|Closing Time: Clay Buchholz allows 2 home runs, Red Sox bats quiet again in loss to White Sox||06.21.16 at 10:04 pm ET|
It was not going to take much to send Fenway Park into a cacophony of boos with Clay Buchholz on the hill Tuesday night, and he didn’t keep them waiting.
Seconds after the first pitch left Buchholz’s hand in his first start since May 26, it was over the Green Monster for White Sox leadoff batter Tim Anderson’s first career home run — a fitting omen to begin what ultimately turned into a 3-1 loss for the Red Sox.
Following Anderson’s homer was a double off the wall for Adam Eaton, who would later be driven in on a Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly.
“When somebody jumps ship on you the first pitch of the game there’s not a whole lot you can do about it,” said Buchholz. “I’m worried about throwing a first-pitch strike right there, he put a good swing on it. Second pitch, pretty good pitch away. I guess looking back now if I start in against Eaton throw a cutter or something first pitch to him. But that was a pretty good pitch so you’ve got to tip your cap to both of those.”
In the fourth, Todd Frazier parked a home run of his own into the Monster seats.
When the dust settled, Buchholz went five innings, allowing four hits, and three runs, while striking out five and walking one. With the exception of the Frazier home run, Buchholz did put together a more solid outing after the first, allowing two hits and one run with four strikeouts over the next four innings.
“Well they smacked him in the face the first two pitches he threw,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “But he did settle in. … I felt he kept the game under control, [he] continues to build upon the most recent relief outing and then tonight. So unfortunately against a guy like Sale, two runs becomes a pretty surmountable deficit.”
There are inauspicious debuts, and then there’s how Clay Buchholz opened his return to the rotation on Tuesday night against the White Sox.
Facing Chicago’s Tim Anderson leading off, Buchholz served up a 426-foot homer to left field on his first pitch of the game.
The pitch, a high fastball, was supposed to be down, but Buchholz missed up and in, and Anderson crushed it over the Monster.
Buchholz followed by allowing a double to Adam Eaton on his second pitch before a Jose Abreu groundout and Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
Buchholz walked Todd Frazier before striking out Brett Lawrie swinging to end the frame.
Making his first start since May 26, Buchholz ended the inning with a 6.04 ERA.
Clay Buchholz returns to the Red Sox starting rotation on Tuesday when he takes the mound opposite White Sox ace Chris Sale in the second game of a four-game series.
The 2016 season hasn’t been kind to Buchholz, who is 3-6 with a 5.86 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Tuesday’s game will be his first start since May 26 after he was banished to the bullpen, where he was able to string together some decent outings. In his last appearance on Thursday, the right-hander tossed three scoreless frames in a 5-1 loss to the Orioles.
“If Clay can build on the three innings, and the majority of appearances coming out of the bullpen,” Sox manager John Farrell said after the Baltimore game, “we’re moving closer to what typically [has] been Clay’s performance level.”
In his nine-year career, Buchholz is 3-3 vs. Chicago with a 4.04 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in nine starts. He’s defeated the White Sox once already this year in arguably his best start. He allowed two runs on three hits in seven hits while striking out seven.
|Red Sox pregame notes: Brock Holt to begin rehab Monday, Ryan Hanigan could soon follow||06.20.16 at 5:40 pm ET|
Prior to Monday’s game, Red Sox manager John Farrell provided updates on the injuries to Brock Holt and Ryan Hanigan, as well as addressing the work being done to prepare pitcher Clay Buchholz for his start Tuesday — his first since being relegated to the bullpen in late May.
Holt is scheduled to make his first rehab start with the PawSox Monday in left field. The start will be his first game action following a concussion suffered while diving for a ball on May 10.
“He’ll go on a couple of days and then off a day then go back on for a couple of days with some innings progression building up to nine innings,” said Farrell. “That third game, we’ll get some left side of the infield work involving both short and third base. So we’ll reexamine things at the end of the week and see where he’s at.”
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Holt would play five innings Monday, seven innings Tuesday, nine innings Thursday and then be reevaluated.
With Holt’s imminent return, Farrell commented on how he will be reinstated in the lineup—especially with the success Chris Young has had in left field.
“Chris Young has done an excellent job in left. We’ll match up somewhat in left field, but I can’t say it’s going to be a strict platoon because it also gives us some flexibility to move Brock around the field,” said Farrell. “I think first and foremost getting Brock back would be a boost.”
In Hanigan’s case, a rehab stint could be due in the coming days after being placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 5 due to a neck strain that caused a bulging disk.
|After best outing of season, Clay Buchholz believes he’s ready to rejoin rotation||06.16.16 at 11:52 pm ET|
Clay Buchholz awaits word on his next move.
In the wake of Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Orioles, Red Sox manager John Farrell said left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez would make his next start. That was before Rodriguez huddled with Farrell, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, and pitching coach Carl Willis for a lengthy postgame discussion.
