB hitters learned to just lay off that stuff, he couldn’t really pound the zone with fastballs to keep them honest. He’d get into a jam and completely lose his shpadoinkle; I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a pitcher lose his composure on the mound the way Clay used to. Look at the guy now; all he does is pound the zone with hard stuff, and he never loses confidence in his ability to do that. He trusts the movement on his pitches to generate weakly hit balls and he trusts his defense to catch those balls. He’s completely reinvented his slider (which was his fourth best pitch originally) from a low 80s sweeper into a tight, low 90s pitch he actually calls a cutter (pitch/fx disagrees), and he’s dramatically improved the command and movement on his fastball. Both now generate lots of strikes and grounders for him. It’s not just that he’s become a different pitcher, he’s become almost the exact opposite of his former self. It’s really been a joy to watch.

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