After a nine-month long stint on the sidelines due to a stress fracture in his lower back, Clay Bucholtz has finally returned. On the mound for the first time since June 16th, 2011, Bucholtz pitched two scoreless innings and helped the Red Sox towards a 10-2 win over the Twins. While he did manage to escape both innings without any damage, his performance was far from great. Buchholz occasionally struggled with his command, walking two batters and hitting another. He did however rack up two strikeouts, but threw only 20 of 36 pitches for strikes.
“I think that was just rust facing a big league team, facing the guys they rolled out there today weren’t just no-name guys,” Buchholz said. “You’ve got a lot of guys on that team who have been around the game a long time and they get paid a lot of money to do their job. It was just a situation where it started speeding up a little bit and had to calm down and make a couple of pitches.”
Putting aside Bucholtz’s command issues, it is great to see him back on the field and in great health. It is obvious that Bucholtz has been eager to come back and prove himself. He is in the best shape of his life coming into spring training, having lost fifteen pounds and increasing his offseason workout schedule.
“There’s a lot of work that went into it,” Buchholz said. “A lot of time off. A lot of struggles. Yeah, it was definitely worth all the work to be out there and not feel any stress.”
*Quotes from NESN.com