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For the last time, it's spelled BUCHHOLZ


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#151 Steve Dillard


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 10:30 AM

I wonder if one option for September is going with a 6-man rotation--Beckett, Dice, Schill, Wake, Lester & Double H--assuming Wake's back improves


Did anyone ask Theo or Tito what the plans are going forward? With Lester today, they're doing more than subbing for Wake, and are going for the 6 man. Is that just for one turn through the rotation, or a glide toward the playoffs to rest the existing guys more? Seems like a significant development - did it go unasked because of the Buchholz no-hitter euphoria?

#152 OttoC


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 10:32 AM

I used GameDay data to plot a scatter diagram of Buchholz's pitches by type. The view is from the pitcher to home plate and I only have a crude approximation of the strike zone based on called balls and strikes. The left, right and bottom sides include all called strikes and exclude all called balls. The top is extended to exclude any high called balls...all the called strikes seemed too low to serve as the ceiling. Different classes of events--called strikes, swinging strikes, fouled strikes, called balls, and balls put into play--are differently colored and using have different shapes (see chart legend). Because this is GameDay data and not Enhanced GameDay data, the pitch locations were entered by the operator by hand.

Chart

Two things of note are 1) Buchholz didn't seem to throw any pitches over the middle of the plate and 2) he got more swinging strikes (10) low out of the strike zone than he did in the strike zone (7)...change-up?

Edited by OttoC, 02 September 2007 - 10:45 AM.


#153 Comfortably Lomb


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 10:48 AM

Just make a quick adjustment on your #2, change innings to # pitches per season, and you're all set.

It's not just the # of pitches though, it's the number of innings as well. The cooling down then going back out there to amp up again also takes a toll. Really, if this start did anything for the rest of his season it's that the Sox will now baby him even more than before.

#154 amarshal2

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:00 AM

I used GameDay data to plot a scatter diagram of Buchholz's pitches by type. The view is from the pitcher to home plate and I only have a crude approximation of the strike zone based on called balls and strikes. The left, right and bottom sides include all called strikes and exclude all called balls. The top is extended to exclude any high called balls...all the called strikes seemed too low to serve as the ceiling. Different classes of events--called strikes, swinging strikes, fouled strikes, called balls, and balls put into play--are differently colored and using have different shapes (see chart legend). Because this is GameDay data and not Enhanced GameDay data, the pitch locations were entered by the operator by hand.

Chart

Two things of note are 1) Buchholz didn't seem to throw any pitches over the middle of the plate and 2) he got more swinging strikes (10) low out of the strike zone than he did in the strike zone (7)...change-up?


He missed up and in a lot.

#155 mabrowndog


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:02 AM

A fan's home video from the grandstand behind and to the left of home plate. Aside from the girl having an orgasm in the background, this is pretty cool.

<object width="425" height="353"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.c...></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.c.../v/U8k5Pfg-TBU" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="353"></embed></object>

#156 ngruz25


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:07 AM

That was a pretty terrible strike three call from Joe West.

#157 exGloucester

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:20 AM

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That was a pretty terrible strike three call from Joe West.
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It looked like a gift to me. Clay needs to put West on his Christmas card list.

#158 Chico Walker and the Man

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:23 AM

That was a pretty terrible strike three call from Joe West.


I agree....way to cavalier and not in the spirit of the moment. I suppose you could argue that he is an impartial official, and that his job requires him to be objective, and blah, blah, blah......but how many umpires call a first strike as emphatically as a third srike? I'm mostly joking, but he could have added a little more.

Last night was one of those moments. I went upstairs, woke up my son, and watched the ninth with him and my wife. I hope he remembers it, there are still some teams that have never in their history had a no-hitter. With the Mets, for example, that's a span of over 40 years.

#159 amarshal2

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:24 AM

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That was a pretty terrible strike three call from Joe West.
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It looked like a gift to me. Clay needs to put West on his Christmas card list.


Nah. He was calling the curve that was higher in the zone all night long a ball. To be consistent it was only appropriate that he called one that looked a bit low. His strike zone with the curve was just strange all night long.

#160 mfried

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:26 AM

Nah. He was calling the curve that was higher in the zone all night long a ball. To be consistent it was only appropriate that he called one that looked a bit low. His strike zone with the curve was just strange all night long.


I'm not convinced that as it passed Markakis it wasn't high enough. Was it outside? If so, barely.

#161 GreyisGone

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:30 AM

I'm not convinced that as it passed Markakis it wasn't high enough. Was it outside? If so, barely.

According to gameday, it was a strike and not all that close either.

If you look at the gif in the previous page on here, the ball crosses the plate at the 2nd to last dot and it looks well in the strikezone.

#162 amarshal2

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:30 AM

I'm not convinced that as it passed Markakis it wasn't high enough. Was it outside? If so, barely.


