Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/7/13
Clay Buchholz was quicker, more aggressive and more economical on Thursday. It was all by design, and it’s no surprise that the right-hander also saw better results. Buchholz, who was lifted from his first spring training start in the second inning because of a high pitch count, lasted all three frames he was scheduled for on Thursday. When his day was done, Buchholz walked away with a stat line far more impressive than the one he put up on Saturday, and he also left with a mindset that should bode well for the Red Sox moving forward. Buchholz’s health and use of all pitches were enough to be pleased about Saturday’s spring debut, but there were clearly some issues despite the “good day of work.” One of the flaws that needed to be addressed was the time that Buchholz spent between pitches, and the Red Sox’ coaching staff did its best to nip that problem in the bud. The Boston staff actually busted out a stopwatch while Buchholz was pitching in the bullpen between starts, with the goal being to get him down to 15 seconds between pitches. Previously, he had been working with 25- to 28-second intervals, which not only led to some painstakingly slow at-bats, but also limited Buchholz’s comfort level. “You grip the ball, and the muscle memory, you feel more comfortable doing it again rather than taking 20 seconds or 25 seconds between pitches,” Buchholz told reporters following Thursday’s outing. The increased comfort was obvious, as Buchholz tossed three scoreless innings, including two eight-pitch innings. He threw 38 pitches, 31 of which were strikes, and he even struck out four Twins batters while setting the tempo for a 12-5 Boston win. The jump in efficiency was not only obvious. It was massive. Buchholz threw 40 pitches in 1 1/3 innings on Saturday, and only 22 went for strikes. That’s a 55-percent strike percentage, which is far below the 81.6-percent mark he featured on Thursday. Buchholz also made strides on Thursday when it came to getting ahead of hitters. One thing that’s been particularly impressive about veteran Ryan Dempster this spring has been his ability to deliver first-pitch strikes. Clearly, it’s an emphasis that extends throughout the entire rotation, and Buchholz showed he’s on board with the philosophy by throwing first-pitch strikes to eight of the 11 batters he faced. Even when Buchholz missed with his first offering, though, he still tried to maintain the same rhythm, and that’s something that should enable him to avoid disastrous innings when things do go off the tracks a little bit. “If you can’t throw a first-pitch strike with your fastball, that’s where the tempo comes in for me,” he said. “Whenever I feel good on the mound, feel comfortable, I feel like my tempo has always been better. “We tried to make it a point, even whenever I miss with a pitch, to get the ball and get back on the mound and regroup and go from there rather than taking my time and thinking about it.” So much of pitching is mental. If Buchholz can stick to the approach he took on Thursday, then the righty’s natural ability should take over, and that’s exactly what manager John Farrell and Co. are shooting for. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dion Lewis signed extension to repay Patriots for giving him chance

Report: South Carolina to start Perry Orth at QB vs. LSU

Mark Giordano: Flames’ effort in opener was 'unacceptable'

LeBron James says he’s in same class as Michael Jordan

Report: Some Texans players have already 'checked out' on coaches

WATCH: Washington scores against USC with trick play


Andre Johnson, Colts down Texans in key division win

Claude Julien: Illegal hit on Patrice Bergeron warrants ‘further consequences’

Foster’s return to game after head injury raises questions

Lions owner Martha Ford is not happy with NFL about blown call on MNF

New details on Duke Williams dismissal

Baylor’s RG3 statue vandalized by TCU fans

Name every QB to play in the NFL at the age of 40

Matt Hasselbeck was ‘on his death bed’ before Texans game

WATCH: Jets' Burmistrov lays dirty hit on Bruins' Bergeron

Report: Cowboys ban filming offense in practice with Patriots next on schedule

Maryland HC Randy Edsall responds on Twitter to firing reports

Pacquiao says he is in talks with Mayweather about rematch

Wisconsin looks to bounce back against Nebraska

Jack Del Rio: Raiders will go after Peyton Manning, want to ‘take him down’

Charles Barkley will guest star on 'The NFL Today'

Week 5 NFL power rankings

Poor Royals grounds crew member gets eaten by tarp

Vin Scully to miss the entire postseason; will return in 2016

Colin Kaepernick’s contract structure protects team from overpaying struggling QB

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Name every QB to play in the NFL at the age of 40

Week 5 NFL power rankings

Vin Scully to miss the entire postseason

Putin celebrates birthday by scoring seven goals in hockey game

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud

Women in sports this week: Is this 2015 or 1965?

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Garrett addresses Hardy's comments about Gisele

Five outrageous predictions for NFL Week 5

Rex makes players do push-ups in practice after penalty calls

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker