Clay Buchholz flung a 70-mph pitch. It bounced before it reached home plate. The veteran starter shook his right arm. And that was it.
The Phillies, in their eighth game, lost one of their starting pitchers. Buchholz suffered a right forearm strain, the team said. A gruesome night turned morbid when Buchholz, who allowed six runs to the Mets in 2 1/3 innings, walked to the dugout with a team athletic trainer during the third inning Tuesday.
The 32-year-old righthander, acquired last December in a $13.5 million dump by Boston, owns a 12.27 ERA after two starts with the Phillies.
It could be some time before his next appearance.
Buchholz has a deep history of ailments; he had pitched 140 or more innings in just three of his 10 seasons before this. The Phillies dealt for him with the hope that he could add a reliable presence in the middle of the rotation while building his trade value for July. If injured for an extended period, the acquisition will be nothing more than a sunken cost.
His first 7 1/3 innings with the Phillies did not generate a good impression. He permitted 19 base runners. His fastball velocity dipped.
Three batters into Tuesday's game, the Phillies trailed, 3-0. Yoenis Cespedes launched a fat 0-2 fastball to deep center for a three-run homer. For Buchholz, the worst had yet to come.