Buchholz looks to return to form

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Buchholz looks to return to form

BOSTON Clay Buchholz has been working on ways to improve his outings and his 9.09 ERA. He lasted just 3 23 innings in his last outing with the bullpen going 13 13 innings in Sundays 17-inning loss to the Orioles. He has pitched seven innings just once, and has not had a quality start in his six outings. He has already given up 33 earned runs this season. In 14 starts last season, he gave up 32 earned runs.

He addressed some of his issues before Thursdays series opener against the Indians. Buchholz is scheduled to pitch Friday.

Its been a rough six starts to start the season off. Theres been times where in an outing youre thinking about, OK, this is going to be the outing that changes everything. And then something, a big inning happens and it brings you back to square one. So thats what Ive been doing, figure out a way to minimize the damage in those big innings. I was just telling a couple guys, the innings split, theres been four innings where Ive given up 18 runs in just those four innings this year. Thats about half the runs that Ive given up all year. So find a way to get through that big inning without letting it get too big.

Do you need one or two good starts to get on a roll?

Yeah, thats usually how it works. Its just like the hitters being contagious as far as somebody catching fire, another guy catches fire and then the whole lineup is hitting. I think its the same thing with us. Everybody else has been pitching pretty good. Im like that last link as far as getting this team on a roll and taking the pressure off everybody else. Taking the pressure off the bullpen being able to throw six, seven innings every time out. Let the bullpen do their job instead of having to come in in the fourth or fifth inning.

How difficult has the start of the season been for you?

Its not the most comfortable situation. I dont think anybody ever goes out on the mound and expects to do bad or doesnt expect to do good. So when things go wrong out there you just have to find a way to slow the game down and minimize the big innings and minimize damage.

Do you feel like people are picking on you?

No, not really. I think it comes with the territory. Im part of this organization for a reason. I believe everybody on this team can help this team win. Whenever you put a guy out there for five or six outings in a row and it doesnt turn out the way it should or you want it to, its a little frustrating for everybody.

What are some of the things youve been working on specifically since your last start?

I think mechanically staying over the rubber. If you rush to home plate, that causes the pitches not to go where they want to go and I think thats been a big deal. When trouble starts happening you try to make the pitches better than they need to be and by doing that they get worse. So its something that goes on when the game gets quick out there. Guys forget what they need to do to throw a pitch where they need to throw it and get an out. So thats basically it. I think all the pitches are there. The last couple starts when Ive been able to throw a pitch for a strike I think its been the hitters have been able to get in a sequence with me because Id throw a fastball, then a changeup, then a curveball, then a fastball again. So its been sort of a deal where they could sort of guess with me. So I got to change that up a little bit and go out and if something bad happens, get the ball back and keep playing.

Has the game been speeding up on you?

Not to the point where it did right when I got up here but I think it speeds up on everybody. The big thing is if you can step off the mound, and take a deep breath, and gather yourself and your thoughts and not let the last hitter affect what youre doing with the next one.

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."