FORT MYERS, Fla. While the main squad was traveling to Tampa to face the Yankees Tuesday night, Clay Buchholz pitched four simulated innings Tuesday afternoon at the teams complex against Red Sox big leaguers, including Nick Punto, and minor leaguers.
Buchholz recorded 11 outs over four scoreless innings, throwing 59 pitches, 33 for strikes. He gave up five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Punto went 2-for-2 against Buchholz.Catcher Max St. Pierre was the other player from big league camp to face Buchholz. He went 1-for-4.
Pitching in a simulated game can be a challenge.
The atmosphere is different, Buchholz said. You have to go out there and know youre working on certain things and try not to get too frustrated if some things dont go your way. Its different, but you still have to get your work in.
They asked me a couple of days ago if its something I wanted to do to be in a controlled environment and not having to worry about whos on deck or whos on second.
Buchholz used his full repertoire of pitches.
I was a little rough around the edges he said. I dont think I threw a changeup for a strike. Little too quick on some pitches.
Tried to mix all of them. The feel wasnt there for all the off-speed pitches today. The changeup was up more than it was down and curve ball, I was pulling off it a little bit.
He picked Punto off first base, a move hes been working on.
It felt good, Buchholz said. I like to peak over to first a lot. Ive always done it. Its neat especially against a base stealer like Punto who can run catching him between steps makes you feel good.
Buchholz season was done after his June 16 outing against the Rays, when he left after five innings. A stress fracture in his lower back sidelined him for the rest of the season.
I came from here (the Sox instructional league in Fort Myers) and threw six or seven innings and I pitched without any stress and strain and I went into the offseason knowing I could throw at max effort in a game situation. So Im pretty much over that fact. It eased my mind to take a month off and then got
back into it.
But he tries not to think about last season.
I dont think it would be healthy to go out there and worry about things that could happen, he said. My focus and goals are on getting through spring and throwing innings that I need to throw to get prepared for the first start they have me slotted for.