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Clay Daniel Buchholz (born August 14, 1984 in ) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. On September 1, 2007, he threw a no-hitter in his second major league start, tying him with Wilson Alvarez for the second fastest no-hitter by a MLB pitcher. He is the first Red Sox rookie and 17th Red Sox pitcher to throw a no-hitter.

Baseball career

High school

Raised in , Buchholz played baseball for the local youth baseball leagues until high school. After graduating from Lumberton High School, Clay briefly attended McNeese State Universitymarker before transferring to Angelina College.

College

In 2005, while competing for Angelina College, Buchholz appeared in 15 games, winning 12 and losing 1.

Winning % CG ERA Innings Pitched Hits Runs Earned Runs BB Strikeouts
92.3% 7 1.05 85.2 44 19 10 29 129


Minor leagues

Buchholz was drafted by the Red Sox in the supplemental first round of the 2005 draft. The Red Sox obtained their supplemental pick, the 42nd overall, as compensation for losing free agent Pedro Martínez to the New York Mets.

Buchholz pitched 41 1/3 innings for the Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League, compiling a record of 0-1 with 45 strikeouts in fifteen starts. He then pitched for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Single A-Advanced) and the Greenville Drive (Single A). Between the two teams, Buchholz struck out 140 and walked 33 in 119 innings while going 11–4.

Buchholz started his first spring training game in 2007 against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched 4.2 innings, gave up seven hits and three runs, and recorded three strikeouts. While competing for the Portland Sea Dogs in 2007, Buchholz played in fifteen games, winning 7 and losing 2. His success led him to be chosen to play in the All-Star Futures Game at AT&T Parkmarker.

Buchholz' AA Portland Sea Dogs Stats:

CG ERA Innings Pitched Hits Runs Earned Runs BB Strikeouts
1 1.77 86.2 55 18 17 22 116


Buchholz was promoted to the Pawtucket Red Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Red Sox, on July 8, 2007. He finished the AAA season with a 1-3 W-L record, while recording 55 strikeouts, 13 walks, and a 3.96 era over eight starts in 38.2 AAA innings.

Major leagues

2007 season

Buchholz made his MLB debut with the Boston Red Sox against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 17, 2007 at Fenway Parkmarker. The Sox won the game 8–4 and he picked up the win, going six innings and giving up four runs (three earned). After the game, however, Buchholz was sent back down to the Sox' Triple-A team in Pawtucket. "I got my feet wet," he said to a reporter. "I hope I can come back in September and help out."Before Buchholz' first major league start, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said: "This kid can come up and pitch a no-hitter, and he's going to go back down... If he throws a no-hitter I may send him back with a present. But he's going back."

No-hitter

In Buchholz's second major league start on September 1, 2007, he became the first Boston Red Sox rookie to throw a no-hitter when he blanked the Baltimore Orioles 10–0. He threw 115 pitches, struck out nine, walked three, and hit Nick Markakis.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/09/01/orioles.redsox.ap/index.html After the game, Buchholz told the media, "It's amazing. That's all I can say ... I'm in a blur right now." According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Buchholz became the third pitcher since 1900 to pitch a no-hitter in his first or second major league start. Bobo Holloman did it in his first start on May 6, 1953, for the St. Louis Browns at home against the Philadelphia Athletics, and Wilson Alvarez did it in his second start on Aug. 11, 1991, for the Chicago White Sox at Baltimoremarker.Buchholz became the eleventh Red Sox pitcher to throw a no hitter in Fenway Park history, and the seventeenth in Red Sox history.

Following the game, general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona each independently confirmed that they had spoken by phone to each other in the seventh and eighth innings concerning Buchholz' pitch count. He had not thrown more than 98 pitches in a game all year, and was threatening to significantly exceed that total if he finished the game. Epstein reported that in no way would Buchholz have been allowed to face a batter after reaching 120 pitches, expressing concern about excessive pitches potentially damaging such a young and inexperienced arm. Buchholz finished the game with 115 pitches, allowing Francona to escape what would have been an unpleasant decision to remove a pitcher from the game in which he was throwing a no-hitter.

Buchholz' no-hitter was the third of a record-setting four caught by Jason Varitek. The first two were for Hideo Nomo and Derek Lowe (in which the final score was also 10-0); the fourth was Jon Lester's on May 19, 2008, against the Kansas City Royals, which was also the first no-hitter in major league play after Buchholz'.

