Here's some of the data: 5.2 ip, 4 h, 1 er, 3 BB, 3 K, 103 pitches. His pitchfx charts look pretty good. Of the hits, 3 were to Overbay, and 1 to Lind -- both LHB. The Blue Jays have a RHB-heavy lineup, and Buchholz had them making weak contact throughout the early innings. He started off the first inning working the outside edge, and getting groundballs on the offspeed pitches, especially the changeup. Later on the changeup also gave him 5 of his 9 swinging strikes. His fastball command was very good at the start, with lots of tailing action catching the outside edge. Later on he grooved a few pitches, but only the lefties made him pay for it.
There was plenty of horizontal movement on the fastball, but no obvious distinction in movement or spin angle between 4-seamer and 2-seamer clusters, so it's hard to say exactly which pitches were sinkers and which were regular fastballs. Regardless of the intention, his fastball is moving visibly: it can't be described as straight-as-an-arrow anymore.
He was more assertive than last year, shaking off Varitek numerous times. He survived the stressful situations without melting down, getting one runner with a quick throw to third on a tapper back to the mound. Pitching from the stretch, formerly a weak spot, didn't seem to cost him much.
What did he look like to you?
Edited by Sprowl, 18 August 2009 - 07:21 PM.