Buchanan's confidence continues to blossom
PHILADELPHIA -- David Buchanan isn't the kind of player who gets accused of loafing.
"I get kind of yelled at sometimes, 'Take it easy, don't try to blow anything out trying to get to first base,'" he said. "But that's just the competitive nature in myself. I'm not going to hit a ground ball and not try to beat it out."
After the 26-year-old right-handed pitcher tossed 7 1/3 innings, allowing just three runs and earning his second win of the year in the Phillies' 9-3 win over Atlanta, he was more animated describing his baserunning abilities than his pitching, adamantly defending his opinion that he was safe trying to beat an Andrelton Simmons throw to first base.
On a bigger scale, that kind of effort is what drives Buchanan not just to be a Major League pitcher, but to remain one. Buchanan has struggled at times throughout the season, is still carrying with him a 6.44 ERA and has bounced between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and the Majors this season. But always opportunistic, Buchanan seized the 21-hour notice he was given before the start and performed well.
"When Cole got traded there was a spot that opened up and they called me up to fill it today," Buchanan said. "Every time I go out there I want to give the impression that I'm good enough to be here and I have the confidence enough to take that role."
Confidence is key for Buchanan, who spoke after his most recent demotion to Triple-A about how confidence is normally the difference for him between a strong outing and a weak one. And with all the circumstances surrounding Friday's start -- not only was the importance of the night heightened by the Hall of Famers in attendance for Alumni Weekend, but also because of the trades of Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman and Ben Revere -- Buchanan found confidence amid a whirlwind of events.
Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said he was impressed by the focus Buchanan appeared to exhibit despite the events of the day. He also said he believed Buchanan looked like he was motivated by his stint in Triple-A to prove he belongs in the Majors.
"Like I always say, I say it every day, you're constantly auditioning," Mackanin said. "Your last outing is behind you. You've got to keep pitching well. You can get a hit to win a game and the next day make an error to lose a game, you've got to be constantly on guard and pushing forward and remaining consistent. He's done that his last three outings for us."
Buchanan admitted that the day was a little bizarre. He said he was caught off guard by the Revere trade and he was disappointed to see Hamels and Diekman, as well as Jonathan Papelbon, leave because of all the wisdom they had imparted to him.
But as bizarre as the day might've been, Buchanan gave off the vibe that he had no regrets about how the day ended. Well, maybe one.
"I'm always trying to do the best I can," he said. "Thought I was safe [running to first], but it happens."