Good afternoon Fenway Faithful! Clay Buchholz will face off against the Blue Jays' Brett Cecil this evening at 7:05pm EST. Cecil has struggled to find his velocity, but he has said multiple times (similar to Phil Hughes) that he is not worried about it. He has struggled to break 90 MPH on the radar gun and with this lineup, like with Hughes, even if they are struggling they can tear that fastball apart.
Buchholz on the other hand should find the first of his successful starts tonight. Buchholz has not made many mistakes with pitches this year, but every single one of them has seemed to leave the yard. You can write that off to playing Texas, but even they can't continue to make him pay for every single mistake he throws, can they? Against New York he had a little trouble with command, but he said it was just one of those days. There were no problems with velocity or movement and he made a few hitters look pretty silly including the cutter that he struck out Mark Teixeira on in the first inning.
Buchholz was at his best against the Jays last season racking up a 3-0 record with a 0.41 ERA. For his career he has dominated Toronto going 6-3 with a 2.50 ERA. Why is his record against them not better? Well because they had Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett who just burned down Red Sox hitters while they were in Toronto for a combined ERA under 3.
The Sox have good numbers as a team against Cecil. Tonight is a good night for the bats to break out. If Buchholz can give the Sox 7 innings and keep them in the ballgame (he doesn't have to be dominant), I like his chances to get his first win of the season. Pound the strike zone, stay away from Bautista, and you will be ok. Bautista punished the Sox last season and has a .294 average against Clay with a home run in 19 AB's. Lind, has by far had the most success against Clay, with a .375/.375/.667 line. Buchholz obviously does not fear him though, as he has never walked him in 24 plate appearances.There are no other hitters with more then 10 plate appearances in the Blue Jays lineup hitting over .300 against Buchholz. If you have Travis Snider in your fantasy leagues, bench him tonight as he has hit just .061 against the right hander.