Clay Buchholz absolutely shined in his return to the Boston Red Sox rotation. John Farrell wanted to keep him to around 75-80 pitches, and Buchholz went five scoreless innings on 74 pitches.
Buchholz gave up three hits in his five innings, allowed just one walk, and struck out six. He looked very comfortable on all but one pitch. In the fourth inning, he reacted after one of his deliveries, but not in a way that suggested any pain, but instead suggesting he just let his mechanics get away from him for the pitch.
This start was every everything the Red Sox could have asked for and more from Buchholz. His pitches were well controlled, he was hitting his spots and his velocity was not significantly different than his starts early in the season.
Expect his next start to get his pitch count into the 80s, then the following in the 90s, and his fourth start probably won’t have a pitch count. If Buchholz pitches every fifth day moving forward, his remaining starts would be home against the New York Yankees, home against the Toronto Blue Jays, and either at the Colorado Rockies or at the Baltimore Orioles.
His first two starts being against playoff contenders will be a great opportunity to get an idea of where Buchholz fits into the postseason rotation. If he is able to put together a couple more dominant performances and is able to build his stamina and go deep into the last couple of games, Buchholz could very well be the Game 1 starter for the Red Sox.