The scorching-hot Boston Red Sox won another game in walk-off fashion on Sunday afternoon, as Jacoby Ellsbury finished off a wild, 4-run rally to defeat the Cleveland Indians. Normally, this type of win would be the headline story of the day in Boston, but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows in Red Sox country. One of their staff aces, Clay Buchholz, has been scratched from his upcoming start on Monday due to some discomfort/pain in his right (pitching) collarbone.
Buchholz stressed that the decision to miss a start was “his call”, but however it occurred, it should bring alarm bells to the Red Sox faithful. He has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, posting a 7-0 record with a 1.73 ERA and 73 strikeouts in his 72.2 innings through his first 10 starts. This is a new “level” of production from Buchholz, but he has a definite pedigree, and the peripherals portray a pitcher who may be making a sustainable leap as he moves forward in his career.
The Red Sox don’t appear to be overly skeptical of this injury, as they administered an X-ray that showed “no damage”, but anytime you are talking about a pitching shoulder/arm injury, it is worrisome. In addition, both the team and pitcher have expressed a desire for Buchholz to take a turn in the rotation before his next “scheduled” outing that would have followed Monday’s game.
As Boston competes for pole position in the AL with a 31-20 record, they’ll need their pitching in tact. Alfredo Aceves, the team’s infamous “swing” guy, was brought back from Triple-A on Friday, and he’ll get the start in Buchholz’s stead. It’s been a storybook start to the 2013 season for the club, and if Buchholz can maintain his pre-injury arc, there is a likelihood that the team would follow in his successful footsteps.