2008 season

Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell stated that Buchholz would most likely be in line for 180-190 innings in the 2008 season. On May 15, Buchholz was placed on the 15-day disabled list as the result of a torn fingernail. He was sent to Pawtucket following the injury, and remained there for several weeks to work on his fastball. On July 11, he was recalled to Boston and was part of their regular pitching rotation, though he did not record a single win after his return. On August 20, 2008, as the Red Sox were trying to sweep the Orioles, the team that Buchholz had no-hit last year, he gave up a 4-0 lead by allowing three runs in the second inning, and two more in the third. He was removed after only pitching 2.1 innings. In his previous start, he had only lasted three innings. In 2008, the Red Sox were 3-12 in Buchholz' fifteen starts. After the game, Buchholz was sent down to Double-A Portlandmarker. Buchholz stated "I've never had a streak like this," and "I've never been one to say the pressure was too much for me, but I've felt like I've had a lot of weight on my shoulders just trying to be perfect and trying to do everything as well as I could to help this team win". Following the 2008 season, Buchholz pitched in the Arizona Fall League.

2009 Season

Following spring training, Buchholz was optioned to Pawtucket.

In his eighth start at Pawtucket in 2009, Clay took a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Louisville Bats, but it was broken up after a leadoff single; ultimately, he pitched a one-hit shutout.

After a July 12 win before the All Star break, Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced that Buchholz would be activated to pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 17, in order to give more time off to the starters who were in the All Star game. Buchholz went on to win the game, pitching five and two thirds innings, allowing four hits with one run, while walking three and striking out three. It was his first major league win since May 2, 2008.

It was originally intended that Buchholz should only make that spot start, in order to set up a six-man rotation for a six-game road trip; however, he was recalled from Pawtucket on July 21 after veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield was placed on the disabled list. He has since become a fixture in the Red Sox rotation and he won several big games against notable pitchers of the year including Roy Halladay and Ricky Romero.

Scouting report

  • Four-seam fastball (92-95 mph, hit 97 mph)
  • Two-seam fastball (88-91 mph)
  • Curveball (75-79 mph)
  • Changeup (79-82 mph)
  • Slider (80-84 mph)


Buchholz throws a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a slider, a curveball, and 79-82 mph straight changeup. His changeup and curveball are considered elite pitches. Over the course of the season, Buchholz typically throws his fastball 92-94 mph, although towards the end of the 2006 season, his fastball regularly hit 95 or 96 mph. Buchholz also played outfield at Angelina College. In 2009 Buchholz has shown flashes of being able to establish command of his fastball and it presently sits in the 93-95 mph range.

Major league statistics

Year Team G GS W L SV ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO CG SHO
2007 BOS 4 3 3 1 0 1.59 22.2 14 6 4 0 10 22 1 1
2008 BOS 16 15 2 9 0 6.75 76.0 93 63 57 11 41 72 1 0
2009 BOS 16 16 7 4 0 4.21 92.0 91 44 43 13 36 68 0 0
Total 3 years 36 34 12 14 0 4.91 190.2 198 113 104 24 87 162 2 1


Awards and honors

  • Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (August 21 - 27, 2006)
  • Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month (August 2006)
  • 2006 Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year
  • Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month (May 2007)
  • 2007 Futures Game All Star
  • 2007 Eastern League All Star
  • Eastern League Pitcher of the Week (June 25-July 1, 2007)
  • 2007 American League Player of the Week
  • TYIB Single Game Performance of the Year (December 13, 2007)


Personal life

Buchholz was arrested shortly before the 2005 draft after he and a friend stole 29 laptop computers from his high school to sell them. Buchholz admits it was a mistake, but stated "I was hanging out with the wrong person. But I think it helped me out in the long run."

In November 2009, he married Lindsay Clubine, a former suitcase model on Deal or No Deal and host of HDNET's Get Out.

He is not related to Colorado Rockies pitcher Taylor Buchholz.

See also



References

  1. ESPN.com News Service. "In 2nd career start, Boston's Buchholz throws no-hitter on O's." September 1, 2007. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=270901102. Accessed September 2, 2007.
  2. Buchholz earns his stripes - MLB.com
  3. Busy day as Sox make moves - MLB.com
  4. The Official Site of The Boston Red Sox: News: Red Sox boast long list of no-hitters
  5. No-no an affirmation to Sox front office
  6. Red Sox updates and insights
  7. Sox Option Buchholz to Minors Yahoo Sports, April 4, 2009
  8. Buchholz stays zeroed in for Pawtucket Boston Globe, May 26, 2009
  9. Buchholz will Start Friday - Extra Bases
  10. Clay Buchholz |SoxProspects.com
  11. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3439159&type=story


External links




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