Clay Buchholz' numbers do not look good. They likely won't look good even when the season ends, but they're very misleading.
Coming off a back injury which ended his 2011 season before the All-Star game, Buchholz was rusty out of the gate. He gave up at least five earned runs in each of his first six starts, and did not have a start where he allowed fewer than two until his 12th appearance of the year.
His last start was a disaster, granted, but it ended a stretch of dominance which had totally turned his season around. In the six starts before that, he was 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.
When the Red Sox were looking at blowing up their team, Buchholz' name was likely the only one on a piece of paper headed by the word 'untouchable'.
Adam MacDonald is a Scottish journalism student at GCU. He has been a featured columnist for the Boston Red Sox since October 2010. You can follow him on Twitter here or circle him on Google+ here.