Buchholz: 'I've felt pretty confident'

821655.jpg

Buchholz: 'I've felt pretty confident'

BOSTON -- Wins and losses can be deceiving for a pitcher's end-of-the-year stat line. And whatever record Clay Buchholz finishes 2012 with, it won't show just how good he was on Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox.
Buchholz got the no decision in a 3-1 Red Sox walk-off win. But had Cody Ross not provided his ninth-inning heroics, Buchholz would have received his fourth loss of the season after allowing just one run on six hits and a walk, while striking out six over eight innings.
"He definitely didn't deserve that loss tonight," said Ross afterwards. "And gladly, we came through for him. Because he threw tremendous."
With the no decision, Buchholz becomes the first Red Sox starter to allow one run or less over at least eight innings at Fenway Park and not win since Josh Beckett in May of 2009.
The one run that Buchholz gave up came in the top of the fourth inning on an Alex Rios sacrifice fly to right field that scored Adam Dunn from third.
Dunn led the inning off with a walk, something that seems to always come back and haunt Buchholz.
"Walks will kill you," said Buchholz after the game. "And every time I walk somebody to lead off an inning, it seems to always come around and score."
Dunn did just that. But Buchholz settled down and continued to look like the Red Sox ace.
"Clay was excellent," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "To walk a guy leading off an inning, who walks 150 times a year, is no fault. He made some good pitches on Dunn, who came around to score on another Konerko base hit to right. But other than that, he was perfect. he had a good breaking ball, excellent fastball, his changeup was down, both changeups down, competitive the whole way. He looked great."
In fact, Buchholz has been dominant lately, with a 4-1 record and a 2.63 ERA over his last seven starts, dating back to May. He's gone at least six innings in each of those seven starts, and has 45 strikeouts, compared to just nine walks.
He credits that to the confidence he has in his pitches early on in the game.
"That's where I'm at right now," said Buchholz. "It doesn't really matter what it feels like in the bullpen before the game. You've just got to go out there and trust it sometimes, even when you don't throw a good off-speed pitch, you have to keep going back to it. That's sort of what I'm doing right now.
"I feel like my past, probably, six starts, even if the results haven't been what you want them to be, I've felt pretty confident in almost all my pitches, each time I go out. I think that's a big key in going out and having success and keeping your team in a game like this."
Buchholz kept the Red Sox in the game for eight innings on Thursday night. He'll get a no-decision. But in reality, it was a whole lot better than that.

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."