Sunday, August 10, 2008

The challenge of the lefty youth

In just two official appearances as a Major Base-Ball League member, Clay "Beanpole" Buchholz tallied one of the sport's most vaunted accomplishments: the "zero hitter." It was a crisp September evening in good Boston when the lanky Texan twirled the pill through the Baltimore swatters, not one of which were able to place a ball beyond the reach of the Boston gloves.

But following the "striking out" of the very last batsman, whilst his team-mates rushed the pitching mound, Buchholz was dazed. Even when Capt. Varitek lumbered up on his prodigious gams and hoisted the youngster into the air, Buchholz appeared to have difficulties comprehending his accomplishment.

Certainly, his youth played a part. But given his record of two wins and seven losses this season -- and with his per-game allowance of nearly eight "runs" a game -- one must wonder if the Beanpole is having troubles properly harnessing his prodigious talent. For sure, he has shown that he can compete with the best heroes of the base-ball world. But will he gather his skills and keep opponents from pasting aces on the scoring board?

Today's the day, with Buchholz challenging the potent offense of the Chicagoans, those white-stockinged ne'er-do-wells led by the the perpetually angry Oswald "Words for You" Guillen. I for one have good feeling about the Beanpole's growth prospects. Let the sun shine and allow that plant to blossom, young Buchholz!

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