The so called "aces" of the Boston Red Sox, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, have combined for 10 wins this season. Daniel Bard, who was banished to Triple-A, has the same amount of wins this season as that duo (5).
Felix Doubront has stepped up but as a rookie hasn't earned ace status. Plus he's a middle of the rotation guy at best.
Last night's starting pitcher for the Red Sox though has the pedigree to be an ace. Including last night's 7-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, the Red Sox are 7-1 in the last games in which Clay Buchholz has started.
Buchholz did get off to a somewhat slow start, at least ERA wise. Even as he was giving up runs, the Red Sox were scoring them for him. If it weren't for the battle with esophagitis, there's no doubt in my mind he'd be leading the Red Sox in wins right now. When he's on the mound, the Red Sox seem to have more confidence as a team.
He did get roughed up to start the game as Austin Jackson led off with a solo home run. And after Quintin Berry followed that with a double, he set down the next six batters he faced. He was tagged for another run in the 3rd inning when Miguel Cabrera singled in Omar Infante who had tripled to lead off the inning.
The final run the Tigers would score was an unearned run in the 7th. Brennan Boesch reached on a Kelly Shoppach throwing error after Buchholz had struck him out. He came around to score on an Alex Avila double to deep center.
Buchholz went eight innings last night, allowing the three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks. He struck out four along the way to his ninth win of 2012.
This is the second time in his last three starts that he's gone eight innings and it's the sixth time in his last eight starts that he's gone at least seven innings. His ERA, once at a high of 9.09, stands at 4.75.
The offense picked him up after he allowed the home run to Jackson in the 1st.
It was Pedroia who put the Red Sox out front for good in the 6th when the Red Sox took advantage again of a leadoff walk. Crawford worked a walk and then Pedroia, on a 1-2 count, put the Scherzer offering into the first row of seats on the Green Monster. They would chase Scherzer in the 7th when Ellsbury singled in Shoppach, who had tripled to lead off the inning.
Will Middlebrooks gave the Red Sox some insurance runs in the 8th with a mammoth home run to left that rattled off the light poles above the Green Monster.
It's the third straight win for the Red Sox who are right now playing like the team they are capable of being. They need to continue that though and not fall back into the rut that's plagued them all season where they get hot, then go cold.
Otherwise, there will be no chance of making the playoffs.
With the trade deadline just over six hours away, it's going to be interesting to see what the Red Sox do or don't do. It wouldn't surprise me if Ben Cherington didn't make a move and kept the team together.
We'll be back later on today 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
He’s only getting better [boston globe]
Power play [boston globe]
Careful shopping needed in this market [boston globe]
Sweeney injures his hand [boston globe]
Sox stay hot as Clay Buchholz tames Tigers [boston herald]
Big Papi hit by injury setback [boston herald]
Clay Buchholz has come a long way [boston herald]
Sox reality check arrives with trade deadline [boston herald]
Trade deadline focus on fallen star Josh Beckett [boston herald]
Red Sox make it three in a row, 7-3 [csn new england]
Pedroia backs up the talk with his bat [csn new england]
Buchholz stepping up to ace territory [csn new england]
This hit sends Sweeney from deal to DL [csn new england]
Buchholz rights himself after second-pitch HR [csn new england]
Buckley: 'I don't think anyone wants Beckett' [csn new england]
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 7, Tigers 3 [espn boston]
Source: Sox won't trade Beckett [espn boston]
Sweeney injures hand punching door [espn boston]
Dustin Pedroia continues to pull Boston Red Sox together [espn boston]
Clay Buchholz displaying look of ace for Boston Red Sox [espn boston]
Nuggetpalooza: Monday’s Red Sox nuggets [full count]
Kelly Shoppach sprinting past the rumor mill [full count]
Decision time for Ben Cherington, Red Sox [tony massarotti - boston globe]
Dice-K begins rehab stint with PawSox [redsox.com]
Sweeney hurts hand punching wall, DL stint likely [redsox.com]
Beckett trade speculation cools down considerably [redsox.com]
He's no Manny: The complexity of trying to deal Josh Beckett [alex speier - weei.com]
Cherington: No parallel in Beckett, Manny [alex speier - weei.com]
photo credit: getty images
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