After a toxic 2012 The Boston Red Sox have the best record in baseball. While there are many things that that have contributed to the Red Sox's 17-7 record, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are the major reasons why.
Lester has started five games and nearly has half the wins that he had all of 2012 with four. Lester also has a 2.27 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. His ERA in 2012 was a abysmal 4.82. In 2012, Opposing hitters are only hitting .214 off of the left-hander from Tacoma, Wash. As impressive as Lester has been, Buchholz has been even better.
The 28-year-old Buchholz has a 5-0 record in five starts in April. The 6’3” 190-pound pitcher from Nederland, Texas has 39 strikeouts in 37.2 innings pitched with an ERA of 1.19. Buchholz's WHIP is 1.01, which is good enough for ninth place in the American League. Opponents are batting just .192 against him.
While everyone credits Red Sox Manager John Farrell for the turnaround of the pitchers, don't ignore the work of new pitching coach Juan Nieves. Nieves previously worked as a minor league pitching instructor for the New York Yankees from 1992-1996. He also worked for 14 seasons in the Chicago White Sox organization before becoming the Red Sox pitching coach in 2013. Nieves worked closely with long time White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who is widely regarded as one of the best in the game.
No one knows if Lester and Buchholz can continue at this amazing pace, but it has been fun for Red Sox fans watch. At the beginning of the season, fans and experts didn't think the Red Sox had an ace on their staff. In April, Lester and Buchholz are pitching like they have two.