BOSTON Clay Buchholz has been working on ways to improve his outings and his 9.09 ERA. He lasted just 3 23 innings in his last outing with the bullpen going 13 13 innings in Sundays 17-inning loss to the Orioles. He has pitched seven innings just once, and has not had a quality start in his six outings. He has already given up 33 earned runs this season. In 14 starts last season, he gave up 32 earned runs.
He addressed some of his issues before Thursdays series opener against the Indians. Buchholz is scheduled to pitch Friday.
Its been a rough six starts to start the season off. Theres been times where in an outing youre thinking about, OK, this is going to be the outing that changes everything. And then something, a big inning happens and it brings you back to square one. So thats what Ive been doing, figure out a way to minimize the damage in those big innings. I was just telling a couple guys, the innings split, theres been four innings where Ive given up 18 runs in just those four innings this year. Thats about half the runs that Ive given up all year. So find a way to get through that big inning without letting it get too big.
Do you need one or two good starts to get on a roll?
Yeah, thats usually how it works. Its just like the hitters being contagious as far as somebody catching fire, another guy catches fire and then the whole lineup is hitting. I think its the same thing with us. Everybody else has been pitching pretty good. Im like that last link as far as getting this team on a roll and taking the pressure off everybody else. Taking the pressure off the bullpen being able to throw six, seven innings every time out. Let the bullpen do their job instead of having to come in in the fourth or fifth inning.
How difficult has the start of the season been for you?
Its not the most comfortable situation. I dont think anybody ever goes out on the mound and expects to do bad or doesnt expect to do good. So when things go wrong out there you just have to find a way to slow the game down and minimize the big innings and minimize damage.
Do you feel like people are picking on you?
No, not really. I think it comes with the territory. Im part of this organization for a reason. I believe everybody on this team can help this team win. Whenever you put a guy out there for five or six outings in a row and it doesnt turn out the way it should or you want it to, its a little frustrating for everybody.
What are some of the things youve been working on specifically since your last start?
I think mechanically staying over the rubber. If you rush to home plate, that causes the pitches not to go where they want to go and I think thats been a big deal. When trouble starts happening you try to make the pitches better than they need to be and by doing that they get worse. So its something that goes on when the game gets quick out there. Guys forget what they need to do to throw a pitch where they need to throw it and get an out. So thats basically it. I think all the pitches are there. The last couple starts when Ive been able to throw a pitch for a strike I think its been the hitters have been able to get in a sequence with me because Id throw a fastball, then a changeup, then a curveball, then a fastball again. So its been sort of a deal where they could sort of guess with me. So I got to change that up a little bit and go out and if something bad happens, get the ball back and keep playing.
Has the game been speeding up on you?
Not to the point where it did right when I got up here but I think it speeds up on everybody. The big thing is if you can step off the mound, and take a deep breath, and gather yourself and your thoughts and not let the last hitter affect what youre doing with the next one.