FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Clay Buchholz, who made his first outing of Spring Training on Saturday, vowed not to judge his upcoming season by statistics.
Perhaps Buchholz put too much pressure on himself last season, when he got off to a nightmarish start that snowballed. In his first nine starts of 2012, Buchholz had a 7.84 ERA. For the rest of the season, his ERA was 3.41. The final numbers? An 11-8 record with a 4.56 ERA.
"Just pitching as far as being evaluated, it's all numbers," said Buchholz. "For the most part, it's hard to control any of those numbers. You can't really control your ERA; you can't control the errors behind you or the home runs that you give up or wins and losses, for that fact. But if I'm going to go deep into games and keep the team in the game every time I'm able to go out there, I think that alone will take care of everything. Then the numbers will come, if you do all the little things right that you need to do."
On Saturday, Buchholz went 1 1/3 innings, reaching his pitch limit of 40. He gave up a hit and two walks while striking out two.
Buchholz's first start of the spring was delayed because of a minor right hamstring injury earlier in camp.
"He used all his pitches," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He likes to pitch with a constant mix. I think with repetition, sharpness will come. No ill effects with the hamstring. It was a good day of work."