In the last game before the All-Star break, Clay Buchholz tossed a gem to help the Red Sox throttle the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Sunday.
First let’s take in the sight of seeing double-digit runs put up by the Red Sox offense yesterday and try to cherish it. The lineup definitely has potential to repeat performance, but they could return back to their putrid form after the break. So live in the moment Red Sox Nation! We may not see 11 runs again this year.
But really the story of the game was Buchholz and the show he put on from the mound yesterday. Clay pitched a complete game shutout, giving up just three hits with no walks while striking out a career-high 12 Astros. A start like this one means he has come full circle from those knee issues that may have messed with his mechanics.
Where does this rank among Buchholz career starts? I would put it at number two, behind the no-hitter against Baltimore in his second start. Sure he has had some solid postseason starts, but he hasn’t looked this dominant in nearly 14 months. Is he back for good? I think so. The second half of the Red Sox season may depend on it.
Or what the club may really need happened on the other side of the diamond yesterday. Brock Holt had a monster day, hitting a lead-off homer and finishing the day 5-for-6 and is batting .327! Combine that with the recent addition of Christian Vazquez at catcher and the late resurgence of Jackie Bradley Kr., Boston could have a scary lineup to face in August and September.
Most of the club gets the next few days off and Boston returns to action Friday at Fenway Park with the Kansas City Royals in town. They are eight games out of the second wildcard spot with nearly 70 games left on the schedule, so it isn’t time to throw in the towel just yet.