Has anyone else noticed that Clay Buchholz has quietly emerged as a quality, reliable starter for the Red Sox? In his last ten starts he's only given up three earned runs more than once, with the shortest outing being a 4 2/3 effort in which he gave up 7 runs to the White Sox (the Sox obviously still won that game).
The development of Jon Lester and Buchholz makes me hopeful that the Yankees can have the same thing with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Franchise in the years to come. Remember, it's not like Lester and Buchholz came up and were flat-out dominant from the get-go. While Buchholz did throw that fluke no-hitter in 2007, he was also demoted last year and spent a fair amount of time in the minors this year. In 2006, Lester made 15 starts to a 4.76 ERA before having to shut it down due to cancer. I knew Lester was highly touted, but I never thought he was going to come back and become one of the best pitchers in the AL. Additionally, when the Santana trade talks were going on after the 2007 season, I thought the Yankees' Hughes-fronted package was far superior to the Sox' Lester-fronted package, but if Bill Smith actually did turn down a package led by Lester as was reported, then he's even stupider than he initially appeared.
It's tough to say this, but as much as I dislike the Red Sox and their fans, I find it hard to root against Lester after what this guy has gone through and how successful he's become.