BRADENTON, Fla. — Clay Buchholz needed only 27 pitches over three scoreless, hitless innings against the Pirates to come away feeling that he had not only economized and thrown his sinker effectively, but that he's building up for a better day to start the season.
"Definitely better than last time out (three hits, one run vs. Tampa Bay on March 4)," Buchholz said. "I located my two-seamer. Happy with that. I felt I needed to work on a couple of more pitches. Didn't try to overthrow."
Buchholz didn't bother to see how hard he was throwing. Velocity is the last thing he worries about now.
While he throws five different pitches, the two-seamer is his bread and butter.
"It's the one pitch I throw a lot of," Buchholz said. "Get ground ball out in big situations. It's a hard pitch to get into the air, so I'm trying to refine that."
Buchholz said he threw 40 warm-up pitches in the bullpen so he didn't mind the low pitch count.
He walked one batter and the rest was easy.