If Bo Derek was a perfect 10, on Monday night Clay Buchholz had to register at 9.9 on the perfection scale. The 24 year old Texan pitched a complete game, 1 hit shutout on Memorial Day in Louisville Kentucky. Buchholz faced 28 batters, just one over the minimum. After setting down the first 24 hitters he saw, Buchholz gave up a single to Danny Richar, leading off the ninth. Buchholz then retired the final three batters. His control was impeccable. So good, in fact, that he reached a 3ball count just once all night. It was to Michael Griffin in the third. Buchholz admitted having a case of the nerves late in the game, saying that he felt “The last 2 innings took longer than the first seven.” Buchholz topped out at 97 miles per hour, according to the in-stadium radar gun. Clay, who threw a no-hitter for Boston on September 1, 2007 against the Orioles, said he had never been involved in a perfect game. The nerves trickled all the way down to the radio booth, as I called the action, hoping desparately to witness history. Bronson Arroyo threw the last PawSox no-no, a perfecto in August of 2003. It didn’t turn out to be a Vin Scully/Billy Chapel moment like in the vastly under rated baseball movie classice, “For Love of the Game”. It was ultimately not historic, but man, it was special.
Dusty Brown and Paul McAnulty hit back to back homers in the sixth inning, the first time the PawSox have turned that trick in 2009. Brownie also caught Clay’s masterpiece. I was really digging Dusty’s sunglasses that he wore during our long travel day to Kentucky. They reminded me of vintage Elvis Presley. (the older one).
Spotted the Syracuse Chiefs in the Louisville airport Monday. They were still there six hours after their flight was grounded due to mechanical problems. They were forced to charter a flight to get home in time for their 6:00 p.m. game with Scranton. Better them than us. Every dog has his day.
Also spotted Richard Pitino, a Providence College grad and son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino at the airport. The younger Pitino recently accepted a job as assistant coach at Florida under former Friar, and Pitino disciple, Billy Donovan.