10/10/09 4:44 PM EST
Off-day interview with Clay Buchholz
By / MLB.com
Q. As you were watching Josh and Jon work the other nights, were you taking some mental notes? What did you see from their work that you can apply to your job?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: You know, just goes back to what these guys do. They hit and run. They run when they get on base. I think they did a pretty good job of holding the running game. There was a couple of stolen bases here and there.
But I think they varied their times pretty well to minimize the damage they could do on the bases and they'll try to do the same thing, the first pitch strikes. They threw a lot of first pitch strikes to get in some pitchers' counts. Go out there and try to do the same thing.
Q. How much pressure do you feel going into tomorrow night's game with the situation?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: There's pressure there. It's more nervousness than anything. I'm sort of getting a little antsy now. This is a do or die night. You have to win to go on. We have tomorrow to look forward to. And then if it goes well tomorrow, you know, the next day, and you go from there. As far as the pressure goes, you know, it's going to come. I think Game 1's pressure and last night was a pressure situation, it's no different than any other game these guys have pitched.
Q. How much does it help you as far as the pressure thing goes that you've been through couple of things this year already. Start before the trade deadline when maybe you had some of those things on your mind. Started at Yankee Stadium against CC Sabathia. You've already been in some of those pressurized environments going into the game tomorrow.
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: Definitely. I've had a couple of outings this year going against other team's aces. And that's the position you want yourself to be in and see yourself excel in those kind of positions. It all prepares you for the postseason where we're at.
The team has worked hard to get here. Now all you have to do is put everything together. It's coming slowly but surely. I think everybody sees tomorrow, it could be the last game of the season. Nobody wants that. So it's going to be a team effort tomorrow and see if we can pull one out.
Q. Clay, your last two starts obviously weren't what you wanted to see and very different from the previous ones. What have you done since then? How can you kind of turn the page here in the playoffs?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: You know, it's just been a constant work and a mix of the smaller things that I was doing well during that little streak that I had, I threw some good games back to back. And it's been, you know, just a little work on mechanical issues that maybe I overlooked in the past two starts. And you know, trying not to think too much. There's a lot of shaking off going on in the last outing with me and Vic. We're on the same page a lot. I have to use his insight a little bit better to my advantage. Because that guy he knows what he needs to do back there to help the pitchers succeed. I'm going to talk to him tomorrow and try to get things straightened out.
Q. Clay, in those last couple of starts you were talking about, it seemed like your trouble was in the first inning where you would give up a first pitch home run or whatever. How important is it to get off to a good start tomorrow?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: That's key in any game. Whenever I've had success, it's been the good first inning and then going from there and using that momentum to our advantage, trying not to press too much. I think if I do locate strike one and have the mix of pitches that I had throughout the year, throwing strikes with breaking balls and mixing up the pitches, I think it will work in our favor a little bit better than last few times.
Q. I think last year this time you probably would have been here getting ready for one of your first starts in the fall league. You'll look back at the whole year, how it's gone; has it been what you expected, or has it been -- how has it gone overall for you?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: It's gone well. It's going into spring training didn't -- I thought had a chance to make the team and they went in a different direction. It was a little hard at first. Overall I knew what I had to do to be ready for when they called me. That was my number one priority, to be ready for the time they say, hey, we need you to come up and do this. That's what I prepared for all year.
Obviously this is just some effects of preparing and being able to pitch Game 3 in this situation. Try to get this team a little boost and see where it takes us.
Q. Clay, obviously your guys are struggling at the plate. Do you take that to the mound saying to yourself I have to do a little more?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: That's in the past I've done that a couple of times. It's never good to say I have to do this, I have to do that. It's more going out and doing the little things that you did to have success all year. And that's -- this team is such a good team to play with. The guys, all it takes is one guy to start swinging the bat and it sparks the whole team. You can't think about what the guys at plate are going to do. You have to go out and do your job, throw strikes. Try to give this team six or seven quality innings and give them a chance to win.
Q. Can you tell us anything about the last time that you pitched in an elimination game at any level?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: It was college. Nothing as big as this one is. My last year in college I threw in a pretty big game to start a tournament. That's the last one I could think of. Obviously the all stars in high school. That was the last one.
Q. That was like a college conference tournament or a college playoff?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: Regional. Going to the World Series.
Q. How did you do?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: I threw the ball well. It was one of those things.Really, confidence had a lot to do with it. I was really confident in college. It's all coming together up here too. I feel like everything has meshed a little bit better this year as far as being confident and going out and throwing the pitches that I feel are the right pitches to throw and it falls into the same situation.
Q. So since you've never faced the Angels and never played in the playoffs before in Major League baseball, what specific things are you going to be thinking to keep your even keel and try to do the best you can? What are you going to rely on from your past?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: Like I said, nothing of this magnitude I've ever been able to be a part of. You know, just stay calm. I know the nerves are going to be there in the first and second inning. I think after the first pitch and first couple of batters I'll try to take it back to where I was in the middle of the season. Just rely on fastball to get ahead and going from there. Try to mix pitches and not let them sit on any one pitch. I think that's just the name of pitching. You have to go out there and try to match up your stuff as well as you can against the guys that are hitting.
Q. How instrumental has it been that two seamer in finding its consistency at the big league level this year, and when did you decide to start featuring that pitch a little bit more?
CLAY BUCHHOLZ: It's been one of the biggest pitches for me whenever I'm throwing it right. It's a trust pitch. It's a pitch that can be really bad or really good. In the last two outings it's been up in the zone. It's not a two seamer; it's just a straight fastball thigh high. It's been a great pitch for me throughout the year.
Started actually throwing it this year in spring training where Tek and myself matched up a whole lot in the spring. That's the pitch I thought I needed to work on to be successful. I've been throwing it ever since. Overall it's been a pretty good pitch for me.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.