Sunday, September 02, 2007

Buchholz Tosses No-Hitter at Orioles. Timlin Reaches Milestone.

Red Sox rookie right-hander Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter last night in his second major league start, beating the Orioles 10-0 at Fenway.

The kid was throwing some nasty stuff that included fastballs that reached 92 MPH, looping curves and changeups that dropped from the knees to the dirt. He threw 115 pitches, struck out nine, walked three and hit one batter. He was helped defensively by second baseman Dustin Pedroia who, in the top of the seventh, dove for a ball up the middle off the bat of Miguel Tejada to throw him out and keep the drama moving.

The funny thing was that Buchholz was given this start because Tim Wakefield was unable to pitch on Friday night, which moved Saturday's scheduled starter Julian Tavarez up one day, necessitating the call for the rookie.

Buchholz is the third Red Sox pitcher to throw a no-hitter this millennium (Derek Lowe versus the Deviled Eggs in 2002 and Hideo Nomo versus the Orioles in 2001 were the others).

Buchholz started the season at Double-A, pitched well there for two months and was moved up to Triple-A, and was called up to the big club for a start against the Angels a couple of weeks ago which he won. I wasn't thrilled about the way the Sox seemed to be rushing him, but injuries to Curt Schilling, and their inexplicably dumb trade of Joel Piniero to the Cardinals (3-2 in six starts with a 3.71 ERA) for the infamous Player To Be Named Later made it damned near impossible for the Sox not to bring him along.

So congratulations to Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz, who, let the record show, has one (1) more no-hitter than William Roger (The Mercenary) Clemens.

And speaking of records, congratulations to Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin who made his 1,000th career appearance in Friday night's game, becoming just the 13th major league pitcher to reach the milestone.

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