Clay Buchholz has strong outing in first start for Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz took the mound Sunday against the New York Mets as the D-backs looked to find their fifth starter in the rotation.
Buchholz looked comfortable on the mound in his first start as a D-back. After allowing a double in the first inning, he didn’t give up another hit through five frames.
“Couple more nerves than usual, just getting back out there,” Buchholz said to reporters after the game. “Just went with the scouting report and game plan and trusted (Jeff Mathis’) instincts behind home plate.”
In the top of the sixth, he gave up a leadoff home run, which tied the score at one and ended his outing.
Buchholz allowed that single run off two hits and one walk in five innings of work. He threw just 61 pitches, 39 for strikes.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder’s two- and four-seam fastball proved to be effective against the Mets, accounting for one of his two strikeouts on the day. They hovered near the upper 80s and low 90s.
His second strikeout was a changeup to Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Buchholz’s curveball was also effective early in his outing, but was the pitch Amed Rosario connected with for the solo homer.
“I went to the well one to many times with the curveball, but that’s part of the game,” Buchholz said. “They’ve got some good hitters over there too but it felt good getting back in it.”
Buchholz was replaced by T.J. McFarland, who didn’t allow another run in the sixth. The next inning, Jorge De La Rosa came in and gave up three runs.
The D-backs went on to lose to the Mets, 4-1.
As the team continued to mull its options with pitchers Robbie Ray and Taijuan Walker sidelined with injuries, the D-backs signed Buchholz to a Minor League contract on May 4 after he was released by the Kansas City Royals.
Manager Torey Lovullo told reporters Friday Buchholz would likely be the starter for Sunday’s game. He was officially called up late Saturday.
Buchholz’s start pushes back ace Zack Greinke, who will now take the mound Monday at the Milwaukee Brewers.