By Jessica Camerato, Boston.com Correspondent
Clay Buchholz is starting to feel like his old self again.
The Red Sox pitcher has settled into a rhythm in his last three starts, and even though he has not earned a decision in them he has noticed positive results.
On Friday, Buchholz (5-7, 5.99 ERA) threw seven innings against the Houston Astros, striking out nine while giving up seven hits and two earned runs. The one home run to Robbie Grossman bothered him after the game, but overall he was pleased with his recent performances. He has combined for 20 strikeouts, four walks, 13 hits, and five earned runs in his last two outings.
“I felt like they were the two best outings I’ve had of the season,” he said following the Red Sox 5-3 extra innings loss. “I can take a lot of positive out of it, but the main goal and focus is to win.”
Last season Buchholz went 12-1 with an ERA of just 1.74. He has been pleased to feel reminders of that year.
“Last two times out I’ve been able to throw a curveball behind or ahead in the count, for strike one or 2-0, flip a curveball and get a free strike,” he said. “That’s sort of how I pitched last year. I just hadn’t really been able to do it a lot this year. The last two times have been reminiscent of the 12, 13 starts I was able to in the last season and then all the other pitches fall into place I feel like whenever I get comfortable.”
Buchholz has momentum on the mound, and both he and the Red Sox hope that will continue through the season.
“Clay was outstanding once again,” said manager John Farrell. “He was crisp, he had a very good curveball to put hitters away with, to lead guys off of strikes, a lot of strikes overall. He was very efficient.”