David Buchanan fired 187 pitches in his last two starts. Just 99 - or 52.9 percent - were strikes, a number that bothered the rookie righthander despite two five-inning starts that were decent enough to keep the Phillies in games.
"I'm trying to get as many chances to win as I can," Buchanan said. "I'm taking these last two and trying to scratch them from my memory. Walking guys like that is unacceptable."
He walked six batters in his first six major-league starts (361/3 innings). He walked five in Sunday's 3-2 loss, one of which scored, and four in his previous start. The growing pains are evident for a 25-year-old pitcher who was on no one's radar last winter.
Buchanan has pitched beyond six innings in two of his eight starts. The high pitch counts from so many walks are preventing him from lasting longer.
"He's gritty out there," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He competes. This wasn't his best stuff that he's had in two or three outings. He was almost equal on balls and strikes, and his pitch count went up. He was out of the zone, but he managed to keep the score what it was."
The Phils will need Buchanan for at least two more starts. Sandberg said the team has not determined whether Cliff Lee can return before the all-star break.
"I'm not really known for walking guys," Buchanan said. "You can't go out there and walk that many guys and expect to have a good outing."
Chase Utley's 1,500th hit tied him with Mike Bordick and Manny Sanguillen for 600th on the all-time list. He became the 12th player in franchise history to reach the plateau. Utley is hitting .240 in June.