Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NFL
  • NCAA FB
  • Tennis

Regular season neck injury leaves Clay Buchholz fresh for ALCS

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

A regular season injury has left Clay Buchholz nice and fresh for the postseason.
A regular season injury has Clay Buchholz nice and fresh for the postseason. (USATSI)

More ALCS: Scherzer: Watching Cabrera play hurt is inspiring | Peralta not concerned about Green Monster defensively | Who has the edge?

BOSTON -- A nagging neck injury cost Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz more than three months of the regular season, limiting him to only 16 starts. They were 16 outstanding starts (1.74 ERA and 4.3 WAR), but his season wasn't as good as it could have been.

Most starters on the four remaining playoff teams are approaching the 200-inning plateau if they haven't exceeded it already. Buchholz, however, has thrown just 114 1/3 innings this year (regular season plus his ALDS start). That has left him fresh for the postseason.

"Yeah, my body feels good," said Buchholz on Friday. "It took a little bit to get back into pitching shape and getting my legs back under me, but now [I feel good]."

Buchholz added that while no one is 100-percent at the moment, he definitely feels stronger right now than he usually does this time of the year. There is fatigue but not as much.

The 29-year-old right-hander had numerous setbacks during his rehab, so each time he went out to play catch or throw in the bullpen, there was always some concern in the back of his mind. He's over it now, but getting there was a challenge.

"I think the big hump was getting over the fact my body was well and not thinking about something else rather than just making a pitch," added Buchholz. "That's a hard thing to do -- going through an injury I've never had to deal with before. Not knowing until you just pick up a ball and say 'Okay, I'm going to throw this ball with 100-percent effort' and hope nothing happens. After that, the first time I did that, I felt really good."

The Red Sox have four quality starters in their playoff rotation, but Buchholz has the most potential to be utterly dominant in a given outing. Those 16 regular season starts show he's as good as anyone when healthy.

Buchholz is healthy now. Healthy and feeling like he usually does in June even though it's the postseason in October. In a way, the neck injury may have been the best thing that happened to the Red Sox's postseason chances.

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

mlb Video

September 17, 2014
MLB Power rankings 9/17 (5:47)
1 September 16, 2014
Papelbon suspended
(0:57)
2 September 16, 2014
MLB Top 10 players of the second half
(3:37)
3 September 16, 2014
Gary Sheffield talks about his career
(17:05)

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Baltimore Orioles Majestic Charcoal 2014 AL East Division Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

MLB Division Champs Gear
Get your team today
Shop Now