Box Score Bank: Clay Day

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Box Score Bank: Clay Day

BREAKING NEWS: Clay Buchholz is having an awful season.

Actually, I'm sure you already knew that, but just for fun let's provide a few details.

For one, he's given up more earned runs (28) than any pitcher in baseball. Not surprisingly, he also has the league's worst ERA (8.69) and is tied for the second-worst WHIP (1.90). The fact he also sports a 3-1 record defies most logic and only supports the claim that WL record is one of the more bogus statistics in sports (right up there with NBA -).

Yup, Clay's been horrendous. So it wouldn't hurt to throw a little positivity his way. (It wouldn't help either, but lay off, I needed a segue). And with the Orioles in town, I've got the perfect thing.

So let's set the Box Score Bank for

September 1, 2007

Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston was the No. 1 song in America. Spider-Man 3 was tops at the box office. The Pats were eight days away from Week 1 of their undefeated regular season; Will Middlebrooks was nine days shy of his 19th birthday.

And over at Fenway Park, rookie Clay Buchholz, in his second Major League start, was spinning a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles.

Final Score: Red Sox 10, Orioles 0

To be honest, I figured that Baltimore's line-up would be a lot more pathetic than it actually was. I mean, they weren't the 1999 Indians or anything, but

Brian Roberts, Corey Patterson, Nick Markakis, Miguel Tejada, Kevin Millar, Aubrey Huff, Jay Payton

Those are real Major Leaguers and Clay was simply dominant. He needed only 115 pitches to get through the nine innings, with nine strikeouts, three walks and an HBP sprinkled throughout.

And the bats did their part, as well. The Sox line-up collected 14 hits on their way to scoring 10 runs thanks in large part to three-run homer by Kevin Youkilis and a three-run double from David Ortiz. With two outs in the eighth inning, young Jacoby Ellsbury pinch hit for Bobby Kielty with the bases loaded and hit a two-run double. It was the second two-bagger and second and third RBI of Ellsbury's Major League career.

But the story was Buchholz.

The kid's star shined so bright that night, and we all just assumed it would keep shining for the extent of his Red Sox career.

Almost five years later, and we're still waiting for him to consistently tap into all that potential. Let's see if the Orioles can't help him get back on that track.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.