Normally when Clay Buchholz throws a gem like he did last night, we would start off with that. But as happy as we are about the outing from Buchholz and the fact that the Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2, the news isn't all cute puppies and kittens.
It looks as though the Red Sox will go through the rest of the 2012 season without their third baseman Will Middlebrooks who was hit with 96 mph fastball in the wrist. The fastball from Esmil Rogers was not intentional at all but nonetheless it's a costly injury for the Red Sox.
The reports this morning are stating that WMB has a broken wrist and is likely lost for the season. It's also being reported that newly acquired Danny Valencia will be called up from the PawSox to replace Middlebrooks on the 25-man roster.
WMB came up when Kevin Youkilis went down earlier in the season and played his way, a season early, on to the Red Sox roster for years to come. He's had a heck of a rookie season as he was hitting .288 with 15 home runs, 54 RBIs and four stolen bases in 75 games before the injury.
Now I know that they acquired Valencia to provide depth in case of something like this but given how he hit with the Minnesota Twins, should they really call him up.
Bobby Valentine has been trying to find ways to get Pedro Ciriaco in the lineup. With David Ortiz being on the DL, he's been able to do that occasionally. So why can't they move Aviles over to third, a position he can play, and put Ciriaco in at shortstop. Just a wild thought here.
Whenever the Red Sox have needed a good positive start from a starter the one pitcher who seems to be answering the call is Buchholz. On a team where Jon Lester and Josh Beckett are supposed to be the aces of the team, it's been Buchholz who looks like the true ace of the 2012 Red Sox.
Yes he got off to a slow start at least ERA wise but once he got comfortable on the mound knowing that his back was healthy, he's been outstanding.
Because of poor starts lately, the bullpen has been overused again like it was earlier in the season. So the fact that Clay was able to throw a complete game last night and do it with an efficient 104 pitches will help the bullpen out for the next two games. Now with the off day on Monday, Valentine can use his bullpen as he sees fit over these next few days.
Buchholz did give up a home run in the 1st inning to Asdrubal Cabrera but then set down the next eight batters he faced until Cabrera doubled off of him to lead off the 4th. From there though, he allowed just one batter to reach base and that was Jason Donald who reached on errors by Dustin Pedroia and Aviles.
Going forward, they'll need Buchholz to continue this run along with the others stepping up their games. It's the others that worry me as I have the utmost confidence in Buchholz when he steps out on the mound.
We'll be back later with today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let's take a look at the overnight links from the media.
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Buchholz bolsters Red Sox [boston globe]
Mixed signals behind the plate [boston globe]
Middlebrooks breaks wrist [boston globe]
Clay Buchholz plays ace [boston herald]
Ask the Sox, John Lackey's their guy [boston herald]
Costly win for Will [boston herald]
Ross in the clutch [boston herald]
Middlebrooks has fracture of right wrist [rob bradford - weei.com]
Clay Buchholz hurls two-hitter [csn new england]
Buckley: Why is Lackey still in clubhouse? [csn new england]
Valentine: Ortiz doubtful to return Sunday [csn new england]
Buchholz delivers dominant performance [csn new england]
Pedroia heating up at right time [csn new england]
Report: Middlebrooks has broken wrist [csn new england]
Middlebrooks thanks fans via twitter [csn new england]
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 3, Indians 2 [espn boston]
Valentine: Middlebrooks hit in 'bad spot' [espn boston]
Valentine: Ortiz not likely to play Sunday [espn boston]
Buchholz' brilliance gives Sox needed lift [espn boston]
Report: Middlebrooks has broken wrist [espn boston]
Closing Time: Clay Buchholz continues to dominate, this time leading Red Sox past Indians [full count]
A reminder why Clay Buchholz might be the Red Sox most important player [full count]
A look at what the Red Sox will do without Will Middlebrooks [full count]
Red Sox Dwindling Playoff Hopes Rest Squarely on Right Arm of Budding Ace Clay Buchholz [nesn.com]
Middlebrooks reportedly has broken right wrist [redsox.com]
Papi takes day off to rest, Sunday return unlikely [redsox.com]
Podsednik rejoins Red Sox; Kalish optioned [redsox.com]
Doubront to have next turn through rotation skipped [redsox.com]
Valentine: Beer rule doesn't apply to road clubhouses [redsox.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 Akron Beacon Journal and Cleveland Plain Dealer websites. You can also check out our Bloguin brother, Burning River Baseball.
Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.
photo credit: getty images
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