Valentine on Buchholz: 'We need him'

Valentine on Buchholz: 'We need him'
May 11, 2012, 10:07 pm
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BOSTON -- A couple weeks ago, Clay Buchholz said that he felt like the only pitcher in major League Baseball who was complaining about getting wins.

Kind of, sort of true.

Surprisingly, Buchholz and his 9.09 ERA has the most wins on the Red Sox, with three, entering his seventh start of the season on Friday night, against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park.

In his previous six starts, Buchholz has yet to allow less than five runs. Needless to say, his 3-1 record is mostly a product of tremendous run support.

But make no mistake about it, Buchholz is a key component to Boston's success in 2012. If not for the sake of what he brings to the rotation every fifth start, then for the sake of saving the bullpen from any more six-inning appearances.

"I think our starters have to get it together," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine before Friday's game. "They're capable. They have quality. And maybe a couple hard-hit balls will get caught tonight, and we'll get on a role."

Buchholz obviously hopes he can limit the number of balls that are hit hard, and avoid that one big inning that opposing teams seem to have on him every time he steps on the mound.

"Well I think he has to take the responsibility, that, we're in a situation where we need him, and perform the way he's capable of performing," said Valentine on Friday.

"I never give up on a player until he gives up on himself, and I haven't seen that happen with Clay," added the Red Sox manager. "He's still working hard. He and Bob McClure are trying to solve this puzzle. I'm confident that the trust that I have in my coaches is going to pay off, because they're going to solve the puzzle. But is it difficult? Yes."

As for the rest of the rotation, Valentine says the solution is simple.

"Pitch better," he said. "I'm not going to start the bullpen and then have the starters end the game, or any of that stuff. The guys that we had designated as our starters, have to just go out and pitch better. I don't know any other way to express that."