Rodriguez’s turn comes back around on Tuesday against the White Sox. If the Red Sox don’t need Buchholz then, his return to the rotation would nonetheless appear to be imminent, particularly if Rodriguez (6.97 ERA) continues struggling.
“I’m sure I’ll figure something out tomorrow,” Buchholz said. “I haven’t talked to anybody, though.”
Buchholz threw his three best innings of the season in Thursday’s loss, allowing two hits and striking out four. He didn’t walk anyone or allow a run.
“I had a couple weeks to sit back, look, and work on a couple different things without having to bring those into starting a baseball game,” he said. “I’ve felt like I’ve figured a couple of things out. It’s one outing, but definitely that felt like I know how I can throw a baseball. Not a whole lot of balls, being able to throw strike-one, throw off-speed pitches off of that. It’s probably the first time I’ve had a changeup all year. That’s the one pitch that got me to the big leagues, was a changeup. It’s tough for me to pitch without that pitch if I can’t throw it in different situations. It did feel good. I don’t know anything about what lies ahead.”
Buchholz explained why his changeup felt different.
The Red Sox needed Eduardo Rodriguez to take a step forward Thursday night and instead he took a step back.
The left-hander allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss as the Red Sox were blown out by the Orioles, 5-1.
“It comes down to more consistent location,” manager John Farrell said. “It’s not a matter of stuff. I thought he used a full assortment of pitches here tonight, a mix. Quality fastball in terms of just power, but it comes down to location.”
Rodriguez finished the night going just 4 1/3 innings allowing five runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out five. He struggled with getting ahead of the count and the Orioles were able take full advantage of balls left over the plate.
After a 10-pitch second inning with two strikeouts, Rodriguez went out in the third and allowed two runs on a mammoth home run off the bat of Adam Jones, well over the Green Monster. It scored No. 9 hitter Paul Janish, who walked to open the frame.
The Orioles added another in the fourth on an RBI double from Jones and two more on the fifth on a single by Chris Davis and a double by Jonathan Schoop.
“I just have to keep going and working to be better, that’s it,” Rodriguez said.
It was the first time he allowed more than three earned runs in a night game (15 starts). In his last five starts against the AL East, he’s allowed five earned runs in all five.
On the flip side, the Red Sox were shut down by rookie right-hander Tyler Wilson. He went eight shutout innings, scattering three hits, walking one and striking out six.
David Ortiz hit his 17th home run of the year in the ninth inning to snap the shutout. It was his 209th career home run at Fenway Park, breaking a tie with Jim Rice for third on the venue’s all-time list.
Matt Barnes (1 2/3 innings) and Clay Buchholz (three innings) did give the Red Sox 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Rodriguez has given up six home runs in four starts to right-handers, which matches the total number he allowed in 21 starts last year.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox loss
|Red Sox pregame notes: Multiple roster moves upcoming; Chris Young (quad) not considered serious||at 5:23 pm ET|
The Red Sox will have to make a roster move Friday to make room for starter Roenis Elias, but that might not be the only roster move of the weekend.
Manager John Farrell hinted the team will be making multiple roster moves in the coming days.
“Over the next couple of days we have some moving parts here,” he said. “There may be a couple of things that do take place, so what that first one is is going to be dependent on how we get through tonight one physically, and two, what kind of usage out of the bullpen we might go through tonight.”
It’s possible the team could have Elias start Friday and then send him back down to Triple-A Pawtucket. They may be viewing the fifth starter on a start-to-start basis as Elias did matchup best against the Mariners and their powerful left-handed bats. The next time through the rotation would come against the White Sox next Wednesday and Clay Buchholz could be called upon to make that start.
The White Sox as a team hit a little better against lefties — .257 to .242 this season. Also, Buchholz has had relative success against them for his career going 4-4 with a 4.04 ERA against them, including an outing earlier this year where he allowed two runs in seven innings.
Buchholz did tell WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford Thursday night, he feels he’s ready to start a game, despite not starting one since the end of May.
Also, Brock Holt is nearing his return from a concussion, so it’s possible he could be ready for a comeback, although it’s worth noting he hasn’t played in a game since May 18 and might need a rehab game or two.
It is certainly a situation to watch over the coming days.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|Red Sox pregame notes: ‘Potential [roster] changes upcoming'; Clay Buchholz still viewed as starter||06.15.16 at 5:32 pm ET|
Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Orioles, Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged that roster moves are on the horizon and updated the status of Clay Buchholz.
Between a lack of depth on the bench — especially from the left side of the plate — and pitcher Roenis Elias to be called up from Pawtucket on Friday, moves are expected to be made in the coming days that will shake up the look of the roster in Boston.
“We’re trying to get a left-handed compliment, and while Chris Young has done an outstanding job since taking over the everyday duties, we’re looking at how can we best match up if those needs arise late in games. And those alternatives are talked about internally,” said Farrell. “And with Roenis coming to us on Friday, we’ve got a little bit of roster — I don’t want to say shuffling — but some potential changes upcoming.”
