Prior to the Red Sox-Blue Jays series finale in Toronto on Thursday night, former Blue Jays pitcher and current commentator Jack Morris accused Boston starter Clay Buchholz of throwing spitballs during Boston's 10-1 win on Wednesday night.
Jack Morris, a former World Series hero and a Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster, said Thursday that he watched video after Wednesday night's game between the Jays and Red Sox and came away convinced Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz is throwing a spitball.
Morris said he didn't notice it during Wednesday's telecast.
"I found out because the guys on the video camera showed it to me right after the game," he said. "I didn't see it during the game. They showed it to me and said, 'What do you think of this?' and I said, 'Well, he's throwing a spitter. Cause that's what it is."
During the outing, Buchholz shut down the Jays, allowing only two hits in seven shutout innings, striking out eight and walking three. Red Sox manager John Farrell, who managed the Jays last year, shot down Morris' theory, as did Buchholz.
Morris's accusation was vigorously disputed by the Red Sox, including manager John Farrell and Buchholz, who said it's the first time he has been accused of throwing a spitball.
"Loading up with what, rosin?" Buchholz said. "I get wet from my hair. Are they talking about the stains on my shirt? There probably are stains on my shirt, because I've been wearing the same shirt for the last three years.
"I'm doing the same thing right now as I did in 2008, when I was sent down to Double-A. But I guess something's got to be wrong, right?'"
Asked if he believed the action of Buchholz's pitches suggested he was throwing a spitter, Morris said, "What do you think? Look at the pitches. Fastball at 94 that goes like that," Morris said, his hand darting swiftly down and away. "On a fastball?
Looking at the PitchFX trajectories for Buchholz's pitches on Wednesday seems to shoot a major hole in Morris' theory. The only pitches recorded that fell in the strike zone were curveballs that topped out at 84 mph, and the only pitches recorded that had the vicious horizontal movement that Morris described were also curveballs.
You can see the aforementioned substance on Buchholz's arm in the picture embedded in this post, but it seems to just be rosin as he claimed. It's going to be interesting to see the fallout from Morris' accusations, which were backed by former Blue Jays player and current broadcaster Dirk Hayhurst. With how strong the deinals are from Farrell and Buchholz, along with Boston catchers David Ross and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, I'm willing to side with the Red Sox side of the debate.
UPDATE: Here's the response from Dennis Eckersley of NESN. It was vicious.