« Buchholz in the third
Game story: Red Sox 4, Royals 0 »
July 16, 2007
Even though Red Sox pitching prospect Clay Buchholz worked only three innings against the Ottawa Lynx tonight, the opponents were quite impressed with the 22-year-old righthander.
The PawSox’ righthander worked three innings and exactly 50 pitches against Ottawa last night and suffered a no-decision as Pawtucket erased an early three-run deficit en route to a 6-4 victory at McCoy Stadium.
“He’s got a good arm,” said Ottawa manager John Russell, who was ejected from last night’s game in the bottom of the seventh inning. “He changes speeds really well and for his first start in Triple-A I thought he threw the ball really well. Like any pitcher who makes it to the upper levels command is the biggest key and he was commanding the ball pretty well.”
After Buchholz retired the side in order in the first inning, the Lynx scored three runs (two earned) on four hits in the second. Russell said he didn’t think his hitters made any adjustments after seeing the PawSox pitcher in the first, it was just Buchholz had trouble with his location.
“He probably didn’t throw the ball exactly where he wanted it,” said the Ottawa skipper. “That’s what happens and you’re going to have a lot of those [innings] at Triple-A and in the majors because location of your pitches is key a big key, obviously I didn’t talk to him, but I think he would feel the same way that he didn’t quite hit his spots. He has a very good arm and I see him being a very good pitcher.”
Ottawa’s Pedro Swann, who went 0-for-4 on the night and 0-for-2 against Buchholz was quite impressed.
“He had three great pitches working – fastball, curveball and change-up,” said Swann. “He has promise. He has a good arm and three great pitches. With the first three hitters, we got a little bit of a scouting report. I think he got some pitches up against the second group of guys and no matter what kind of stuff you have, you’re going to get in some trouble. He’s young. He’ll learn to keep the ball down, but he has a great future.”
Ottawa’s Randy Ruiz was the batter who belted a two-run homer off Buchholz and also said the young righthander pitches with guts and confidence.
“I tell you what,” said Ruiz, “this guy being a young guy he came right after people. He was really good and he had good stuff tonight. He worked his off-speed a lot and a guy who throws good change-ups and good curveballs, you just have to go out there and try to battle. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to a pitcher like that.”
Ruiz belted a two-run homer off the first offering Buchholz served him in the top of the second inning, but this wasn’t the first time the two have faced each other. Ruiz played for Double-A Altoona and Buchholz for Double-A Portland, so the two have a bit of history and Ruiz said he was ready waiting on a fastball.
“I faced him a few times in the Eastern League and he liked to get ahead of me with his fastball then throw me a lot of off-speed,” admitted Ruiz. “It was just one of those days. I just tried to turn it around and he threw me a nice fat fastball down the middle of the plate and I got a good swing.”
Just because Ruiz faced Boston’s top prospect in the past it’s not like he held court with his teammates before last night’s game to give in in-depth scouting report.
“Everybody has their own plan up there,” he said. “You just got to go out and try to stick to it. For me I just try to see the ball and hit the ball, especially right now because I’m slumping. . . I heard a lot about (Buchholz) and I read a lot about him and when I faced him in Altoona he had some good stuff and shut us down in our ballpark. You can always tell a guy who throws hard and has some good stuff.”
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