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How does a rookie get starting job on the Red Sox? You become the first rookie pitcher in Red Sox history to throw a no hitter.
“There’s no going back to Triple-A,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
Buchholz wasn’t even suppose to start today. Wakefield twinged his back Friday so Tavarez had to move up, and someone needed to pitch Saturday. It might have been Lester, the starter for Sunday but he wasn’t eligible to come up yet. And so fate and fortune picked Clay for Saturdays start against the Orioles.
The Red Sox faithful stood all through the ninth inning as Clay neared history.
From the 7th inning on with the Red Sox ahead 8-0, everyones attention was on the no-no.
Whenever you see a no-hitter there has always been a great defensive play behind them. Clay’s no-hitter was no different. In the 7th with Miguel Tejada up, Clay let a hot shot go up the middle that he waved at with his glove. Pedroia chased down the ball and when it was by him, grabbed it on the dive, got up quickly and threw a bullet to first to get Tejada by a step.
Clay said of Pedroia’s play, “When he made that play I knew something was meant to happen tonight. It was an incredible moment in my life.”
I was probably one of many after Buchholz cruised threw the 8th and most fans stood on their feet, and the Sox came up, I didn’t care at all about the Sox hitting. We needed three Willy Mo’s to come up and get out. Just get Clay back up there. Instead seven Sox came up to the plate, saw 22 pitches, and two scored.
It was a long wait until the 9th inning.
Brian Roberts, first up against Clay, struck out swinging. Next up was Corey Patterson. Entering the game with a .270 average. Have to figure a 27% chance he’ll hit a single. On the 4th pitch of the at bat, Patterson hit a tailing shot to center. Right off the bat you weren’t sure if it’d bloop in our stay up. Coco Crisp with his coked up Olympian legs ran down from center to the left side and Patterson’s line drive held up long enough for Coco to run under it. There was a huge sigh of relief in Fenway and every bar in New England.
The final batter was Nick Markakis, one of Baltimore’s best hitters. And in four pitches Clay sent Markakis down looking on his change-up.
“It works out a whole lot better when you can locate [pitches]” Clay said humbly.
Clay had everything working. His change-up was simply electric. It feel completely off the table and everyone was swinging before the pitch even crossed the plate. It was like watching a major league veteran work the game.
In one year Clay has done more then he’ll probably ever do in one year again. Cross your fingers to that. But this year he has beaten a first ballot HOF in Clemens which he did in a triple AAA start and now he has thrown a no-hitter. He’s creating high expectations in Boston.
-According to the Elias Sports Bureau Clay Buchholz was only the third player ever since the 1900’s to throw a no-hitter in one of his first two starts.