Yeah. His hammer was really breaking last night. It's entirely possible that the earlier curves were too high when they passed the batter and those curves that look low were actually the ones in the zone. What a pitch.

#163 Razor Shines

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:38 AM

It looked like a gift to me. Clay needs to put West on his Christmas card list.

Is this sarcasm? That last curve was as good of a strike as you can get without hanging the pitch.

The ump's call was a little slow, and for a split second I thought he called it a ball, and started to yell something at the tv (but "FUH..." was as far as I got before he rung him up).

#164 DieHard3


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:39 AM

I'm not convinced that as it passed Markakis it wasn't high enough. Was it outside? If so, barely.


Wow! I don't think there was anything wrong with that pitch. I said strike three out loud before West called it. I would have been fuming if that hadn't been it.

On Buchholz's workload and what last night says about their willingness to stretch things, I don't think the relevant number to compare is the 155-160 innings limit with the 120 pitch absolute maximum number of pitches they were willing to let him throw last night. I think you have to believe that if he'd given up a hit in the 6th or 7th, he would have been out after ~95 pitches at the end of the seventh. I think the 155-160 innings limit is akin to what would be a 100 pitch limit in a normal start.

They'll stretch the 155-160 to 175-180 if he shows he belongs on the postseason roster. Like others, I don't think he's going to displace any of the top four starters IF they're healthy, but any one of them could break down between now and October, some more likely than others.

The postseason pitching staff as I see it right now is Beckett, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Schilling, Papelbon, Okajima, Gagne, Timlin, Lopez, Delcarmen for sure. That's 10. The 11th should come down to who is the best pitcher out of the bullpen in a long-relief role between Snyder, Tavarez, Lester, and Buchholz. We know the rumor is that Lester can't pitch in relief. So it seems to be between the other three. Buchholz isn't going to be overworked as the 11th man on a playoff pitching staff, but he might be able to help the team steal a win or two in that role. I see this as a no brainer, pending another 15-20 regular season innings.

#165 dcmissle


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 11:46 AM

Wow! ...

They'll stretch the 155-160 to 175-180 if he shows he belongs on the postseason roster. Like others, I don't think he's going to displace any of the top four starters IF they're healthy, but any one of them could break down between now and October, some more likely than others.

The postseason pitching staff as I see it right now is Beckett, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Schilling, Papelbon, Okajima, Gagne, Timlin, Lopez, Delcarmen for sure. That's 10. The 11th should come down to who is the best pitcher out of the bullpen in a long-relief role between Snyder, Tavarez, Lester, and Buchholz. We know the rumor is that Lester can't pitch in relief. So it seems to be between the other three. Buchholz isn't going to be overworked as the 11th man on a playoff pitching staff, but he might be able to help the team steal a win or two in that role. I see this as a no brainer, pending another 15-20 regular season innings.


Wow is right. This is twice now that Buchholz has provided a badly needed spark. Two games is no sample, but I feel better with him out there than any other starter with the exception of Beckett. Without a hint of what was to come, I felt pretty confident going into last night's game -- in contrast to both Friday's and today's, for example. He has the capacity to dominate good major league hitters, and no other starter on this staff save Beckett has it.

#166 Pumpsie


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:02 PM

Wow! I don't think there was anything wrong with that pitch. I said strike three out loud before West called it. I would have been fuming if that hadn't been it.


Same here. That was a great pitch. But they were all great pitches. Looking at Otto's chart we can clearly see that Buchholz threw a perfect game in that of his 115 pitches he threw no strikes over the middle of the plate. None. That's amazing.

I also think that Joe West had a great game. He only missed a couple of big curves all day.

#167 William Robertson

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:02 PM

I'm gonna go alternative here and say I like the way West called the last strike. The pause lasted just long enough to dump a huge load of adrenaline into my heart, and then I could rejoice all the more when he made the call. As far as the somewhat unexcited manner of the call, I think that is somewhat appropriate as an indicator that he's not too much into it himself, so that the call can be trusted. I would think nine umps out of 10 would tend to be overly generous to the pitcher on that last strike, and a huge third strike display would reinforce that thought.

#168 ragnarok725

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:03 PM

They'll stretch the 155-160 to 175-180 if he shows he belongs on the postseason roster. Like others, I don't think he's going to displace any of the top four starters IF they're healthy, but any one of them could break down between now and October, some more likely than others.

The postseason pitching staff as I see it right now is Beckett, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Schilling, Papelbon, Okajima, Gagne, Timlin, Lopez, Delcarmen for sure. That's 10. The 11th should come down to who is the best pitcher out of the bullpen in a long-relief role between Snyder, Tavarez, Lester, and Buchholz. We know the rumor is that Lester can't pitch in relief. So it seems to be between the other three. Buchholz isn't going to be overworked as the 11th man on a playoff pitching staff, but he might be able to help the team steal a win or two in that role. I see this as a no brainer, pending another 15-20 regular season innings.

