Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“There was definitely some days he’d come in and it just wasn’t ready yet,” Lackey said yesterday. “He was frustrated. I told him, ‘You’ve got to back off it a little bit.’ He had to take care of himself. We knew we’d need him this time of year, for sure.”
And just look at what happened. Buchholz is here, set to start Game 3 of the AL Division Series tonight, with a chance to pitch the Red Sox to a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays.
That nagging shoulder problem? Ancient history.
“At one point, it was a struggle for me mentally to know that I’d been out for an extended period of time, a lot longer than I wanted to be out,” Buchholz said before the Sox worked out at Tropicana Field. “The throwing wasn’t near as therapeutic as I thought it was supposed to be. It just never got any better. I finally had to take two steps back to get moving in the right direction.
“But for the guys they brought up to fill in, to make some starts, to be in the bullpen, they did an awesome job. And it made it a little easier to sit in the dugout when you’re winning games rather than sitting there when your team is struggling and you’re not having a part in it.”
Herald | Clay Buchholz back where he belongs
I'd like to tell you I'm feeling supremely confident heading into tonight's game. After all, the Sox are up 2-0, the Rays have been melting down in the public eye, the Rays have thrown out their two best pitchers and gotten smoked, and the Sox are rolling out Clay Buchholz.
But the Rays worry me. They're never really frazzled -- David Price's Twitter episode was an exception, and ultimately pretty meaningless -- and they have a ton of talent. I still don't want to face either Price or Moore again, and would really rather it not come to that.
The subject of momentum has become a touchy one in sports, so I'll stop short of talking about it and just say this: You never want to give a team that psychological edge that Kevin Millar once popularized around here: "Don't let us win today...". If the Rays beat the Sox tonight, they've got another home game, then a day off and one of their aces in game 5. Not a situation I'd like to see.
Then there's the matter of Buchholz. He's been stellar, statistically, since coming back, with an ERA under two in September. I haven't had the same feeling in watching him that I did in the early part of the year -- he doesn't have the same sort of dominance, at least in my eyes. He's struggled with command at times, although admittedly that four-walk game was two starts ago.
So maybe I'm just falling into the trap of the pre-'04 Sox fan, expecting the worst. Maybe I'm not fully appreciating that this team might just have the right combination of talent and timing -- they sure look locked in -- that should carry them to the next round.
All I know is, I really don't want to let the Rays win today. Close 'em out.
Herald | Buckley: Price is in the wrong | Stephen Drew keeps on doing it | Rays turn up spin cycle | Globe | Red Sox to Rays: It's over | Buchholz ready for return to postseason | Price and Ortiz smooth things over | CSNNE | Price calls Ortiz and they 'have a good talk' | Buchholz hopes to remain confident in Tampa | Notes: Aggressive baserunning pays off for Sox | ESPNBoston | David Price sorry for Twitter rant | Stephen Drew a down-to-earth fit