Buchholz will search in Portland

Rob Bradford
August 20, 2008 - 5:22 pm

BALTIMORE -- Yesterday I posted that Clay Buchholz might have found something in his delivery which could lead to bigger and better things. Back to the drawing board. After their 11-6 loss to the Orioles, Wednesday night, Boston is now 3-12 in Buchholz starts, and 70-39 when everybody else starts. Buchholz will be on an eight-game losing streak, the longest since Frank Castillo's 2002 horror show. To see some post-game reaction from Buchholz, who was sent to Double A Portland following the game, CLICK HERE. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Buchholz threw 60 pitches (30 strikes) over 2 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on three hits with three walks. We could go on, but it isn't all that interesting. The simple fact is that Buchholz has to rediscover his confidence before this becomes a Craig Hansen-esque progression. Speaking of Hansen, he has pitched in six games with Pittsburgh, notching a 2.70 ERA with a 1.82 batting average against, although he has walked six in 6.2 innings. Getting your mind off the obvious, before the game talk turned to some of the best pickoff moves in the game. Before some of the doubts he is laboring with entered his mind, Buchholz was one of the best for a righty. Red Sox manager Terry Francona identified Chris Michalak and Ed Vosberg, both lefties, as two of the best he has seen. But which righty had the best move? The answer might be Jamey Wright, who surpassed Jack McDowell for the most pickoffs by a right-handed pitcher, this season, notching his 54th. As for Buchholz, Red Sox manager Terry Francona mentioned again after the game about how even the young hurler's pickoff move wasn't all there compared to last season, but the coaching staff hesitated to harp on the righty throwing over at ill-advised moments for fear of heaping even more pressure on his already seemingly overloaded shoulders. Two things from the game you might be wondering about. First, Coco Crisp's attempt at Ramon Hernandez' homer over the centerfield wall in which the outfielder leaped onto, and then over, the fence, flipping himself over the barrier. After missing the ball by what he estimated was about six inches, Crisp immediately sprung off the base behind the ball and back on to the field. "I knew it was padded," said Crisp of what awaited him behind the wall, "I'm no daredevil." And then there was Alex Cora warming up in the bullpen during the eighth inning, with the Red Sox trailing by six runs. Francona said that if the Sox hadn't scored in the eighth, it was likely Cora would make an appearance. The infielder hadn't pitched since high school, but he had warmed up before. Cora warmed up on Aug. 18, 2005 in Anaheim as reliever Mike Remlinger was giving up five runs in two innings. "I didn't feel that great," the infielder said of his warm-up tosses. Jason Bay's 430-foot, solo home run came on a 3-1 pitch and was his fourth homer with the Red Sox, and 26th overall. By the way, Bay's sister's Canadian national softball team was eliminated from the Olympics Tuesday.