Righthander David Buchanan won’t draw too many comparisons in style to the pitcher he replaced in the Phillies starting rotation, Cliff Lee.
First off, Lee is lefthanded and is a strikeout pitcher, but they do share two common traits.
Both like to pound the strike zone and each is a fast worker. Buchanan combined those traits to earn the win in his Major League debut, Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park.
In five innings, Buchanan allowed two runs on five hits. He only struck out two but didn’t walk a batter. Buchanan threw 66 pitches, 44 for strikes.
And he worked in a quick and efficient manner.
“I am one of those guys who likes to get the ball and go,” Buchanan said afterwards. “I know the faster I work the more they are on their toes.”
He feels that working quickly is better, especially since he won’t blow the ball by batters on a consistent basis.
“Me being a contact guy, the more they are on their toes the better chance plays are being made,” he said. “So as long as I can work quickly and pound the strike zone, I can let them get back in the dugout.”
Buchanan set the tone by getting the first four batters on groundouts.
He also said that having a 4-0 lead after two innings made him only want to work quicker.
“I wanted to go out there and be quick and not walk anybody, keep guys off base, let the guys come back in the dugout and keep hitting,” Buchanan said.
Not a bad game plan.
“David got some early ground balls and did a nice job throwing strikes,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “He gave us a lift with his five innings.”
Buchanan said he wasn’t tired, but Sandberg felt he was getting his ball up in the fifth inning and thought it was best to let the bullpen take over. When asked if he was surprised to be lifted after 66 pitches, Buchanan was candid.
“Yes, but that is out of my control,” he said. “I had the opportunity to pitch and wanted to give the team the chance to win today and went for as long as I could and the team came up with a win so I am all good.”