We can come to the conclusion by now that Clay Buchholz just isn’t going through a funk, he is officially off the rails and is no longer an elite pitcher. After last season’s poor showing, the Red Sox were hoping for a big bounce back year campaign but that failed to develop. Now that we’re at the mid-way point of August, there is no getting Buchholz’s numbers back to a respectable number. Remember, here is a guy that earned a 1.74 ERA in 2013 and the Cy Young. 2013 does not feel that long ago, but in baseball, three years is an eternity. For a pitchers’ arm it is a lifetime.
The Red Sox could have really needed the 1.74 ERA Buchholz this season. In fact, a productive Buchholz probably would have had them in the lead of the AL East at the moment. Rather, they’re 2 games back of 1st place, so yeah, it is pretty probable they would have the lead right now.
The Red Sox torched the Arizona Diamondbacks last night for a 9-4 decision. It was a nice win for them after falling to the Yankees, 4-2, a day prior. The Diamondbacks have been one of the biggest disappointments in baseball this season. Everyone was on their team total OVER and expected them to compete for not only the postseason, but the World Series in 2016. They were supposed to be the Houston Astros of 2016. Not so fast there. The D-Backs are 48-67 and last in National League West. Yeah, about that.
Once the Diamondbacks acquired Zack Greinke, their odds of winning the World Series instantly went up, and everyone bought the hype. Greinke was awful to start the year, but has settled down, to bring his ERA to 3.67. That isn’t what the D-Backs were expecting, but the good thing is he’s been a lot better in the second-half, and proven it might have been nerves after signing the monster deal in Arizona.
Then you take a look at the offense, with Paul Goldschmidt, and you think yeah they should have a good team. For the Diamondbacks, they’re going to have to wait another year to see if they can come around. Out of the postseason race, the Red Sox are looking to beat up again on the Diamondbacks at Fenway.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Boston Red Sox
Archie Bradley (4-7, 4.80 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (4-9, 5.64 ERA)
There are far too many holes on the Diamondbacks for them to do anything of substance. Adding Greinke does not automatically mean a championship team, like a lot of people believed. There is one quality pitcher, but where I the rest of this rotation? The supporting cast leaves a lot to be desired, point in case, Archie Bradly who is getting the nod tonight. No offence to Archie Bradley, but the D-Backs need a little more firepower, or they are not going to be able to compete with the big boys in the majors. Bradley has posted a 4.80 ERA on the season, and a 6.60 ERA in his last three starts. I expect him to have troubles against this Red Sox lineup.
The question in this game is if Buchholz is going to be able to give his offense a chance? An adequate effort should be enough for the Red Sox here, but he has far too many efforts that haven’t been adequate, at all. He’s consistently gone through the motions this season and was moved to the bullpen in an effort to get back on track. We’ll give it to him, Buchholz has looked much better in the bullpen, he hasn’t allowed a run in 5.4 innings pitched. I see a similar story playing out from yesterday. The Red Sox should be able to roll the Diamondbacks in another crucial game for them at home.
PICK: RED SOX -1.5 (+115)