Boston Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz is hoping to avoid a dubious feat this season, as he's in danger of becoming the first pitcher to triple his ERA from one year to the next while throwing more than 100 innings in both campaigns, per ESPN Stats & Info (via Elias Sports Bureau).
After posting a 1.74 ERA over 108.1 frames (16 starts) last year, Buchholz saw his 2014 ERA balloon to 5.87 with an ugly outing Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 29-year-old surrendered seven runs (all earned) over five innings in a 14-1 loss, and he now owns the American League's fourth-worst ERA among pitchers who have tossed 60 or more frames.
With 96.2 innings to his name this season, Buchholz will likely hit triple digits in his next start, which is scheduled for Sunday against the New York Yankees.
As the first part of the criteria is seemingly unavoidable, Buchholz will need to lower his ERA below 5.22 by the end of the season to avoid an unfortunate piece of history.
Optimism may be hard to come by in Boston these days, but Buchholz does stand a decent chance to finish south of the 5.22 mark.
Since returning from a knee injury June 25, he owns a semi-respectable 4.63 ERA over seven starts.
Prior to the injury, Buchholz—owner of a 3.86 career ERA—posted an unsightly 7.02 mark through his first 10 starts of the season.