On a night after Beckett struggled with the long-ball, it was nice to see Clay Buchholz shut down the Jays and help us secure our second straight win, especially seeing as how the Yanks and Rangers won as well. In mowing down Toronto on three hits and 9 Ks through 8 and 1/3 innings, Clay seemed to morph from a wide-eyed, under-aged kid who can’t believe his fake ID got him past the bouncer into a confident, shifty and slightly edgy dude who hangs at the back of the strip joint in a trench-coat and may be capable of Timlin-esque carnage. And I gotta say, I liked seeing that guy show up. Especially in a rotation that desperately needs a reliable number three starter. Meanwhile, the offense continues to scrap away–ten big hits yesterday–erasing any lingering memories of the crew that couldn’t plate a key run to save their lives back in July.
This sets the stage for today’s curious match-up: Doc Halladay versus… Paul Byrd, who was working the Dairy Queen window when this season started. He’ll have a fully-rested bullpen behind him, which ain’t a bad thing, and the Sox offense has the confidence of knowing that it kicked around the Doc last time they faced him. All we can hope to do is steal one here and know that our rotation sets up nicely for Tampa Bay.