People seem to have a problem with Clay Buchholz. Some of it I understand. He’s a talented pitcher. Perhaps the most talented on the staff. But, he can’t quite put it all together at once. That frustrates people. I get that.
What I don’t get is this constant waiting for him to fail.
You hear it every time he pitches. If he gets the first batter out, nobody’s happy. “When’s he giving up his home run?” twitter asks. When he does give up a home run, it’s “see, I knew it was coming.” After a rough outing, it’s just what they expected. After a gem like last night, people rush to point out that they don’t trust it.
Of course you don’t trust it. That’s why he’s not going to the Hall of Fame. Has there been a pitcher you “trusted” since Pedro? Any one of them could throw a stinker. As someone who had Curt Schilling on a fantasy team, I can’t tell you how often he would be cruising along only to get whacked around to turn a dominant performance into a mediocre one. Same with Lester when he was on my team. Pitchers have good days, and they have bad days. They have good innings, they have bad ones. It’s what happens. But, for Clay we have this obsession with “trust”.
It’s even gotten to the point where we’re tilting the numbers against him. Did you know the Sox were winless in his starts before last night? I must have heard it about 1000 times. Of course, people ignore the dominant game he had to put the Sox in position for a win before Koji and Kimbrel (two pitchers we “trust”) coughed up the lead and blew the game. They ignore that his numbers are better than Price’s (another pitcher we apparently “trust”)
When it comes down to it, who cares if we trust him or not? He’s either going to pitch well, or he’s not. My trust is going to have very little to do with the outcome.
So, people were saying he was pitching for his job last night. Since we didn’t trust him, he needed to be pushed out of the rotation when Rodriguez comes back. So, we “trust” eDRo? Do we “trust” Joe Kelly? Did we suddenly start “trusting” Wright, a knuckleballer? We never trusted Wakefield, if I remember correctly.
So, Clay pitched an amazing game last night. Has he “turned a corner”? I have no idea. I do know, however, that I keep waiting for him to fail, he’s always going to do it at some point. But, here’s the thing. If I keep waiting for him to pitch well, he’s going to do that at some point too.
Just for fun, next time Clay pitches, treat him like he’s David Price. Assume if he gives up a run that he’ll recover. If he sets the side down in order, assume he’ll do it again. Sure, you’ll be wrong at some point. But, you were wrong at some point before too.
This way is just more fun.