Not the ending Buchholz, or Red Sox, wanted

Not the ending Buchholz, or Red Sox, wanted
October 2, 2012, 3:35 am
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NEW YORK -- Clay Buchholz's season began with some wins which he probably didn't deserve. It ended with an eight-game winless streak.

Somewhere in the middle, there was a decent season. But that didn't extend to Monday night, when Buchholz was rocked for eight runs in just an inning and two-thirds of work.

Buchholz gave up three homers in the span of five batters in the nine-run New York second, part of a 10-2 pasting of the Red Sox by the Yankees.

Buchholz retired the first three hitters in a row in the first, then faced 10 hitters in the second and retired only two of them -- one on a sacrifice fly.

"They didn't miss any of his mistakes,'' said manager Bobby Valentine. "He was out there giving everything he had. But that's a tough lineup to make some mistakes to and they were able to hit him hard. It looked like pitches were coming back to the middle a little.''

Buchholz didn't contradict his manager, noting "it's tough when you leave pitches out over the middle of the plate and every one of them gets hit. That's what this team's known for -- they hit mistakes. And they did that tonight.

"I felt good with a bunch of pitches that I threw. Just the ones that were in the zone, they barreled them up and hit hard.''

Again and again, in the second inning it seemed. The inning began with a solo homer by Robinson Cano. After a called third strike on Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher singled and Curtis Granderson homered.

A solo homer by Russell Martin followed, then two straight walks, a a single to load the bases by Ichiro Suzuki and a hard-hit line drive to left for a sacrifice fly from Alex Rodriguez.

Finally, Cano, hitting for the second time that inning, doubled to score two more and Buchholz's night was over as he tied his career-high for most runs allowed.

The start gave Buchholz 189 13 innings, also a career high. But he rejected a suggestion that he was fatigued.

"I felt as good today as I've felt all year in the second half of the season,'' said Buchholz. "The ball was coming out fine. I feel strong. It's definitely not a fatigue problem. I felt pretty good pretty much all season.''

Buchholz missed a month-long stretch in the middle of the year with a stomach issue, but still recorded 29 starts and nearly 190 innings.

"It's a step right in the direction, '' he said, "but not a big enough one, I guess.''

"He's given us a heck of a season,'' said Valentine. "He pitched his heart out. It's hard to have it end like that.''