I think DH3 is exactly right. They'll stretch to 175-180 IP just like they stretched to 115 pitches tonight if they believe he's a good bet to help the Sox do something special.

But what does this mean for the rotation for the rest of the year? If he's in the rotation for September then he'll probably be around 175 before the playoffs even start. So does he make a couple more starts then gear up for a relief role? Does he make starts until the Sox have clinched it? Or does he just start until Wake is ready to reclaim his spot? It's going to be really interesting how they handle this and of course a lot of it rests on how well Clay continues to perform after last night. He certainly was not perfect. There were some hard-hit balls at fielders and he put 4 guys on despite the no-no. Theo said it was the best he's ever seen his FB command. So what happens when it's not quite as good? We'll see - I think Clay winds up making these decisions for the FO with his performance going forward.

#169 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:10 PM

I would like to see Clay work out of the pen the rest of the regular season, in a kind of Joba role. If Gagne can't get his shit together- than Buchholz becomes the top RH set up man in the playoffs. Hell, even if Gagne does get it together, it gives you Okajima, Gagne, Delcarmen, and Buchholz to go to with a lead in the 7th and 8th innings. Lots of flexibility, esp. since Timlin and Lopez aren't awful pitchers either.

Phenomenal game that might even make the doubters love this team...it certainly gives them an identity, for whatever that's worth. I like the Sox having a weapon in the post-season, a la K-Rod, Papelbon, Jenks, etc. that many teams probably won't have seen which is why I'd be conservative with him the rest of the regular season and hope to give him some big spots in the post-season.

#170 dcmissle


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:30 PM

I would like to see Clay work out of the pen the rest of the regular season, in a kind of Joba role. If Gagne can't get his shit together- than Buchholz becomes the top RH set up man in the playoffs. Hell, even if Gagne does get it together, it gives you Okajima, Gagne, Delcarmen, and Buchholz to go to with a lead in the 7th and 8th innings. Lots of flexibility, esp. since Timlin and Lopez aren't awful pitchers either.

Phenomenal game that might even make the doubters love this team...it certainly gives them an identity, for whatever that's worth. I like the Sox having a weapon in the post-season, a la K-Rod, Papelbon, Jenks, etc. that many teams probably won't have seen which is why I'd be conservative with him the rest of the regular season and hope to give him some big spots in the post-season.



I agree. Although his best use is starting, it would take phenomenal stones to throw him out there in that capacity in the post-season, even though he seems to have the make up and the stuff to get the job done. The rub is there aren't sufficient innings left in his tank to ensure sufficient preparation. A K-Rod role would be terrific.

But that may be presumptuous because if Wake remains sidelined and Lester and Tavarez shit the bed, the Sox may be forced to start him a few more times. It really behooves them to get heads and asses wired together the next 11 games so the goddamn division really is put away the next time we see the MFYs. A repeat of the stretch before they visited the toilet is just what's needed, 8 and 3, for example.

#171 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:31 PM

It might make things more complicated than it's worth, but what I'd like to see is the Sox spot start Buchholz over the rest of the season with an eye on giving Matsuzaka an extra day's rest when possible. His ERA on 4 days of rest is 4.52 (12 starts), on 5 it's 3.52 (13 starts), and on 6+ it's 2.08 (2 starts). Given that Dice-K is adjusting to a 5 man rotation this year instead of his usual 6 man rotation from Japan, Buchholz might be a big help in getting Dice-K rested up down the stretch.

#172 The Boomer

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:38 PM

If starting pitching was our weakness, I might agree with this. But even assuming Buchholz is more the pitcher we saw tonight than the guy we saw in his first start... the post season rotation is still mighty imposing without him. I'd rather not risk his future by pushing him past his innings limit for the minor (if any) upgrade he'd provide over Schilling and/or Wake.


I agree. Keep his innings count down no matter what ! As good as he is (and no matter how good he could be in the 2007 post season), Buchholz could end up like Steve Avery or Jaret Wright who were both spectacular post-season stars at about the same age but, clearly, throwing too many innings too young, their spectacular success could not be sustained long term. Their careers never again consistently fulfilled their early promise. Jonathan Papelbon is a better comparison. He pitched exclusively as a reliever during his first September call up after a similarly great season that graduated him from the minors. The Yankees recognize this with their Joba Chamberlain rules that prevent him from pitching on consecutive days. 3-4 one inning relief appearances per week on non consecutive days for the rest of this month ought to protect Buchholz's arm so that he can give the team a realistic chance at a no hitter for every start beginning in 2008 and for the next 10 years or so.

