SARASOTA, Fla. Making his fourth Grapefruit League start, right-hander Clay Buchholz went five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. He gave up two two-run home runs, one to Adam Jones in the first and another to Nick Markakis in the third.
Although he was scheduled to pitch six innings, and left with the Sox tralining by three runs in the eventual 6-5 loss, Buchholz was satisfied with his outing.
Overall, I pitched pretty well, said Buchholz, who threw 86 pitches, 56 for strikes. That pitch that Jones hit was up. Thats what he does. And a couple of fly balls with the wind got to them and they were to a spot where there wasnt anybody there.
Manager Bobby Valentine was also satisfied.
Hes working with his curveball lately. He threw a lot of curveballs and some of them were good and some just got up in the wind, Valentine said. But he worked on everything he wanted to work on. He wanted to throw up to 90 pitches. He probably needed to go one inning more to do it. But he threw, what hed throw 85, 86 pitches. It was good work. His stuff was good.
Buchholz had a long wait in the second inning, when the Sox sent eight batters to the plate, scoring twice, and driving Orioles starter Jason Hammel from the game after 59 pitches in in two innings. The wait, though, did not affect him.
No, it was pretty hot out there but its going to be hot everywhere come July and August, he said. So its something that you got to work with and work against. Its just one of those things. But you cant use that as an excuse.
He had the option of coming out after the fourth inning, but opted for another one more.
Had a couple long innings today, a couple of long at-bats, he said. They were fouling some good pitches off and working the count. You always try and go out there and be efficient . . . It doesnt always go that way. Thats what everybodys goal is.
Said one scout in attendance of Buchholzs outing:
His stuff was fine. He was very deliberate, which I think hurts him. Hes better when he works faster. Had a very good changeup, but not many cutters and curveballs for strikes. His fastball velocity was down a little today.
Buchholz is satisfied with how his spring is going overall.
Its going good, he said. They asked me after the fourth inning, said, Hey, well just get some good work for today. I know that I need to get my pitch count up because I wasnt ready for my first couple starts last year. So I still wanted to go out there for that fifth inning. So Id rather go out there and get three outs in a row than have an inning like the previous one and be done with it and have that to think about the next four days. But overall this is about getting your work in. You always want to see the results you want happen but it just doesnt happen all the time. But I felt good, felt like Im still moving in the right direction. Go from there.
It was lack of enough innings last spring that hampered at the beginning of the season, he believes.
Just, I dont think I threw enough innings in spring training, he said. My pitch counts were up there. But pitch counts dont really mean anything because its how many times you get up and down off the bench after long innings, going back out and pitch and throwing 20 pitches, sit down for five minutes, going back out. 3 23 and throwing 80 pitches doesnt really work with getting your legs underneath you. And thats I think the innings numbers are more important than actual pitches.