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Report: Clay Buchholz out for season with stress fracture

Aug 1, 2011, 8:16 AM EDT

buchholz throws reuters Reuters

Sean McAdam of is reporting that Clay Buccholz is suffering from a stress fracture in his lower back and that it is unlikely that he’ll be able to pitch again this season.

Erik Bedard looking better now, Red Sox Nation?

McAdam reports that Buchholz, will see a back specialist in Los Angeles today, but that this is second opinion territory. The fracture has already been diagnosed.

Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched since June 15th is 6-3 with a 3.48 ERA on the year. And that looks like it will be his final line.

  1. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:35 AM

    Bedard will be joining him shortly

    • patsandsox - Aug 1, 2011 at 6:13 PM

      Whats the over / under on starts for Beddard before he hits the DL? 5?

  2. Jack Marshall - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    Boston just had its best July ever, without Buchholtz, without Lowrie, with Lester disabled for two weeks, Beckett missing two starts and JD Drew useless. I think they’ll survive.

    • evanhartford - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:51 AM

      You can’t win a World Series without pitching.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:01 AM

        Good thing the playoffs will remove their only weakness, then: the back of the rotation.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:02 AM

        P.S. The ’09 Yankees say hi. An ace and two good pitchers plus a helluva good offense and bullpen.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        This is a bit different in my opinion. The Red Sox have two good starting pitchers and a bunch of bums. Who pitches a game 3 and 4. I can’t believe that anybody wouldn’t think this is an issue.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        The Sox have two aces, two below-average pitchers, and a #2 who may or may not stay healthy. (Bedard, I mean. I’m assuming Buchholz is done.) Aside from the Phillies, I don’t see that that puts them any worse off than anyone else. And a great offense and bullpen can mitigate the #3/#4 issue.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        I’m not saying it cannot be overcome, but throwing some combination of Lackey/Bedard/Wakefield out there has to be concerning for a Red Sox fan. It would concern me. I mean, the Phillies won the WS throwing out Brett Myers, Joe Blanton, and Jamie Moyer to go along with a young Hamels so I understand that it can absolutely be accomplished.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:42 AM

        Ari, you really think Lester has pitched like an ace this season? I mean he’s pitched very well, but an ace. Out of curiosity I checked his numbers versus Colon’s and Garcia’s on Fangraphs. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not real well versed in looking at those numbers but for the most part Lester’s doesn’t appear to be significantly better then either one of the others. In fact in a couple like WAR which I’ve seen you reference several times in various posts Lester’s numbers are actually worse. I only bring this up because while Colon and Garcia have pitched very well this season I doubt many fans even most Yankees fans would consider them “aces”. That’s just my opinion.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        Lester is pitching like an ace on a per-inning basis. Not at quite the elite level of a Sabathia or Lincecum or Verlander or the Phillies’ 3, but he’s still pitching like an ace.

        And there’s an important distinction to be made between pitching like an ace and BEING an ace. Colon absolutely is pitching like an ace. But considering him to be an ace is to say we think that he’s been an ace in the past and will continue to be an ace in the future. Lester has that consistent pedigree; Colon does not.

        Which is not to say that he can’t keep pitching like an ace. But the expectation is certainly lower than for Lester.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        Don’t know many aces walking three per nine and giving up more than a homer per nine, to be honest. Lester is an ace who is having a down year (by his standards), dipping down to merely “very good.”

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        Lester’s always walked 3 per 9. In fact, his walk rate is below his career average. He doesn’t have poor control, but he doesn’t have Cliff Lee control either, no. Doesn’t mean he isn’t an ace, but his average control does keep him from the HOF-esque performances of the absolute elite.

        As to the HRs, HR/FB is pretty fluky. Lester has the same xFIP he’s had for 2 2/3 seasons of acehood now.

        What’s more, I don’t *believe* that xFIP accounts for handedness in park factors. Obviously Sabathia is having a great season, but that’s mitigated *somewhat* (not much, just somewhat) by the fact that his park is great for lefthanders while Lester’s is pretty poor for lefthanders.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        Actually, one of my biggest qualms with xFIP is that it doesn’t account for park factors at all. It’s a context-neutral regression, which causes problems since A) some parks are going to be more forgiving to fly balls than others, and B) there’s evidence that pitchers do have some small degree of control over how many of their fly balls leave the yard (though most of the variance is noise).

    • uyf1950 - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:57 AM

      Jack, of course they will survive. But let’s not forget that in July the Red Sox played 17 of their 26 games against last place teams. That’s not going to be the case going forward. August and September is where the rubber meets the road so to speak.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:14 AM

        For the Yankees as well. In August they play 30 games, with 21 on the road and 9 at home. Be interesting to see where the two teams stand at the end.

      • Jack Marshall - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

        The Red Sox of 2011 are clones of the Red Sox of 1977. If they are hitting, they will beat anyone. They go into slumps together, and when they do, they might lose to anybody. Luckily, the 1977 Yankees aren’t chasing them.

        Look at the Red Sox road record. When was the last time you saw THAT? This, more than records against losing teams, is the measure of how solid they are.

        Lackey looks like he may have turned the corner—if so, he is not a below average #3 or #4 starter, and may be quite a bit better than that. Anyone who watched Wakefield’s game on Friday knows that he still has a great knuckleball, and is essentially the same pitcher he has always been.

        The anti-Red Sox, pro-Phillies crowd is whistling in the dark.

