Beyond the Monster: Clay Buchholz No-Hits Fenway Into a Frenzy


Beyond the Monster is an ongoing series where we take you back in time and look at moments in Red Sox history.

Don Orsillo would narrate the final pitch of the game, a game that would be one of the iconic calls of Orsillo’s broadcasting career with the Red Sox, "Clay Buchholz has thrown a no-hitter in Boston tonight, and it sends Fenway into a frenzy!"

It was September 1, 2007.  I remember I was hanging out with a few friends enjoying a few beers and closing out the summer.  I remember vividly coming back from the bathroom and before going outside again picking up the remote for the television and turning on NESN.

A young, skinny 23-year old Clay Buchholz was on the mound still pitching for the Red Sox against the Orioles at Fenway Park. On this night, Buchholz would send Fenway into a frenzy tossing his first career no-hitter in only his second professional start.

The Red Sox would beat the Orioles 10-0 and Buchholz would tease the Red Sox faithful of the potential he would possess during his tenure with the Red Sox.  A tenure that would be rocky and frustrating.

The crowd though, the crowd on that night were behind Buchholz and cheered every pitch as he hurled his way to a no-hitter.  Buchholz struck out nine, he walked three and hit one batter in front of a sellout Fenway crowd.

Buchholz secured the no-hitter after freezing Nick Markakis on a curveball.  While home plate umpire Joe West in the video hesitated to call the third strike, the captain Jason Varitek knew it was a strike and rose from his crouch and rushed the mound.  This the third no-hitter caught by Varitek.  He would catch four in his Red Sox career.

"It's amazing. That's all I can say ... I'm in a blur right now”, Buchholz told the media after the game.

On that night, Buchholz instantly became a fan favorite. He was someone that Red Sox Nation thought could be the next big pitching prospect to be in the rotation for the Sox for years to come.

Buchholz was the first Red Sox rookie to record a no-hitter in team history.  He was the third pitcher since 1900 to throw a no-hitter in his first or second major league start, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

This no-no could have not happened.  Following the game, then Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said he and manager Terry Francona spoke during the game between the seventh and eighth innings and spoke about Buchholz pitch count.  Epstein said that Buchholz would not be allowed to exceed 120 pitches. He finished the game with 115 pitches and secured the no-hitter.

Buchholz would only go on to pitch two more games following the no-hitter that year after experiencing shoulder fatigue.  The club would decide to shutdown Buchholz for the year, a year that saw the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series.

Buchholz would end up pitching nine years in Boston, nine years that showed us flashes of the brilliance and talent to be one of the game’s premier pitchers.  But the latter half of his Sox tenure was filled with injuries and meltdowns.  He pitched in 188 starts, an 81-61 win-loss record and a respectable 3.96 earned run average.

While Red Sox fans will always get on him for his nagging injuries and not playing as often, he was active within the Boston community.

His Red Sox career came to end when former Red Sox Head of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski traded Buchholz to the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Red Sox acquired infielder Josh Tobias and shed the $13.5 million Buchholz was owed that offseason.  An offseason that produced Chris Sale from the White Sox in a blockbuster trade.

But for one night, the Red Sox saw the brilliance of Buchholz.  An unlikely no-hit performance in a year that also brought us a World Series championship.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Beyond the Monster: Clay Buchholz No-Hits Fenway Into a Frenzy
Beyond the Monster: Clay Buchholz No-Hits Fenway Into a Frenzy
Boston Sports Syndicate
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