Can Buchholz salvage his season?

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
12:49
PM ET
Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.79 ERA) gets the start Wednesday against Garrett Richards and the Los Angeles Angels. The last time the two pitchers met was the 19-inning Boston Red Sox loss on Aug. 9, when Buchholz allowed three runs while striking out eight in eight innings.

He'll try to help the Red Sox end their current struggles and cool off the Angels (74-50), who have won two straight and six of seven following Tuesday's 4-3 victory.

But Buchholz has been struggling all year and is on his way to posting one of the worst seasons by a starting pitcher in Red Sox history.

The pitcher has a 5.79 ERA, more than three times higher than his 1.74 ERA in 16 starts in 2013. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no pitcher in major league history has had his ERA triple from one season to the next while throwing at least 100 innings in each of those seasons.

The difference in Buchholz's numbers between this season and last season are stark. A lack of luck on balls in play could have something to do with it.

Buchholz is throwing his cutter much more frequently this season, and it's getting shelled. He's allowed two home runs this season with that pitch after allowing just three in the previous five seasons combined. Perhaps the velocity loss has something to do with it.

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