The Clay way

Clay Buchholz might not have had his best performance on the mound Monday night, but another Clay had a shot at redemption and may have earned a bigger spot in the bullpen. Clayton Mortensen was called upon in a tough spot to rise to the challenge and keep the Sox in the game.

Just after Joel Hanrahan gave up a game tying solo home run, Mortensen was called upon in relief of Hanrahan leaving with an injury. Top 9,two outs runner on first and a 1-0 count to Justin Morneau, all he needed was one pitch to retire Morneau on an infield grounder. Clayton went on to earn the win throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings, a hit two walks and a strikeout. After surrendering a walk off hit just a day prior in Texas it was great to see the young pitcher bounce back so strong.

Any reliever should always be ready to go at any point during a game, but with the lead and your closer coming on in the 9th most bullpen guys are calling it a night. Here's Clay Mortensen after the game,
“Just a situation like that you come in, a tie ballgame in the ninth inning, more than likely, I figured I’m going to go until they tell me otherwise,” he said. “You just got to keep that mindset: Still got to go, still got to go. So you just got to keep finding energy somewhere and just compete.”
“You find [the energy] somewhere, man,” he said. “I felt great, actually, surprisingly. You get in the moment and you just find it somewhere, just start mentally talking yourself up and try and fit it somewhere. You got to.”

With recent injuries to Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey, Mortensen's role has just increased and will have to carry more of the load. After last night's impressive appearance the Red Sox should have little concern turning to Clayton again in a tough spot. Check back on RedSoxLife for more updates on the Sox ailing bullpen and more roster moves as they happen.