BOSTON -- It's possible Clay Buchholz may have to pitch Game 4 of
the World Series Sunday with a tight shoulder that lacks full strength.
Pedro Martinez has been there and done that.
In the American League Division Series in 1999, Martinez pitched Game 5 out of the bullpen with a sore shoulder and managed six shutout, no-hit innings against the then-powerful Indians in a series-clinching 12-8 win.
And Martinez believes that if Buchholz has to pitch at less than 100 percent, he will.
"He's a warrior . . . he's going to be out there," Martinez said before Game 2. "When you realize the reason you're sore and you're hurting is that you wanted to be (in the postseason), it makes it a little bit easier. Dealing with the pain in the middle of the game and knowing that you're living off the edge of two inches or maybe less, makes it really difficult to focus and do the things that we want to do.
"But you just have to set your goal, look at your goal and then let the adrenaline drive you and be determined to actually risk it all for a championship."
That night at Jacobs Field, Martinez barely hit the upper 80s with his fastball, but used guile and secondary pitches to defeat the Indians.
"You rely on experience and also on your mental toughness to guide you through," said Martinez. "I knew I was going to be in pain. I expected everything that happened that day. I refused to give it away. I refused to say no to my team at that moment.
"If not going to suggest to Buchy that if it hurts, to go out there and instead of helping, put the team in bad position. But I'm pretty sure that if he's capable of doing what I did -- which is spot the ball and use my experience -- he's going to do the same thing. Because this kid is a warrior."
But Martinez also knows there's a price to pay for his insistence on pitching hurt.
"From that year on," said Martinez, "every shoulder program that I had was related to what happened to me that postseason. It changed me a little bit, but it also gave me another perspective about approaching the game with less velocity, using my experience, relying on location . . . it gave me other ways to pitch. And I appreciated the fact, that I got to learn, because of an injury, how to pitch and approach the game differently."