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Oct. 6 Clay Buchholz workout day interview

MLB.com

Q. You have great numbers in this park. What do you like so much about pitching here?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: I don't know if there's any rhyme or reason. I just think pitching this team a lot and they know me and all the pitches I throw and I know their hitters pretty well, just going over them for a couple of years now. So I don't know if there's any particular reason why numbers are good here, but just once you start throwing good at one place you get more comfortable throwing in that ballpark and that's all there is to it.

Q. You have great numbers in this park. What do you like so much about pitching here?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: I don't know if there's any rhyme or reason. I just think pitching this team a lot and they know me and all the pitches I throw and I know their hitters pretty well, just going over them for a couple of years now. So I don't know if there's any particular reason why numbers are good here, but just once you start throwing good at one place you get more comfortable throwing in that ballpark and that's all there is to it.

Q. Now that your four starts since coming back, are you doing all the stuff you did before you got injured, is there anything you'd like to do?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: No, everything is pretty much back to normal. Been that way since I started the rehab. I've gotten back into the normal five day swing of things. There's not anything that I have to alter to get through or anything. I feel pretty much at home.

Q. John was telling us at this point there's no restrictions in terms of how much you could pitch or how many pitches you could throw. Would this be the first time that that's the case, that you can do whatever you feel like you need to do?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: I think last time, 112, 110 pitches, probably wouldn't have gone much more than that, regardless of the circumstances of coming off a long layoff. So, yeah, I'd say that's my thoughts in my mind is there's nothing that's going to hold me back as far as pitching.

Q. You've been around here a few years now. A question on David Ortiz, does his mood, demeanor or anything like that change in the postseason or regular season?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: What you see is what you get. He's the guy that's always yelling, screaming, talking, laughing, like on the field and off the field. That's just how I've always seen him, since the first day I got here. He's been in this situation a lot over the years and obviously he can feel more comfortable doing that. He's a special player. It's been fun to be around him this year, just the way the team and everything has gone.

Q. A lot of you guys, notably even Jon Lester have said he's never had so much fun playing baseball as he has this year. A couple of years ago you got in some trouble for what some people might describe as fun. What is the difference between '11 and '13 in that respect, and why has this year been as much fun as it has?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: It was from jump street to Spring Training, day 1. Obviously the guys, with the new additions, Napoli and Jonny Gomes, we played against them but never played with them, and that's sort of how you gain respect from a player is seeing how they are on the field when you're playing against them and then having them in the same clubhouse.

And seeing that and seeing how competitive everybody is, we came together really quick. A lot quicker than I think even our front office thought we were going to come together. I don't know if there's any difference from the '11 team, it was a good group of guys, too.

I just think this year the goal started in Spring Training to make it to the postseason. And this is a whole other season past the regular season. We've had the same thoughts and same goals in mind. That's sort of what's driven us to this point now. But it's been -- I can definitely say it's been the funnest time I've had on a baseball field on and off with the guys.

Q. I guess that you're not that surprised that you guys are up 2 0. Are you at all a little surprised at how it's played out so far with Tampa's starters struggling and your lineup putting up big runs?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: No, that's what they've been known for the past four or five years is their starting pitching. And that's nothing different now, they're still the same guys that were here, minus James Shields. And they've been doing it for a long time. But I don't think any of these games have been badly pitched games by them. I think we've had sort of a game plan coming in. If you let David Price get into the 5th inning without giving up any runs, he's probably not going to give up any runs.

I think the aggressive game plan from our pitchers, and being aggressive with the first, second and third pitched strikes, I think that's different than we've had against Gomes in the past. I think we had a good team going against them.

Q. How excited, I guess, for you the opportunity to pitch in a big game like this, especially given that there was a time this year you weren't sure you could come back?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: This is what baseball is all about. Everybody wants to be in this position. If you don't you're in the wrong sport. I'm excited, a little anxious to get it started. I'm going to just try to do the same thing as I've done all year when I've been out there; play in the zone, throw strikes, try to get your hitters in the dugout as quick as possible.

Q. What was it like being out all that time? Did you think you may not be coming back?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: Yeah, at one point it was a struggle for me mentally to know that I'd been out for an extended period of time, a lot longer than I wanted to be out, even at that point in time. The throwing wasn't near as therapeutic as I thought it was supposed to be or going to be. It just never got any better. I finally had to take two steps back to get moving in the right direction.

But for the guys they brought up to fill in, to make some starters, to be in the bullpen, the young guys did an awesome job. And it made it a little easier to sit in the dugout when you're winning games rather than sitting there when your team is struggling and you're not having a part in it. Frustrating now to a certain extent, but winning is what this game is all about and we're doing a pretty good job.

Q. It's been a while since you've been in a playoff game. What do you remember about that day and what can you take out of that to help you tomorrow?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: It was against the Angels, and we didn't end up winning, that's about all I got. It was definitely good to experience it. It's a different feeling. But it was a couple of years ago. I was a little bit younger, too. I think I've matured as a player knowing what I need to do in certain situations. And I can't take anything for granted or anybody lightly. They're here for a reason, too. But definitely ready to go and I definitely think that was a good stepping stone for me.

Q. How do you keep from getting too hyper tomorrow?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: You've got to think of it just as another baseball game. That's what it is right now. I know it's a pivotal game, and could end up playing another one the next day or headed back to Boston, and see who we play next. But it's -- once you step between the lines it turns into another game and you've got to go out and try to compete and give our team a chance to win.

Q. What can you tell us what it was like in the dugout in Koji's 9th inning?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: We call him the ninja. He throws two pitchers and it always seems like the hitter is looking for the other one. He's been unbelievable. It's been crazy to watch all season how he can go out there and throw one inning and 9 pitches on average and be 3 up, 3 down. I think we had a little thing going, wondering why he wasn't in the starting rotation. He could probably throw a complete game in 65 pitches.

It's been fun to watch. It's another addition to this team that's made us better than we were in years past.

Q. What was the noise level like on the field?

CLAY BUCHHOLZ: It was loud. I think Wil Myers was getting most of the cheering at one point in time, but it was still loud, that 9th inning. The fans up there, they know the game. They know that this is an important part of this postseason to get that game last night and come here up two. And that's why it's fun playing in Boston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.