#173 mfried

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:39 PM

It might make things more complicated than it's worth, but what I'd like to see is the Sox spot start Buchholz over the rest of the season with an eye on giving Matsuzaka an extra day's rest when possible. His ERA on 4 days of rest is 4.52 (12 starts), on 5 it's 3.52 (13 starts), and on 6+ it's 2.08 (2 starts). Given that Dice-K is adjusting to a 5 man rotation this year instead of his usual 6 man rotation from Japan, Buchholz might be a big help in getting Dice-K rested up down the stretch.


This is a valuable perspective. Dice-K's performance for the season and playoffs is a crucial factor for the Sox, and Buchholz might be the key to his success. However, I'm sincerely hoping that Wakefield's sore back heals enough to make Jon Lester's starts unnecessary or post-clinch.

#174 dcmissle


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 12:45 PM

It might make things more complicated than it's worth, but what I'd like to see is the Sox spot start Buchholz over the rest of the season with an eye on giving Matsuzaka an extra day's rest when possible. His ERA on 4 days of rest is 4.52 (12 starts), on 5 it's 3.52 (13 starts), and on 6+ it's 2.08 (2 starts). Given that Dice-K is adjusting to a 5 man rotation this year instead of his usual 6 man rotation from Japan, Buchholz might be a big help in getting Dice-K rested up down the stretch.



Thank you for mentioning the rest point. It's crucial and often overlooked. The line, "Don't worry, they'll clinch in time to get their rotation set for the post-season" misses that point. It's not just that you want the guys set in the right order. It's that PLUS you'd like to let each of them, esp. Mat, to maybe miss a turn in the rotation. I don't think the rotation is "particularly imposing". It's good and deep, but not great. Beckett is the only one who has demonstrated the wherewithal to take over a game, as opposed to merely "contain" the opposition, esp the MFYs.

#175 Todd Benzinger

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 01:22 PM

Well, I love the idea of resting Dice-K with Buchholz spot starts, but it might also be smart to put Clay in the pen on Joba rules--even an exaggerated version, by which he would pitch 1-2 innings every 3rd day, with maybe one spot start thrown in. If he handles the relief role, he'd be below or at 160 IP at the beginning of the post season, and given all the rest built in to the PS schedule, he's be available to pitch 1-2 innings in most of the postseason games.

Beckett is the only one who has demonstrated the wherewithal to take over a game, as opposed to merely "contain" the opposition, esp the MFYs.


I think it's unfair to say that Dice-K hasn't shown the ability to dominate games... the Sox have found ways to lose when he is being ridiculously good. In his last 7 starts, he's gone 6+ and given up 2 or less 5 times, but only gotten 2 wins. Unless you--like Joe Morgan & Tim McCarver--believe in "knowing how to win," he's been a dominant pitcher who's had terrible luck. And don't forget that one of those two wins was a 1-0 victory over CLE.

Edited by Todd Benzinger, 02 September 2007 - 01:23 PM.


#176 satyadaimoku


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 02:07 PM

Steve Avery or Jaret Wright who were both spectacular post-season stars at about the same age but, clearly, throwing too many innings too young, their spectacular success could not be sustained long term. Their careers never again consistently fulfilled their early promise.

Clearly? There's nothing remotely clear about either of those examples.

First of all, Jaret Wright had a 4.72 ERA in the 1997 playoffs, to go along with his unspectacular 4.38 ERA in the regular season. I never saw anything that would indicate that Wright had some kind of terrific promise - he was an average pitcher on a team in which being average meant being their best starter. Steve Avery was solid for years after his performance in the 1991 playoffs. I suppose it's possible that his decline in 1994/1995 was because of the innings he threw three years previous, but I'd hardly call that "clear"; rather, I'd call it "a stretch".

John Lackey threw 210 regular season innings in 2002 to go along with 22.1 postseason innings at the age of 23 - hasn't seemed to affect his career much. Clemens was 23 when he threw 254 regular season innings along with 33 postseason innings in 1986. He's done okay.

People act like this stuff is a precise science, with every inning above a guy's innings limit being some kind of severe and dramatic increase in the possibility of injury. I don't know what the numbers look like in terms of increased chance of injury, but they are not that clear and they are not that dramatic.

Edited by satyadaimoku, 02 September 2007 - 02:08 PM.


#177 CPT Neuron


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 02:33 PM

Late to the party here, but what an unbelievable performance. I was at the game and to say that the old ballpark was electric is a bit of an understatement. The only gave I have ever been at that rivaled it was game 1 of the WS in 04. Literally, I am still having trouble feeling my hands from clapping non-stop from the end of the 8th inning.

