EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

May 26, 2013

Can Buchholz pitch 200 innings?

He needs to do just that

Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz is in the midst of a Cy Young-caliber season with a 7-0 record, 1.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 73 strikeouts in 10 starts.

But maybe his most impressive accomplishment thus far: He has hurled 72.2 innings and pitched 7.0 or more innings in nine of his 10 starts.

Buchholz has been an innings eater for a Red Sox team that has needed it. But can he continue to be? Can he reach the all-important 200-inning mark?

The most he ever has pitched in a season was last year when he hurled 189.1 innings and made 29 starts.

Buchholz is tall (6-3) but skinny (190 pounds). Some call his frame “fragile.” Some say it is inevitable the 28-year-old will make at least one trip to the disabled list. After all, DL stints have interrupted each of his past three seasons.

Buchholz must pitch 200 or more innings before being considered an ace. More importantly though, he must at least get into the vicinity of 200 this year or else the Red Sox bullpen will burn out because of the way some of the other starters have struggled to go deep.

Pitching problems

Both Buchholz and Jon Lester need to be workhorses because Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront and John Lackey have been inconsistent.

Dempster has pitched into the seventh in just three of his first 10 starts and has pitched 5.0 or fewer innings in half his starts. Doubront has made it into the seventh inning in only two of seven starts and has pitched 5.0 innings of fewer in four starts.

Lackey made it into the seventh in just one of his first six starts entering Friday and pitched 5.0 innings or fewer in three of those outings.

Dempster has reached 200 innings in four of his past five seasons so the Red Sox hope he will begin to work deeper soon.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports
Iginla hungry for first Stanley Cup Running Strong: How the Bruins National Anthem brought Boston together Patriots Talk TV: Should the Pats abandon the 2 TE system? Brad Stevens: Hopeful season was a 'learning experience' for young Celtics Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system McAdam: Pedroia D.L. stint 'not hard to imagine' NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders