Q. Assuming they play today, talk about Buchholz and what's the mood of the team?JOHN FARRELL: We're certainly anxious to get back on the field. And I think as Clay stated a number of times yesterday, the ability to go out and put the circumstances maybe off to the side
Q. Assuming they play today, talk about Buchholz and what's the mood of the team?
JOHN FARRELL: We're certainly anxious to get back on the field. And I think as Clay stated a number of times yesterday, the ability to go out and put the circumstances maybe off to the side and go out and execute pitches. That's what this boils down to, regardless of the setting, the stage, the consequence.
But I think we're looking forward to definitely playing in front of our fans here at Fenway Park.
Q. Talk about the lineup and how do you expect it to get back on track?
JOHN FARRELL: You know, I think what we showed from Game 1 to Game 2, in Game 1 clearly we expanded the strike zone quite a bit. And that's not just one guy in particular. You look at the number of breaking balls and the number of fastballs above the zone, we did a good job against Kluber, yet the bottom-line results were no different.
We've just got to get back to play our brand of baseball. And that is relentless at-bats, that is being aggressive on the base pads when the opportunities present, and just going out, honestly, compared to Game 2, just play a better game all around.
Q. Don't like to deal in hypotheticals, especially at this point, but if, say, they don't play today what impact will that have on bullpen usage, playing three games in a row and all that kind of stuff?
JOHN FARRELL: You know, until we get to that point, you know, feel like there's a number of guys we've turned to in our bullpen to pitch in high-leverage situations. It's easy to say that both bullpens will be well rested. But when you look at the potential of three consecutive games you're always going to go based on two things at this point of the year: One, it's all hands-on deck for us; and, two, there might be a willingness to use guys a little bit more frequently because of the stakes that are being played for.
Q. Down the stretch, starting in September, Betts' power numbers started shifting. What have you seen over the last five, six weeks in terms of how teams have adjusted in their game plans against him and how he's adapted to that?
JOHN FARRELL: You know, I guess the only thing that might stand out as far as an attack plan is it's been predominantly away. We know his power is to the pull side. There's been maybe a willingness to not challenge him in some certain counts. If he's in the hitter's count, then it's okay to pass on and move on to the next guy. That's what we've seen. Whether it's been 2-1, 3-1 type of counts, they're still not giving in to him. When pitches have been thrown in, they've been to the edge or off. The misses have been to the extreme in on him.
So, again, he's being pitched to quite a bit with a constant mix away versus anything that might find its way to the inner part of the plate.
Q. A few days ago I asked Bruce Bochy about "good players" who haven't performed as well in postseason games, if that's mostly small sample size or some guys simply aren't wired to perform in those situations. And after starting by saying a little of both he spoke almost entirely on the fact that some players do put too much pressure on themselves and the great ones don't. What are your thoughts on that?
JOHN FARRELL: You know, a lot of times I think it's going to depend on how many opportunities a given player has had in the postseason. We've got guys in our clubhouse that there's been ample opportunities, whether it's David who's been an elite postseason performer. I think Dustin Pedroia has been a very strong performer in his own right.
I look at it like this, there are certain players, certain people, this might address some of the wired aspect that you mentioned, you know, the highly intelligent, conscientious guys, they're aware of their surroundings. They're aware of things that are at play. And because of that, if there's an effort on their part to try to do more or try to be better than what they've shown, does that take them out of their game? All in all it's the player that doesn't allow his heart rate to elevate and can stay mindful in the moment. They're typically the ones that have maintained maybe an elite level of performance in key spots.
Q. What have you seen from Clay lately? He had an up and down year in the first half, he struggled. Lately he's been getting better results.
JOHN FARRELL: There's been a couple of things. He went to the bullpen to address maybe some slight mechanical adjustments, more with him arm slot. In line with that is a brick by brick rebuild of his confidence. So shorter stints, successful stints allowed him to regain that confidence. And as he's gone exclusively from the stretch, his execution of pitches has been much more consistent.
Where he was burnt earlier in the season by the big inning, he's avoided the big inning by virtue of not allowing multiple runners inside of a given inning. Then a big blow, a three-run homer or something like that has followed.
He's been much more consistent with his overall execution.
Q. You guys put a lot on Andrew Benintendi's play, getting called up from Double-A and the injury coming back from that. What have you learned about him as a person and how he's handled all these different things?
JOHN FARRELL: He's extremely poised. For a guy that 16 months ago he was on the University of Arkansas campus, it's pretty remarkable. They're in the Major League postseason and much like we talked about what makes a guy wired to perform in postseason, he's calm, even before the postseason started he's been a guy that's never really panicked, even when he's been in a disadvantaged count at the plate. It's almost like you watch, his athletic movements are graceful. It's almost like a window into what his mind is going through. It's even, it's under control, and he plays like that.
Q. How much are you looking at getting a whole year from him?
JOHN FARRELL: I think everyone is looking forward to, one, if not many years of a very good player, that's been on a rapid assent into the Big Leagues and has handled everything in stride.
Q. With the weather situation that we're in right now and if the game was postponed and you play tomorrow, would there be any thought to skipping Buchholz and going with Porcello since he would be on schedule to start?
JOHN FARRELL: Tomorrow wouldn't be his game.
Q. Because of the short -- you were going with Rodriguez; right? Any thought of changing up the rotation?
JOHN FARRELL: If we're rained out Clay will pitch tomorrow. What we do if we get to a Game 4, we'll have further discussion on that.