Great stuff from the kid last night, and even more impressively, great composure. He held it together even when the park was shaking from the noise. The defensive play from Pedroia was un-real, and his reaction, even from the stands was noticable. [fluff alert]My daughter noticed a Pedroia shirt as we were walking out and commented "Look, Dad, a Little Dusty Shirt". This prompted a response from the nice young lady next to the woman wearing the shirt (clearly friends) of "That is my husband". Mrs. Pedroia was very gracious to the kids, and even reported how much she and the Mr. loved Maine when they were there (a nice touch since we are from Maine). A nice exchange that served as frosting on the cake for her (my daughter) at the end of a wonderful night.[end fluff alert]

Not necessarily "Main Board" post worthy, but this is a "feel good thread" :c070: :rolling:

#178 InsideTheParker


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:55 PM

Watching the Yankees struggle to score against two relatively young Rays pitchers, I couldn't help but wonder what Buchholz would do against them, since they seem unafraid of Beckett and DiceK.

Jason Hammel started for the Rays and had not won a Major League game that he had started in 17 attempts. The rookie right-hander held the Yankees to one run on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.


link

#179 amarshal2

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:04 PM

I said it 100 times in the old Buchholz thread but I'll say it once again. I don't like the idea of Clay in the bullpen since I don't believe he'll be at his best. He works best when he has a chance to get 3 or so of his pitches working. He's generally better later in games than he is earlier in games once he has his consistency and his arm loosens up. In addition, while you do "keep his innings down" you're not really saving his arm since everyone knows that relieving is very taxing; you have to pitch on short rest all the time. I think if you put him in the pen you don't really accomplish much as you're not resting his arm and you're getting a less effective pitcher. Clay's a starter by trade who's best suited for starting. His stuff isn't going to play up in the pen. Unless Gagne goes down long-term, I'm very against him being added to the pen.

Edited by amarshal2, 02 September 2007 - 05:18 PM.


#180 GreyisGone

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:11 PM

I said it 100 times in the old Buchholz thread but I'll say it once again. I don't like the idea of Clay in the bullpen since I don't believe he'll be at his best. He works best when he has a chance to get 3 or so of his pitches working. He's generally better later in games than he is earlier in games once he has his consistency and his arm loosens up. In addition, while you do "keep his innings down" you're not really saving his arm since everyone knows that relieving is very taxing since you have to pitch on short rest all the time. I think if you put him in the pen you don't really accomplish much since you're not resting his arm and you're getting a less effective pitcher. Clay's a starter by trade who's best suited for starting. His stuff isn't going to play up in the pen. Unless Gagne goes down long-term, I'm very against him being added to the pen.

Agreed. I think what they'll end up doing is using a quasi 6 man rotation, allowing Buchholz to start a couple of more games the rest of the year while also getting the regular rotation an extra day couple of days off down the stretch.

#181 ragnarok725

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:12 PM

I said it 100 times in the old Buchholz thread but I'll say it once again. I don't like the idea of Clay in the bullpen since I don't believe he'll be at his best. He works best when he has a chance to get 3 or so of his pitches working. He's generally better later in games than he is earlier in games once he has his consistency and his arm loosens up. In addition, while you do "keep his innings down" you're not really saving his arm since everyone knows that relieving is very taxing since you have to pitch on short rest all the time. I think if you put him in the pen you don't really accomplish much since you're not resting his arm and you're getting a less effective pitcher. Clay's a starter by trade who's best suited for starting. His stuff isn't going to play up in the pen. Unless Gagne goes down long-term, I'm very against him being added to the pen.

So if he's not a good enough starter (or would log too many innings, pick your explanation) to knock off one of the other 4 starters in a playoff rotation then you'd leave him off the roster altogether? His stuff might not play up in the pen, but it'd have to play down pretty far for it to be worse than Snyder or Lester in the pen, right?

#182 GreyisGone

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:13 PM

So if he's not a good enough starter (or would log too many innings, pick your explanation) to knock off one of the other 4 starters in a playoff rotation then you'd leave him off the roster altogether? His stuff might not play up in the pen, but it'd have to play down pretty far for it to be worse than Snyder or Lester in the pen, right?

He doesn't make the playoff roster unless something really bad happens to a few members of the rotation. Despite what people think after last night's performance, he's not going over his innings cap. Theo has made the point countless times that they will not risk his long term health for a short term gain.

#183 amarshal2

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:20 PM

So if he's not a good enough starter (or would log too many innings, pick your explanation) to knock off one of the other 4 starters in a playoff rotation then you'd leave him off the roster altogether? His stuff might not play up in the pen, but it'd have to play down pretty far for it to be worse than Snyder or Lester in the pen, right?


Yeah, I'd leave him off the playoff roster all together. It sucks, but it's a very slippery slope. You don't want him jumping his innings by 60, you just don't. With the new playoff schedule they're only going to throw 6-8 pitchers in games that are close:

Beckett
Matsuzaka
Schilling

Papelbon
Okajima
Gagne

Wakefield
Delcarmen

If one successful round is particularly taxing, you can always add him for the next.

