The Baltimore Orioles came into last night's game looking for their second sweep of the Boston Red Sox this season at Historic Fenway Park. Fortunately for the local nine, Clay Buchholz had other plans for the O's last night.
Ever since rediscovering his changeup, Buchholz has been a completely different pitcher. Sure his 125 pitch complete game effort last night raised his record to 6-2 and dropped his ERA to 5.77 but could you imagine what his ERA might be had he not thrown those stinkers earlier on in the season.
Clay definitely looks more confident on the mound now and you have to wonder if the back injury from last year played a part in his brain earlier in the season.
He had good life on his fastball last night and commanded all of his pitches, especially his changeup and curveball. His only walk of the night didn't come until the 9th inning. He finished the evening scattering four hits with the one walk while striking out six.
Buchholz now has three complete game shutouts and ironically enough, all three of them have come against the Orioles. One of those was his no-hitter against them back in 2007.
With things going good for Josh Beckett and Buchholz and if Jon Lester can turn it around, they could look like the Big Three that the Red Sox were hoping for.
The Red Sox offense got to Orioles starter Brian Matusz early last night. In a contrast of starting pitchers, Matusz had no command of his pitches last night. He was having trouble throwing strikes and when he did, it seemed like the Red Sox were making contact them.
Adrian Gonzalez, who himself has been in a funk at the plate, brought in the first two Red Sox runs with a double in the 1st inning. That double was part of a three-hit effort for Gonzalez who once again got the start in right field.
Daniel Nava continues to deliver at the plate as he added two hits, including a two-run single in the 3rd that pushed the Red Sox lead to 6-0. Kevin Youkilis added two hits for the winners as well.
Things are not going to get easier for the Red Sox over the weekend.
Like the O's, the Washington Nationals are a different team now and are leading the NL East by two games. And they will have there top three pitchers going in the series. It should be a fun series to watch though with interleague play starting tonight for the next 15 games.
At least for the weekend, we don't have to see how Bobby Valentine will try to work Youk, Gonzo, David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks into the lineup. That fun will come starting on Tuesday when the local nine heads to the Overton section of Miami.
We'll be back later with today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let's take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click
Buchholz’s changeup a beauty [Boston Globe]
Bard ready to work on mechanics [Boston Globe]
Sixth sense: Gonzalez simply being selective [Boston Globe]
Brentz was a five-hit wonder [Boston Globe]
Crawford can start throwing program [Boston Globe]
Young talent a source of National pride [Boston Globe]
Adrian Gonzalez, Sox end slides [Boston Herald]
Darnell McDonald right (left, center) on time [Boston Herald]
Andrew Miller grasps Daniel Bard's dilemma [Boston Herald]
Change good for Clay Buchholz [Boston Herald]
Boston breaks streak, blanks Baltimore 7-0 [CSN New England]
Nava's bat contributes to Red Sox win [CSN New England]
Valentine: Buchholz 'was spectacular' against Orioles [CSN New England]
Gonzalez works on finding holes [CSN New England]
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 7, O's 0 [ESPN Boston]
Bard 'not thrilled' with demotion [ESPN Boston]
Closing Time: Clay Buchholz dominates as Red Sox blank Orioles [Full Count]
Red Sox Prospect Derrik Gibson Could Soon Be Playing Shortstop at Fenway Park (Video) [NESN.com]
Clay Buchholz' Adjustments on the Mound Apparent in Pitcher's Return to All-Star Form [NESN.com]
David Ortiz Impressed With Development, Production of Daniel Nava (Video) [NESN.com]
Adrian Gonzalez Feeling More 'Comfortable' At the Plate, Closer to Turning the Corner [NESN.com]
Clay Buchholz Transforms From Embattled Pitcher to Empowered One After Latest Gem [NESN.com]
Crawford, Ellsbury ramping up in rehab process [RedSox.com]
Valentine: Beckett's hamstring 'non-problematic' [RedSox.com]
Situations dictate whether bunts are needed [RedSox.com]
When 'really bad' is not so bad: Adrian Gonzalez sees an upswing [Alex Speier - WEEI.com]
A Nationals event: Red Sox marvel at Harper, Strasburg [Alex Speier - WEEI.com]
For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New England, ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.
And if you must check out the enemy news, be sure to head over to the Baltimore Sun and MASN websites. Also be sure to check out our Bloguin brother the Oriole Post for all of your Orioles needs.
Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.
photo credit: Getty Images
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