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Pitcher Preview: Vance Worley vs Clay Buchholz

Previewing the starting pitchers of tonight's opening salvo between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.

Jared Wickerham

Vance Worley

#49 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins





Sep 25, 1987

Whenever Worley looks like he's improving, he has a clunker. His first start of the year was fine, until he followed it up with a "meh" performance and then a solid hammering. Then he put together back-to-back outings which were, for all intents and purposes, one hell of a lot better. Followed by a shellacking in Detroit.

Worley is never going to overpower anyone. But he's a better pitcher than he's proven to be so far this season. All we're asking is just to keep us in the game, Vanimal. Keep us in the game.

Clay Buchholz

#11 / Pitcher / Boston Red Sox





Aug 14, 1984

Apart from the fact that he could pass for a girl (minus the facial hair) in this picture, Clay's been a man among men in terms of starting pitching this season. Six consecutive quality starts to kick off the season. 47 strikeouts in 44.2 innings. His ERA is a microscopic 1.01, and he's actually allowing LESS than one run per start. His ERA+ is 427. FOUR. TWENTY. SEVEN.

Let's just chalk it up to small sample size to keep from crying, shall we?

Now in his age-28 season, what we appear to be witnessing is Buchholz turning into the ace the Red Sox always expected him to be. Going into 2008, Baseball America ranked him as the number four prospect in the game. And since then he's had some pretty good years with Boston. But this? This is unprecedented.

I'd like to say that Buchholz is due for a clunker of his own. But his fastball is as alive as it's ever been. And that curveball is downright illegal. Let's just cross some metaphors: my fingers are crossed, but I'm not holding my breath.