Edited by amarshal2, 02 September 2007 - 05:25 PM.


#184 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:23 PM

I've always tried to be a voice of reason when it comes to Prospect Love on this website, so I'm not going to let a little something like a no-hitter stop me.

Buchholz was absolutely brilliant last night and if he can have anything like that command of his pitches, he'll be an amazing asset for years to come. However, its not like other highly touted rookie starters haven't had the occasional gem this year, even while otherwise producing mediocrity or worse overall. Remember Philip Hughes 2nd start, where he a no hitter going in the 7th before hurting himself? He's been pretty terrible since coming back. Yovani Gallardo had several good starts before falling apart in Coors Field and not getting back together since. Homer Bailey pitched seven innings of 2 hit ball in mid June and was demoted three starts later.

Al I'm saying is that, as brilliant as Buchholz was last night, annoiting him a permanent member of the rotation, particularly for the playoffs, is at best premature.

Of course, I'll be as happy as anybody when he proves me wrong. :rolling:

Edited by Kevin Mortons Ghost, 02 September 2007 - 06:48 PM.


#185 ragnarok725

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:24 PM

He doesn't make the playoff roster unless something really bad happens to a few members of the rotation. Despite what people think after last night's performance, he's not going over his innings cap. Theo has made the point countless times that they will not risk his long term health for a short term gain.

I don't think that's the point Theo has made at all. The point Theo has consistently made is to constantly and fairly re-evaluate risk and reward at every decision point and make the correct decision. Don't sacrifice the future for the present or the present for the future. I think last night is a pretty good example. They're willing to be flexible with their restrictions under the right circumstances. If the Sox have a World Series caliber team and could use a good RH arm out of the pen on the playoff roster, you don't think they'd be willing to have Buchholz throw 10-15 innings over his cap?

This is the way I see it playing out. Buchholz takes one or two more turns in the rotation to give some guys some extra rest and reward him for this performance. After that I think they give him some time off and allow him to throw on the side and gear up as a reliever. They give him a few (2 or 3) appearances out of the pen in the last couple weeks of the season to figure out what they have there. That will put him at maybe about 15 more innings the rest of the season so that he's at his innings cap at the end of the year. If he's effective there then they can bring him with them into the playoffs. If not then he had a great ending to a great season and is ready to go next year after going right to the inning total they wanted.

#186 geoduck no quahog


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:56 PM

I don't see how Buchholz can make the post season at all (unless a starter goes down between now and then).

I have to think Lopez sticks.

That means a bullpen of

Papelbon
Gagne
Okajima
Delcarmen

Lopez

Timlin
Tavarez

I also think that Lester is going to show he either belongs or doesn't over his next 3 starts. That's 12 with Lester, 11 without.

To me, what it comes down to is figuring out a way to keep Ellsbury through the post season for pinch running, defense and maybe even a pinch-hit here and there.

That boils down to whether you keep Hinske and go with 11 pitchers. Hinske's the only real backup at first (or third, moving Youk over). So it's the starting 13, the 3-man bench, the 7-man pen, and two of: Lester, Ellsbury, Hinske.

Just can't see Buchholz breaking in.

{EDIT: Am I thinking wrongly about the rotation in October? 4-man at most...where would Lester fit in?}

Edited by geoduck no quahog, 02 September 2007 - 06:02 PM.


#187 Todd Benzinger

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 06:01 PM

In addition, while you do "keep his innings down" you're not really saving his arm since everyone knows that relieving is very taxing; you have to pitch on short rest all the time.


Well, my suggestions was to put him on a more stringent version of Joba rules. That wouldn't address your concerns about using him in the way that shows him at his best, but it would mitigate "pitching on short rest all the time."

#188 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:15 PM

Even Pedro, who was always lauded for having 3 plus pitches, did he ever throw his curve that much? Buchholz actually gives hitters a seeming 33% chance at any moment of having any of 3 plus pitches thrown to them. I'm not saying Buchholz is or ever will be that good. It's quite doubtful. But the uncertainty that he forces on hitters is tremendous. Even some excellent pitchers who have 3 good pitches tend to really ping pong back and forth between two of them and that allows hitters to guess with some reasonable chance of success. I'd imagine that guessing with a 33% chance of success is probably not going to seem palatable to hitters. It's exciting to think of the possibilities for him.

I guess I agree with the folks suggesting to give him another start with extra rest before it then try and get him geared up for use in the pen assuming that the rotation stabilizes without him.

#189 Grubbery

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:25 PM

Even Pedro, who was always lauded for having 3 plus pitches, did he ever throw his curve that much?