  3. Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    Weird. When the Red Sox look to be coming up short on good pitchers, it’s acceptable to look at the results. Wonder why that isn’t the case for other teams.

    And yes, I think Boston can be plenty competitive in the post-season with Lester, Beckett, that offense and the bullpen.

    • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      Oh, poor Yankees. Why don’t people give you the credit you deserve?

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:41 AM

        I just find it odd that people are writing off the Yankees’ pitching when their team (and starter) ERA/FIP matches up with or beats every other contender’s.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        No doubt their #2/#3 have been very good. But there are doubts he can keep it up, considering his health and performance record of the last few years. A difference between peripherals and results aren’t the only level on which someone can be lucky or unlucky; the peripherals themselves can be fluky.

        What’s more, it’s the fact that with the Yankees we’re talking about the front of the rotation, not the back. If either of them (let alone both) falters, the Yankees’ rotation will be pretty weak.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:57 AM

        We’re four months in. Pizza Cutter’s research on when pitching stats stabilize seems to have disappeared off the interwebs, but I definitely recall the FIP components stabilizing before this point, so I’m not sure why you keep insisting the peripherals are fluky. The Red Sox have two very good/excellent starters and one who should be good if healthy. The Yankees have one part of the three-headed Cy Young race and two starters who should be good if healthy. Boston has more certainty at the #2 spot. That’s it.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:00 AM

        I take one part of that back. Walks, strikeouts and contact types have stabilized. You could argue Freddy’s due for a few more fly balls to start leaving the park. But even xFIP has him as an above-average starter.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        I think on that rare occasion that we need to stop looking at projects and start looking at the reality. All season I have heard and read how Colon and Garcia would be lucky to make it through the 1st have of the season projects are, etc… Well we are now 2/3rd’s into the season and without exception Colon and Garcia have been more resilient then their younger supposedly better fit counter parts on the Red Sox (Beckett, Buchholz, Lester and obviously Dice K). It’s time to stop with the projection and accept the reality and realize sometimes projection are just plain off. That’s my opinion.

        I do have one other comment for Ari. Why is it nearly every time a Yankees fan in this case Kevin S confronts you about one or more of your comments or stats interpretation with a clear and concise argument you always fall back on the “oh, poor Yankees” bit? Seems to me to be a bit disingenuous on your part. At least that’s my opinion.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:33 AM

        oops, where I say “projects” it should actually be projections. Somehow the “ion” is missing after the t and before the s. Sorry about that.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        The “Oh, poor Yankees,” was in reference to the woe-is-us we-can’t-get-no-respect sentiment. Not to the argument itself, which I disagree with, but respect.

        We’ll see on Colon and Garcia. Should be fun either way.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM

        It wasn’t about the lack of respect, it was about the inconsistency of the arguments.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        My argument isn’t inconsistent; as I said, it’s about questioning the sustainability for Colon and Garcia. The Sox pitchers are pitching right at their usual levels, so we shouldn’t expect regression. [Except for possible positive regression from Lackey (and Hughes), depending on wtf is actually going on there.]

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        You’d have to be expecting a pretty significant regression to make up for the fact that the Yankees have significantly out-pitched the Red Sox this year.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    He looks like a whitetrash leprechaun.

  5. Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    We also seem to be forgetting that a fourth starter will be needed in the playoffs, and either Nova or Burnett would have a fairly significant advantage over anybody else the Red Sox could come up with. If Bedard goes down, the Yanks get an even greater advantage, even if one of Colon/Garcia is also unavailable.

    • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      Lackey’s turned it around a lot since July (and possibly before, too lazy to check). Not saying the Yankees don’t have an advantage at #4, just that it might be less than you think.

      The Sox make up for it somewhat, of course, with a slightly better offense.

      All this could be fixed if the Sox went with a 3-man rotation, which they could do, especially if they win the division and get to pick the schedule. But Francona’s always been against that. And, hey it’s served them pretty well in the playoffs so far, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too too much.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:46 AM

        I’m pretty sure picking the schedule is only for the #1 seed in the league that wins the ASG. As for Lackey, I had been under the impression that various non-baseball factors were messing with his head to the point that he just wasn’t in a good enough mental place to contribute. Though it obviously does help the Sox out (he’s much better than he’s pitched this year), I do hope for his sake that he does have things sorted out.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 1, 2011 at 10:51 AM

        Just looked up Lackey. In his last six starts, he got shellacked once. The other five varied between decent and excellent. Only walked four guys over those six starts, btw.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:02 AM

        You might be right on the ASG. Moot point for the Sox probably, but interesting nonetheless.

  6. psousa1 - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Pretty good friggin bullpen for those Sox……………………..

  7. derpdederpdederp - Aug 1, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    shouldve traded him for Doc when they had the chance

  8. patsandsox - Aug 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Somebody said the Yankees have consistanly outpitched the Red Sox this season?

    Remind me again what their head to head record is this season.

    It seems to me the Yankees have not pitched too well in those games.

    If the commentor meant the Yankees had pitched well in games against other teams than it makes a little sense.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:48 PM

      It’s referring to overall:

      Yanks – 2nd
      Red Sox – 5th

      Yanks – 3rd
      Red Sox – 6th

      Yanks – 3rd
      Red Sox – 11th

    • Kevin S. - Aug 2, 2011 at 6:42 AM

      Yeah, when I talk about how well a team has done, I generally don’t ignore nearly 100 games from the sample. Sox fans sure enjoyed chirping about head-to-head at the start of ’09, though. How’d that work out for you?

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