Red Sox

ALDS Game 3 renews old college rivalry - Buchholz vs. Tomlin


ALDS Game 3 renews old college rivalry - Buchholz vs. Tomlin

BOSTON -- When they first met, Clay Buchholz and Josh Tomlin were teammates at Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas. In fact, Buchholz went to Angelina with hopes that he’d take Tomlin’s job -- at shortstop.

“Yeah, we didn't know each other at the time, so there was no -- I didn't find out about the story that our junior college coach told the year after I left, that he came in and he would play right field or just pitch,” Tomlin said, explaining the situation from their college days at the Indians' workout Saturday at Fenway Park.

The college teammates will oppose each other as major league pitchers when Buchholz's Red Sox host Tomlin's Indians in Game 3 of the ALDS on Sunday. Cleveland leads the best-of-five series, 2-0.

 “So, I didn't find out about that until later. But, yeah it was a friendly competition it was just about what made our team better.”

Now, 11 years since they competed for an infield spot in fall ball together, they are competing against one another again, for the first time on the mound -- all with a trip to the ALCS on the line.

“It’s really crazy how some things work out,” Buchholz said.

Boston’s starter complimented Tomlin for his athleticism and play at shortstop when they were in college, but also made mention that Tomlin wasn’t a fixture in the Roadrunners’ rotation. Still, he’s not surprised to se how far Tomlin’s come in his career.

“He’s a competitor,” Buchholz said. “Obviously if you look at the charts he’s not going to overpower you. He’s a very good command, control pitcher. He can cut, sink the ball, has a good curveball. He’s had that ever since I first met him.”

Tomlin credited Buchholz for “probably [being] a better pitcher than I was at the time,” but when it came to hitting, Cleveland’s Game 3 starter changed his tune.

“It's been a long time ago. I don't really know. I want to say me,” Tomlin answered when reporters asked who was the better hitter, getting a hearty laugh from manager Terry Francona. “I think he hit more home runs, but, no, he was an All-American that year we were there, so he was probably a better all-around player, but I think he got All-American for pitching, not hitting.”

Although this is the first matchup for the Angelina College alumni, it’s not the first time their paths have crossed since they played together, and they don’t expect it will be their last.

“Yeah, we have maintained a friendship,” Tomlin said. “We talk to each other every off-season, we have been back to Angelina and talked to coach and worked out and threw with him.

“But other than that, it's just kind of a friendly text back and forth and when we see each other and play each other we hang out, go eat lunch or something like that. But, yeah, we're still pretty good friends.”

Come first pitch Sunday though, their friendship -- much like Francona and John Farrell’s -- will go on a temporary hiatus.

“Yeah, I'll text him tonight, not tomorrow, but the next day after that, yeah,” Tomlin said with a big smile.

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.