IIRC Pedro's curve was never exactly devistating in terms of 12-6 style movement. It came in hard and had this drop that almost made it look more like a hiccup. It was an excellent change-of-pace pitch, but his bread-and-butter was always the four-seamer and the changeup. His usage changed post-2001 injury, then he increasingly relied on his cutter/changeup combo with the four-seamer as his change-of-pace pitch and the curve seemed to all but disappear.

Of course, his changeup was so disgusting, it had more movement than many pitcher's sliders/curves, so it made sense to back off of the curve given the torque it must have put on his shoulder.

Edited by Grubbery, 02 September 2007 - 07:28 PM.


#190 xjack


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:37 PM

Agreed. I think what they'll end up doing is using a quasi 6 man rotation, allowing Buchholz to start a couple of more games the rest of the year while also getting the regular rotation an extra day couple of days off down the stretch.

I sort of agree. That said, the major league pitcher Buchholz reminds me most of right now is Adam Wainwright.

And as Wainwright showed last year -- and as Joba showed against the Sox -- there's a lot to be said for a reliever with a good fastball who's a threat to throw an offspeed pitch for a strike in any count.

#191 xjack


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:54 PM

I don't see how Buchholz can make the post season at all (unless a starter goes down between now and then).

I have to think Lopez sticks.

I could see Lopez being put on an ALCS roster if the opponent is the Yankees. But the Angels, Mariners and Tigers don't have many big LH hitting threats. The Indians do, but Hafner has actually has a reverse platoon split this year.

#192 JakeRae


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 08:17 PM

Even Pedro, who was always lauded for having 3 plus pitches, did he ever throw his curve that much? Buchholz actually gives hitters a seeming 33% chance at any moment of having any of 3 plus pitches thrown to them. I'm not saying Buchholz is or ever will be that good. It's quite doubtful. But the uncertainty that he forces on hitters is tremendous. Even some excellent pitchers who have 3 good pitches tend to really ping pong back and forth between two of them and that allows hitters to guess with some reasonable chance of success. I'd imagine that guessing with a 33% chance of success is probably not going to seem palatable to hitters. It's exciting to think of the possibilities for him.

I guess I agree with the folks suggesting to give him another start with extra rest before it then try and get him geared up for use in the pen assuming that the rotation stabilizes without him.

Well, the thing is, I'm not sure you can really call Buchholz's fastball a plus pitch at this point. If he learns to command it, it will be, but right now it is a slightly above average pitch. His curve and change are plus-plus pitches though, so that more than makes up for the fastball issues.

Pedro in his prime really did have 3 plus-plus pitches. His fastball and change were arguably the best in the game and his curve was one of the better curves even though he didn't use it that much. Pitchers with 3 plus-plus pitches and excellent command of all of them simply don't exist. That is why Pedro was unhittable. Buchholz, even if he learns to command his fastball, will never have close to the fastball that Pedro had. I'm still very high on him, and think that he will be a top pitcher in the game for a long time, but he's never going to have that sort of dominating fastball most top tier pitchers have. This is why he throws such a low percentage of fastballs, and I don't see that being likely to change.

#193 cannonball 1729

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 08:26 PM

I could see Lopez being put on an ALCS roster if the opponent is the Yankees. But the Angels, Mariners and Tigers don't have many big LH hitting threats. The Indians do, but Hafner has actually has a reverse platoon split this year.

The Angels have the recently rejuvinated Garrett Anderson. He's not the GA of old, but he's been on fire recently.

#194 Todd Benzinger

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 09:03 PM

But Lopez is only nominally a LOOGY... he's more an emergency GB guy.

#195 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 02 September 2007 - 10:18 PM

I said it 100 times in the old Buchholz thread but I'll say it once again. I don't like the idea of Clay in the bullpen since I don't believe he'll be at his best. He works best when he has a chance to get 3 or so of his pitches working. He's generally better later in games than he is earlier in games once he has his consistency and his arm loosens up. In addition, while you do "keep his innings down" you're not really saving his arm since everyone knows that relieving is very taxing; you have to pitch on short rest all the time. I think if you put him in the pen you don't really accomplish much as you're not resting his arm and you're getting a less effective pitcher. Clay's a starter by trade who's best suited for starting. His stuff isn't going to play up in the pen. Unless Gagne goes down long-term, I'm very against him being added to the pen.

I don't think the question is whether he'd be at his best - of course he's better suited to be a starter. The question is whether Clay can be better than the other options. I think he can be; it would be nice to have another power arm to go to in a short series. I hope that they at least find out in September.

One other thing - he threw a pitch early on that was at 91 and broke down and in to a right handed hitter. I was watching the MASN feed; Palmer couldn't identify the pitch; anyone know if Clay throws a two-seamer that breaks that way or was it something else?

