Clay Buchholz became the first Red Sox rookie to toss a no-hitter, just two weeks after his 23rd birthday. This game was just what Dr. Baseball ordered after a sweep by the Yankees and that Friday night debacle. The bats provided more than enough support for Clay in the 10-0 gem, powered by a bases-clearing Papi-double and a three-run bomb from the human target Youk.
But the story was all Buchholz. He was only in danger twice of losing the no-no. In the seventh, Tejada ripped a shot past the mound, but fellow rookie Dustin Pedroia made the diving stop, whirled, and got Tejada at first. In the eighth, Jay Payton hit a come-backer – which I would have bet the farm was the one that broke it up – but Buchholz snared it and underhanded to Youk.
The ninth was a thing of beauty. The sell-out crowd was electric as Buchholz came out from his dugout seclusion and strode to the mound. He got Roberts swinging, Patterson lined out to Coco, bringing up Markakis. Clay froze him on a 1-2 curve and was rung up at the plate. Eruption time.
Buchholz was masterful, mixing up his 93 MPH fastball, his change-up, and the nasty hook that ended the game. Buchholz had also pitched a no-hitter in high school – which to look at him, could have been last year.
This is the launching point for the September run. Thanks, Clay.