Buchholz: 'I feel like this was my most positive outing'


Buchholz: 'I feel like this was my most positive outing'

BOSTON -- This isn't how you draw it up. Not Clay Buchholz. Not Bobby Valentine. Not anybody.

But after Monday night's 11-6 win over the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park, Buchholz improved his record to 3-1, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher to record three wins this season.

Buchholz allowed six runs on seven hits, five walks, and a home run in 6.2 innings of work. He's now allowed at least five earned runs in each of his five starts this season.

Fortunately, for Buchholz, the Red Sox keep putting up more runs than he's giving up.

"I feel like it was my most positive outing, aside from the line," said Buchholz after the win.

That's because most of the damage came against him in the seventh inning, where Buchholz gave up five runs on three hits while walking two, before even getting the third out.

Former Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick ended Buchholz' night by smashing a two-out, three-run home run into the Oakland bullpen, cutting Boston's lead to 11-6.

As Buchholz was taken out, he was visibly angry. He said it was because he felt the 1-2 curveball that Reddick hit was a good pitch. It was a combination of that and the fact that through six innings, Buchholz was cruising. He hadn't even thrown 80 pitches. And he allowed only one run on a second inning rundown that saw that run cross the plate just before the final out in the inning was made.

"I'm thinking I've got at least two more innings in me after the sixth, and then hand it off to one of the guys. But, it doesn't always happen like you plan on it happening," said Buchholz afterwards.

"I'm probably the only pitcher in baseball that's complaining about winning games," he added. "There's a lot of guys that are throwing the ball well, that are getting losses under their name. So, you've got to take it for what it's worth right now."

And for what it's worth, Buchholz leads the Red Sox in wins. But as for the issues at hand, which once again plagued Buchholz in the seventh inning on Monday night, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he "can't really define it."

"He did what he needed to do for those first six innings, for sure," said Valentine. "He had change ups down. His curveball was biting. His fastball was working. It's another one to build on. He's 3-1 now. So he can always look at that record and say, 'Hey, I'm 3-1, coming off a good outing,' for the next time he goes out there."

The next time he goes out there, Valentine would like to see him allow less hits (seven) and walks (five) than he did on Monday.

"I'm sure that pitching coach Bob McClure and I will put our heads together and try to get a good answer to what's causing it," said Valentine. "You know, they're not big hits. But the walks are concerning. Five walks is a lot, in seven innings."

But Buchholz didn't think so.

"I think I walked five guys, but I had my mind set that I wasn't giving into anybody tonight," he said. "There wasn't going to be a 3-1 fastball down the middle. I was just going to try to make them hit pitches that weren't set on a tee for them. So, I'll take five walks. And I think a couple of them scored. But that's just how I felt like I needed to pitch tonight."

He tied his season-high in strikeout totals, with five on the night. But Buchholz can credit most of that to a changeup that he said was "absolutely" his best changeup of the year.

"There were a couple mechanical things," said Buchholz. "It's hard to go in-depth without showing anybody. There was a couple things that we tweaked. We looked at a lot of video from 2010. That's when the change up was at its best. We saw a couple things from those videos, and tried to mix them in these last couple bullpen sessions.

"Today was the best changeup I've thrown all year. I wasn't second-guessing anything there. I was just throwing it like a fastball basically, just with a different grip."

Through six innings on Monday night, Buchholz was living up to the hype. Everything was going as he had planned it. And then came the seventh inning.

Other than his final stat line, Buchholz is right. Monday night was his most positive outing.

WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1


WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1

CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.

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Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures


Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures

In recent days and weeks, the Red Sox have lost their general manager, their vice president of amateur and international scouting, an assistant director of amateur scouting, a member of their analytics department and their mental skills coach.

But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, insists that the team is not in danger of "brain drain.''

"No, not at all,'' said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a conference call with reporters. "We've lost some good people, but it's also a situation where we have a lot of good people and I think when you have a good organization, if you're winning and you expose people to situations, (a certain amount of exodus) happens. I think the other part of it is that we're more than capable of filling some of those roles from an internal perspective. We've got some quality people and I think the thing that's great about it is, it allows people to grow.''

Dombrowski announced that, in the wake of the departure of Amiel Sawdaye, the former VP of amateur and international scouting who left Monday to become assistant GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox were promoting Eddie Romero, formerly the vice president of international scouting, to the position of senior vice president/ assistant GM.

Romero, the son of former Red Sox utility infielder Eddie Romero Sr. will help Dombrowski in personnel matters and player development, while Brian O'Halloran, who has the same title as Romero, will continue to handle administrative matters including salary arbitration and contactual negotiations.

After the departure of Mike Hazen, who left to become GM of the Diamondbacks last week, Dombrowski interviewed Sawdaye and Romero as Hazen's potential replacements before determining that neither had the necessary experience yet to become a major league GM.

Dombrowski said there would be additional internal promotions and adjustments to announce in the coming weeks. He added that senior advisors Frank Wren and Allard Baird, each former general managers, would see their responsibilities increase when it comes to conducting trade talks with other organizations.

Sawdaye's departure is one of several this off-season for the front office. Earlier this month, Steve Sanders, who had been the team's assistant director of amateur scouting, left to become director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Also, Tom Tippett, a longtime member of the team's statistical analysis staff, will leave soon too pursue other opportunities. The team recently informed mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury that his contact would not be renewed, according to the Boston Globe.

Dombrowski indicated that Laz Gutierrez would be promoted to take the place of Tewksbury.

In other news, Dombrowski revealed that the entire coaching staff -- hitting coach Chili Davis; assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez; first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr.; third base coach Brian Butterfield; bullpen coach Dana LeVangie; pitching coach Carl Willis; and bench coach Torey Lovullo -- had all agreed to return for 2017.

That, of course, is subject to change since Lovullo is believed to be a target of Hazen for Arizona's managerial vacancy.

Dombrowski said the Diamondbacks had yet to request permission to speak with Lovullo, though that may happen soon now that Hazen has hired Sawdaye to fill out his front office.

When Hazen was hired by the Diamondbacks, he was limited to hiring just one member of the Red Sox' Baseball Operations staff. But, Dombrowski added, that limit didn't apply to uniformed staff members such as Lovullo, who would be leaving for a promotion.