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Red Sox Extras: Clay Buchholz The Stopper

Not long ago, Clay Buchholz was an absolute wreck. With his ERA sitting at 7.84, and an even 27 in both strikeouts and walks, there was little-to-no hope of a strong outing when he took the mound. The Red Sox won enough of his starts, sure, but with the sort of offensive production that could have saved a Single-A player from a major league loss. Or even John Lackey!

All-of-a-sudden, however, two months into the season, everything clicked.

Over his last four starts, Clay Buchholz has thrown 31 innings of five-run ball. Only 29 men have reached base over that period--good for a WHIP of 0.94--and almost as many have gone down by way of the K. While the Red Sox managed to lose the first of those starts when Alfredo Aceves surrendered two runs in the ninth, they've taken the last three.

Two of those wins account for the only two wins the Sox have in their last nine games.

From the albatross of the rotation, Clay Buchholz has suddenly become the stopper, ending losing streaks of three and four games with dominant starts against the Orioles and Marlins. Now the Sox can only hope he also serves as the spark that starts a winning streak--one desperately needed with a 30-32 record staring them in the face.

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