Valentine: Buchholz was 'very much improved'

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Valentine: Buchholz was 'very much improved'

MINNEAPOLIS -- It wasn't artistic by any stretch and it won't wow anyone taking a look at the pitching line.
But Clay Buchholz got his second win of the season Wednesday night and said he felt the start represented a step forward for him.
Buchholz pitched 5 13 inning and allowed 10 hits and three walks while being charged for five runs in the Sox' 7-6 win over the Minnesota Twins.
"I felt like I threw some good pitches,'' said Buchholz. "I executed pitches better today than I have all season. Going into the sixth inning, I can deal with (giving up just one). We came out on top, but from an individual standpoint, I've got to do better.''
Things unraveled in a hurry for Buchholz in the sixth after he struck out Sean Burroughs to lead off the inning.
Two singles, a double by Denard Span and a walk to Jamey Carroll saw the Twins pull to within four runs as the Boston bullpen was asked to bail out Buchholz.
Buchholz liked the improvement he showed keeping the ball down in the strike zone, which has been a failure of his in the first three starts. He also used his changeup more effectively than he had prior to Wednesday night.
"It's a pitch that I've been able to go to at will (in past seasons),'' said Buchholz of the change. "Today was a step forward for that. I felt really good in the delivery with the changeup.''
Bobby Valentine said Buchholz was "very much improved. He scattered singles around the ballpark and kept the ball down much better. He just ran out of gas (in the sixth).''
Still, there's plenty of room for additional improvement.
Buchholz still sports an 8.87 ERA after four outings and has allowed at least five earned runs or more in each of those outings.
What's more, he's allowing far too many baserunners. On Wednesday, he allowed 13 hitters to reach over 5 13 innings and had just one 1-2-3 inning.
"It's been like that all year,'' lamented Buchholz. "I've had two clean innings all season. It's a struggle when you're out there throwing pitches and guys are putting them in play. It's the way it goes. It can't stay like that all year.
"I've got to be positive about it and take the good things out of it.''
Starting with the victory.
"We'll take that Clay Buchholz and take our chances with that,'' concluded Valentine.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.