Clay Buchholz Flirts with Second No-Hitter and Strikes out Career-High 11

Gary OusdahlCorrespondent IIApril 14, 2013

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14:  Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox throws against the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth inning at Fenway Park on April 14, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Following an injury-shortened 2011 campaign and a questionable 2012 season, Clay Buchholz is off to an amazing start for the Boston Red Sox.

And he flirted with history on Sunday.

During Sunday's day game at Fenway Park, Buchholz took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, where a single by Kelly Johnson broke it up. Still, he managed to go eight innings on the day while giving up just two hits and striking out 11 Tampa Bay Rays batters.

Buchholz is 3-0 on the season with a 0.41 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched. And he has a .149 opposing average with a 0.95 WHIP.

If he would have accomplished the no-hitter, Buchholz would have become the fifth major leaguer to no-hit the Rays since 2009. And it would have been his second career no-hitter, as he blanked the Orioles on September 1, 2007.

The Red Sox have surprised many this season with their bats and outstanding pitching, leaving them with a 7-4 record—good for first place in the American League East.  

Many experts expected the Toronto Blue Jays would dominate the league this year, but the Red Sox have quieted many detractors with their current performance.  

Jon Lester and Ryan Dempster are off to fantastic starts, and, with the exception of an injury to starter John Lackey, Boston's pitching looks great going into the second week of the season.

And with Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia all off to blazing starts with their bats, the eventual return of David Ortiz will only add to the Bo-Sox offense and will surely put more runs on the board.

So, can the Red Sox keep up this current level of play?

Though it's a bit too early to start predicting where teams will be come October, the way they are playing right now, the Red Sox could surprise a lot of haters as the 2013 goes on.