|Clay Buchholz pitched just one inning last night; he tweaked his knee running the bases in the second and was removed. (Tony Avelar/ Associated Press)|
Buchholz runs into trouble
He injures knee on the basepaths
SAN FRANCISCO — Clay Buchholz was an accomplished hitter at Angelina Junior College in Texas and has been playfully boasting to teammates for several weeks that he would produce at the plate once he got an opportunity.
That came in the second inning last night against the Giants and, sure enough, Buchholz grounded a fastball from Madison Bumgarner into right field for a single in his first major league at-bat.
But while Buchholz may be a good hitter, he proved inept at running the bases. Unsure of whether to peel off or slide into second when Marco Scutaro grounded to third, Buchholz stepped awkwardly, wrenched his left knee and had to leave the game after pitching one inning.
“It was indecisiveness on my part going into second base,’’ Buchholz said after the Sox beat the Giants, 4-2. “I landed weird, felt a little pop behind my knee.’’
Tests showed Buchholz to have a hyperextended knee. He will be evaluated today, but the hope is he will not miss a start. Buchholz said he has good range of motion and strength in his knee.
The Sox are off tomorrow and Thursday, which would allow them to give Buchholz extra days to recover without placing him on the disabled list.
“If we need to adjust our rotation, we certainly can. But as of right now, we’ll kind of play it by ear,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “The good news is, long term, he’s going to be OK.’’
Buchholz was treated with ice and said his knee felt good.
“I’ll know tomorrow, how I feel when I wake up,’’ he said. “There was no sharp pain or anything. It wasn’t a whole lot of discomfort.’’
When Buchholz grabbed his leg, Francona was sure the injury was serious.
“We all panicked right away,’’ he said. “When he got in the dugout he was kind of struggling. It didn’t look good.’’
The 30-year-old infielder, acquired from Seattle in an offseason trade, was 0 for 2 with a walk and a run.
“You never want this to happen, but these are the kind of things you need to be ready for,’’ said Hall, who is hitting .226 with five home runs and 16 RBIs.
Hall has played six positions, primarily the outfield, this season, including pitching one inning in relief. Prior to last night’s game, he had played 29 innings at second.
“I think he’s actually looked really comfortable there,’’ Francona said. “I think we’re pretty fortunate. You can’t replace Pedey, that’s why he’s Pedey. But we’re pretty lucky to have Billy.’’
Last night was the 111th game Hall has played at second base in his career. Most of those came with the Brewers from 2004-05.
“I’m real comfortable. I’ve played there a few times this year,’’ Hall said. “I’m an infielder. Obviously if I have to play, I’m going to put in a lot more work [at second base]. I’ll be getting in a lot of work and that’ll only make me better.’’
Hall knows replacing what Pedroia does offensively will be difficult.
“I’ll fill-in fine,’’ he said. “I’m not going to say I’m going to go out and do what Dustin’s done, because he’s been great. I’m going to go out and be myself.’’
He has played mostly outfield, but has played 32 games at second base in his career, although he has extensive minor-league experience.
Patterson is not expected to join the team until Tuesday. He is a career .224 hitter over parts of four seasons with the Cubs and Athletics.
Williamson, 21, was 4-3 with a 3.72 ERA for Salem of the Carolina League. The Sox obtained him from Seattle for David Aardsma in 2009.
Beckett threw 45 pitches, matching his usual pregame warmup. Then he sat down, got up and threw eight pitches as though he were getting ready before an inning. Then 17 pitches followed.
“I felt great,’’ Beckett said. “No pain at all. I was able to throw all my pitches. My arm strength was actually pretty good.’’
The next step for Beckett will be to face hitters Thursday. The Sox are off that day, but Beckett will throw at Fenway Park, likely to players from the independent league Brockton Rox.
From there, Beckett would pitch in a minor league rehab game July 6. Double A Portland is home that day. He will need at least three rehab games before he is ready to rejoin the Sox.
“It’s a matter of getting back that endurance,’’ he said. “It’s been so long since I pitched in a game, you need to get your arm and your body back to where it was.
“It could be three games, maybe four. We’ll talk about it as we go through the process and decide what is the right thing to do. But the best thing is that my back feels fine now.’’
Beckett is 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA in eight starts.
“I finally came here, and now I feel like my life in baseball is complete,’’ said Irvin, a longtime New York Giant.
Think the Red Sox have some history? Say hello to the Giants.
The Giants started playing as a professional team in 1883, when they were known as the New York Gothams. Their first victory was a 7-5 conquest of the Boston Beaneaters in the old Polo Grounds.
They became the New York Giants in 1886 and moved to San Francisco in 1958. They were managed by John McGraw from 1902-32. It was McGraw who famously refused to play the Boston franchise in the World Series in 1904. McGraw (still a player-manager) just didn’t take the junior circuit seriously, even though Boston had defeated Pittsburgh in the first Fall Classic in 1903.
The World Series was a certified, sanctioned showcase by 1912 when the Giants and Red Sox first played one another. Boston won that series, 4-3-1, with Game 2 declared a tie and called on account of darkness at Fenway.