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Can we say it now? Why not? Juan Nieves did.
"He's as talented as any of the upper-echelon guys," theRed Sox pitching coach stated after his team's 10-1 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.
Six starts into the 2013 season we can make the declaration: Clay Buchholz is one of the best pitchers in baseball.
WEEI: Buchholz one of the best in the business
You might have missed it last night with the Celtics and the Bruins in the midst of their playoff battles. No big deal you only missed a dominant Clay Buchholz: Seven innings of two hit ball, allowing just three walks and striking out eight.
Buchholz is now 6-0 with 1.01 ERA, which is pretty remarkable on any level but when you remember how bad he was at this time last season (8.69 ERA), it really puts it over the top. This is the best start for a Sox pitcher since Roger Clemens went 6-0 with a 0.73 ERA in 1991. Buchholz is also leading the Majors in inning pitched (44 2/3) and 4th in strikeouts (47). Again, this is the same guy who couldn't get anybody out last year and now he's doing his best imitation of another Sox legend, Pedro Martinez. He's even got his long hair dripping wet like Pedro's jeri curl.
There was hope that Buchholz would get back on track and get back to the form that he had in 2010 when it appeared he was destined for great things. Not only has he succeeded in regaining that form, he's taken the next step. Through six starts, you can put him up against Felix Hernandez as the best in baseball right now. This is Clay's true potential and what everybody inside the Red Sox organization has been waiting for. And what an incredible sight it is to see.
Rest of the Links: Sox crush Jays | Napoli's homers lift Sox | Sox are overpowering | Herald: Clay on top of his game | Stephen Drew story takes thrilling turn | Long shots just Napoli being Manny | CSNNE: Boston Mangler | Buchholz, Napoli lead Sox to 10-1 win | McAdam: Ortiz's torrid start one of a kind | Sox start something to savior | WEEI: Clay dominant again | Napoli, Sox rout Jays