Farrell added that while the team waits for the return of Brock Holt (concussion), they are looking at options in Pawtucket to fill their immediate needs on the bench.
He also commented on Buchholz as a reliever, and his progress to eventually find his way back into the starting rotation. Buchholz has appeared four times since being moved to the bullpen, pitching 6 1/3 innings for a 1-1 record with a 4.26 ERA. He has also held batters to a .174 average in that stretch, but did not get the nod for Friday’s start.
“I still view Clay as a starting pitcher, and yet performance is going to dictate that.” Farrell said. “He was disappointed by not being inserted in the rotation this turn through and I can respect that, but the reasons were given as to why. I will say this, since going to the bullpen, there’s every effort on his part being made to how to rectify the situations. … You see the physical abilities, the pitch mix, he’s got the tools to start, and yet the consistency was not there and that’s why he’s in the bullpen.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, making his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning, questioned whether David Price is worth the high price the Sox paid in the offseason. To hear the interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page.
Price pitched well Tuesday, at one point setting down 19 consecutive Orioles, but he was done in by two home runs in a 3-2 loss.
“When you pitch at the top of somebody’s rotation and you’re considered to be ‘the ace,’ you have to win 1-0 games,” Schilling said. “You have to win 2-1. You have to win 2-0. You have to win the games when your offense doesn’t score. Your offense’s output other than zero means less on the day you pitch than it does on other days, because you’re the ace. … When you’re up against somebody’s ace — which [Chris] Tillman was last night — you get the best of guys, so you have to be on top of your game. Last night he was good. [But] he got outpitched.”
Asked what Price would be scored on a scale of 1-10 for major league pitchers, Schilling said the left-hander is a 6.
“This is not the David Price they paid $217 million to get,” he said. “Stuff-wise, all of that stuff. I don’t think this is the guy. Last night when I saw him, the innings I was watching, he was 92-94 [mph]. The Price that you paid for was 96-98. I think it’s a natural regression. Your stuff starts to kind of go away [with age].”
Added Schilling: “His mechanics are not conducive to keeping his velocity up. I’ve said that all year long. If you watch him, every time he finishes delivering a pitch — for the most part — he’s a guy that stands straight up. He recoils a lot. And that’s not healthy for your arm. I’ve seen a lot of guys that do that — tons of guys that do that — and they lose their velocity faster than everybody else. It’s a physical thing.
“And the challenge is he was always that guy, the 200-inning guy and the ace guy, because his secondary stuff has never been exceptional. Which is OK, because he always had the velocity. But once the velocity starts to kick down, the secondary stuff has to get better, because if it stays the same it becomes even less effective. The innings that I watched last night he had a pretty good changeup. He struck out the side one inning. He had a decent changeup. But he’s never gone out there with a Clayton Kershaw curveball or a [Greg] Maddux changeup. He’s always had kind of average secondary stuff, I thought, in my opinion. And that’s a challenge when you lose your fastball.”
|Roenis Elias to start Friday vs. Mariners as Red Sox need 5th starter||06.14.16 at 5:02 pm ET|
The Red Sox went roughly three weeks without the need for a fifth starter with the number of off days that they’ve had recently, but they knew going into this weekend’s series against the Mariners, the need would be there.
With Clay Buchholz in the bullpen for a few weeks now and Joe Kelly suffering a groin injury in his last start with Triple-A Pawtucket, left-hander Roenis Elias will get the nod Friday night at Fenway against Seattle.
Rick Porcello will be pushed back to Saturday and David Price will start Sunday. Manager John Farrell noted Porcello was pushed back as a way to break up the left-handers in the series, opposed to Elias and Price going back-to-back.
“We looked at Seattle and the matchups and felt like a left-handed starter has proven to maybe negate some of their left-handed power, [Robinson] Cano, [Kyle] Seager particularly,” Farrell said. “This is as much matchup as the guys available to us. Roenis’ last four or five starts have been very good. Much more consistent. Felt like it’s time to take a look at him, particularly in this matchup.”
Farrell said it’s “possible” they go start-to-start with the No. 5 man in the rotation after Friday.
Elias was in the fifth starter competition during spring training, but lost the battle to Steven Wright. In 10 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket this year, he is 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA. He’s been better of late as over his last five starts he’s allowed two earned runs or less in four of them. In his last start on June 10, the 27-year-old went seven shutout innings to earn the win against Louisville.
The start could have special meaning for Elias as he will go up against the team who traded him this offseason as he was a thrown in in the trade that sent Carson Smith to the Red Sox for Wade Miley and reliever Jonathan Aro.
Elias does have some major league experience starting 49 games with the Mariners in 2014 and 2015 going 15-20 with a 3.97 ERA. He did pitch in one game for the Red Sox earlier this year when their bullpen was getting decimated. Elias pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief April 23 in Houston allowing three runs.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
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