#196 paulftodd


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Posted 03 September 2007 - 12:10 AM

Trying to give this game a bit of historical perspective using B-Ref

In the last 50 years, only 116 no hitters (9 IP+). Clays game score ranked 44th, a decent rank among the no-no's.

The last pitcher under the age of 24 to pitch a no hitter with a higher game score was Eck in 1977.

Those pitchers under the age of 24 who have have pitched a game (not limited to no hiters) with a higher game score since 1986?

Roger Clemens
Greg Maddux
Pedro Martinez
Mike Mussina
Kerry Wood
Ramon Martinez
Javier Vazquez
Kevin Millwood

A couple of names there should give those promoting him exceeding his IP limit pause for thought, but there are some pretty good pitchers on that list.

As for his pitch count limit of 120. In the last 10 years, only 78 games have the Red Sox allowed the SP'er to throw more than 120 pitches. Pedro did it 42 games, Wake 10, Dice-K, Schilling, and Nomo each did it 4 times, and another 10 pitchers combined for the other 14 games. So 120 seems reasonable, especially as he has not touched 100 this year. Tito must have been praying Markakis got a hit if he wasn't going to make an out.

#197 bellyofthebeast

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 12:40 AM

It might make things more complicated than it's worth, but what I'd like to see is the Sox spot start Buchholz over the rest of the season with an eye on giving Matsuzaka an extra day's rest when possible. His ERA on 4 days of rest is 4.52 (12 starts), on 5 it's 3.52 (13 starts), and on 6+ it's 2.08 (2 starts). Given that Dice-K is adjusting to a 5 man rotation this year instead of his usual 6 man rotation from Japan, Buchholz might be a big help in getting Dice-K rested up down the stretch.


Seems to me that the Sox have an abundance of Starting Pitching right now. And with Manny's back acting up, it's too bad the trade deadline has passed cause I'm sure they could have swapped the surplus for a young power hitting outfielder like, say, Wily Mo Pena.

Edited by bellyofthebeast, 03 September 2007 - 12:40 AM.


#198 Noah

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:15 AM

IIRC Pedro's curve was never exactly devistating in terms of 12-6 style movement. It came in hard and had this drop that almost made it look more like a hiccup. It was an excellent change-of-pace pitch, but his bread-and-butter was always the four-seamer and the changeup. His usage changed post-2001 injury, then he increasingly relied on his cutter/changeup combo with the four-seamer as his change-of-pace pitch and the curve seemed to all but disappear.


The sense I got from watching Pedro in those years was that he would have either the changeup going or the curveball going on any given night, which was usually enough, but didn't usually have them all working. Along with the addition of the cutter.

Of course, his changeup was so disgusting, it had more movement than many pitcher's sliders/curves, so it made sense to back off of the curve given the torque it must have put on his shoulder.


The curveball, by the way, is primarily stressful on the elbow, not the shoulder.

As far as Buchholz goes, I anticipate that he will take his next three or so turns in the rotation as a combination of getting Wakefield better and giving everyone an extra day rest. That will take us into the last couple weeks of the season and around the 155-160 IP mark, and they'll shut him down.

And it's really interesting how Clay has better command of his change and curve than he does of his fastball.

Edited by Noah, 03 September 2007 - 02:16 AM.


#199 dauber23

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 07:45 AM

The sense I got from watching Pedro in those years was that he would have either the changeup going or the curveball going on any given night, which was usually enough, but didn't usually have them all working. Along with the addition of the cutter.
The curveball, by the way, is primarily stressful on the elbow, not the shoulder.

As far as Buchholz goes, I anticipate that he will take his next three or so turns in the rotation as a combination of getting Wakefield better and giving everyone an extra day rest. That will take us into the last couple weeks of the season and around the 155-160 IP mark, and they'll shut him down.

And it's really interesting how Clay has better command of his change and curve than he does of his fastball.


I still like the idea of going with a 6-man rotation for awhile, something that would give rest not only to Clay but to the rest of the starters as well

But what happens if the Kid pitches great in his next 3 or 4 starts? He won't pitch any more no hitters, but say he puts up 3 or 4 excellent, near-dominating starts, starts that have him pitching better than, say, Schill and Wake. Do they shut him down? Or do they keep him in the postseason rotation and just make sure he always pitches with 5 days rest?

I am not getting ahead of myself here, but I am asking what will (should) they do if the Kid is pitching great baseball as October approaches?

#200 GreyisGone

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 07:55 AM

A couple of things:

1. He has about 15 ip left, which isn't going to get him 3 or 4 starts. And the Red Sox are dead serious about his innings cap.

2. There's no way he takes a regular turn in the rotation for his next start (if he makes one). He threw 20 more pitches than he has all season, and probably has in pro-ball. He'll probably get at minimum 3 extra days rest.

I'm not sure everyone appreciates just how serious their restrictions on their young pitchers are.