Buchholz has been smoking hot for the Sox - And is your #3 Starter. (SawxBlog Illustration)
The doubt is now all but erased. Clay Buchholz is your number three starter today - and quite possibly your number one or two starter tomorrow. So lets take a look at three things that are making me happy on this beautiful Friday.
Clay Buchnuts - People are crediting Clay's recent success to going down to the minors and working on his mental state - while perfecting the plus pitches he already possessed. However, with that said - we both know that's complete hogwash. I tend to think that his future bride has to be be having some positive vibrations rolling his way in 2009, but I've also been looking for an excuse to post a picture of Lindsay here for awhile now, so who knows. In all seriousness though, Clay has been everything the Red Sox could have hoped for, and aside from the acquisition of V-Mart, he's been the stabilizing force for the Red Sox down this stretch run. The calm he's brought to Sox rotation has been astounding. When he's on the mound people are no longer looking to see how he performs, they aren't waiting for him to revert to his 2008 form - they're just expecting him to pitch well and get the win, and that's the strongest testament I can give to him. He has given faith back to the Faithful - and there's no eternal hope in October.
The Large Father - David Ortiz has placed the cape back on and has morphed back into Big Papi. I famously wrote David off back in early May, however I have to admit it - the slugger has shown perseverance that I wasn't sure he quite possessed. With him nearing in on 100 RBI you have to be happy with his production, especially with the slump and controversy he's dealt with this year. I still don't think we'll ever see the Big Papi we saw in the past, however he's certainly performed close to those standards in recent months, and we all know he shines brightest come October. With him hitting like Big Papi again the Sox line-up is at a fearsome level on par with teams of years past. Think about it. Pedroia, Youk, V-Mart, Bay, Papi. There's just nowhere for a pitcher to rest.
Big Papi is Dead. Long Live Big Papi.Where The Wild Things Are - The Wild Card is now all but in the Red Sox grasp, as the Magic Number has dropped down to three. Just to show how strange and weird the 2009 season has been, we can possibly find both the Yankees and Red Sox celebrating in NYC this weekend. The Sox with a playoff birth, and the Yankees with the AL East Title. It seems fitting though, and this weekend will be more about two teams feeling each other out than the heated games we've become accustomed between these two. But as always with the Sox and Yanks, you have to expect the unexpected with these two.