Red Sox

Red Sox notes: Buchholz struggles to find form

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Red Sox notes: Buchholz struggles to find form

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Call it an off-night. They happen, and Clay Buchholz knows that the most important thing is bouncing back from them.

Buchholz threw 99 pitches in 4 23 innings on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics. From the beginning, he never seemed in control.

I didnt really have any command of any pitch, really, he said after the game, which the Red Sox came back to win, 8-6. Ive had three or four games this year where everythings been working. So I think theres going to be a certain time that your pitches arent doing what you want them to do. Its hard to pitch out there with one pitch working for you.

Buchholz credited the As for finding the holes and working the pitch counts. But even when Buchholz was having success during an at-bat, Terry Francona noticed his starter was not sticking with what was working.

I just didnt think he really ever repeated his pitches, said Francona. Hed throw a good one and then hed throw one where he didnt want to. Stuff was fine, I just dont think he really located and executed consistently tonight.

Buchholzs no-decision streak extended to four games as reliever Bobby Jenks got the win. He has not recorded a decision since May 13 in a win over the New York Yankees. Prior to Fridays game, he had pitched 20.1 innings over three games without a decision.

It sucks to go out there and if I had only given up five runs I might have gotten the win tonight. Thats how Ive got to look at it, he said. Those guys went out there and scored enough runs for me for me to go out there and pitch. I feel like Ive been throwing the ball well and there were some good things that happened tonight, so I can build off of those.

Francona confirmed earlier discussions that Daisuke Matsuzaka will undergo Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow next week. "It looks like Dr. Yocum is going to peform a surgery on Daisuke, probably some time next week," Francona said. "That's still to be determined, but it looks like it will be next week."

29-year-old reliever Tommy Hottovy made his Major League debut in the top of the sixth with two outs and a runner on first. He faced David DeJesus, who grounded out to second base. Hottovy was greeted in the Red Sox dugout with a handshake from Terry Francona and high fives from several teammates.

You can try a lot of things to keep your nerves down, but in that situation theres not much you can do. I was just trying to take a deep breath and just tell myself, This is what Ive been working for my whole life. So just enjoy it, soak it up, and have fun.

Said Francona, He looked like he had a lot of poise, he threw strikes, he seemed excited like youre supposed to be. I dont think being nervous got to him - he executed his pitches.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia continued his hot streak by hitting his fifth home run of the season in the eighth inning. He has hit all of those home runs over the past 11 games and driven in 10 runs during that stretch.

The Red Sox Foundation will donate the proceeds raised in Fridays 5050 raffle - and match that amount - to the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts to help tornado relief efforts in Massachusetts. In addition, Buchholz will donate 500 for every strikeout to the victims of the Joplin, Missouri tornado.

As a reminder, Saturdays game has been moved from 7:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. to avoid a conflict with Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks, which begins at 8 p.m.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

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Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Don’t confuse the goal of a normal spring training with the likelihood one will follow.

Tyler Thornburg’s time with the Red Sox has been an ordeal. He’s optimistic he can have a regular spring training after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in June, a surgery that included the removal of a rib which is now on display at his parents’ house. 

He said Saturday, in fact, there’s a “very good chance” of a normal spring. But there’s also a chance his build up to regular-season form runs unevenly. And that would be OK.

“I started throwing Oct. 2, that’s when they kind of gave me the go-ahead to go tossing,” Thornburg said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “So I’ve been building up slowly since then, just trying to make sure we don’t have any setbacks or things like that, and ramp it up at a good pace. I’m throwing at 120-140 feet, so it’s about the pace I’d normally be on, granted I’d know 100 percent before where I was [under normal circumstances]. So things could be a little different."

Consider a few other things Thornburg said Saturday at Foxwoods.

“I don’t really think any of us really know how quick I’m going to bounce back necessarily as far as how quickly the recovery’s going to go in spring training after an outing,” Thornburg said. “But hopefully I mean it’s fantastic, and we can kind of just keep going.”

A bit of natural uncertainty. He missed an entire season, and the reason he missed an entire season is had a lot going on medically. 

What appeared to be a shoulder injury was far from your usual, say, rotator cuff matter. His was a nerve issue.

“Two of the neck muscles were incredibly hypertrophied, like overgrown, and they just started squeezing on the brachial plexus, where all the nerves run down,” Thornburg said. “I’d be sitting there watching a game and just a nerve thing would hit me and I’d almost get knocked over by it. As well as the first rib was getting pulled up and my hand would just turn red some days if I was just standing there, cutting off the blood circulation. Then all the scar tissue and buildup along the nerves they had to go and dissect all that off there.”

So the injury wasn’t simple, and now, the recovery process is really a whole body matter. 

"There’s a lot off things your arm has to get used to between using different muscles, as well as my arm was kind of working through a scenario where it was trying to overcompensate for this and [trying] to relieve that,” Thornburg said. “So just worked a different way. Now your body has to remember how to actually properly work again. It’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff.”

Thornburg noted the possibility too he could be ready to go to start the season but not really ready to go back to back yet. Would the Sox then carry him on the big league roster, or continue to build him up elsewhere? 

Velocity won’t be there right away for Thornburg, he said: “But I mean that’s what spring training is for for most guys anyway.”

There’s a lot of optimism, but naturally, there’s a lot to be seen. 

“The rehab process, it's been a massive rollercoaster,” Thornburg said. “It really has. But I mean, I've been trying to take it week to week which has been a lot easier. There's the good days and bad days, just different kinds.”

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Coming off a phenomenal season, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel spent the offseason in Boston. Not to be closer to Fenway Park, but for proximity to something far more important: the city’s first-rate medical community.

Kimbrel’s daughter, Lydia Joy, was born in November with a heart issue.

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“It’s been a lot,” Kimbrel said Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods. “My wife and I, we’ve kept it kind of private. But when she was born, she had some heart defects so we decided to stay in Boston and work with Children’s Hospital and just been going through that ordeal and it’s had its ups and downs but she’s doing great right now."

Focusing wasn't always easy in season, but Kimbrel said his daughter's condition has motivated him even more.

“They always say when you have a child, things change and they have," he said. "I’m definitely more focused towards her and her needs and our family needs. It’s just one day at a time and give everything I got. It’s real easy to look at her and understand everything I’m doing is for her and it makes it a lot easier.”

Kimbrel and his wife, Ashley, found out early in the 2017 season that they would be staying in Boston for the winter and were preparing.

“Everything has kind of gone as planned so far,” Kimbrel said. “She’ll have another surgery during spring training, so I’ll come back to Boston for a week and do that, but it’s been good. It’s definitely been tough, but one of the happiest, joyful times of our life.”

"Being in Boston, we feel blessed, because the doctors are the best in the world. Being able to work with them has been great.”

Kimbrel said his wife has stayed in touch with Travis Shaw’s wife. The Shaw family has had a similar experience, Kimbrel said.

“It seems like they’re doing pretty good,” Kimbrel said. “It’s been very encouraging to see.”

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