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John Farrell: Clay Buchholz will ‘be ready to go’

10.26.13 at 5:04 pm ET
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ST. LOUIS — Red Sox manager John Farrell said that starter Clay Buchholz remains on track for a start in Game 4 of the World Series after a flat-ground throwing session on Friday and another throwing session that Buchholz characterized as of slightly greater intensity than usual for the day before a start given his desire to knock out “a little bit of rust” from the period of time that’s elapsed since his start in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.  

“We’re going into tomorrow thinking that he’s going to give us what he’s been in the postseason. That might be a little bit shorter of an outing than we’ve seen in April and May, but he’s also been very effective,” said Farrell. “We’re fully expecting that to be the case tomorrow.”

Farrell said that the team would not hold back any other pitchers — most notably, starters Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront, both of whom are in the bullpen for the postseason — out of concern that Buchholz either might not be able to pitch or might be on a very short leash.

“Tonight is first and foremost,” said Farrell.

As opposed to the summer, when the Sox elected to send Buchholz to see Dr. James Andrews to offer him peace of mind in his rehab, the Sox have not felt that such a measure is necessary given Buchholz’s feelings about his health right now.

“Based on the conversations yesterday with him and throughout this whole period that we’re focusing on, with each throwing session that confidence gains, it grows, along with the intensity,” said Farrell. “After he got through throwing [Friday], he goes, ‘I’ll be ready to go.’ Whatever he is capable of, he feels like he’ll be able to give it.”

Buchholz acknowledged that he won’t be “100 percent,” saying that he’s not feeling “discomfort, per se, but that the “ball is not coming out of my hand like it did in spring training. … But that’s something I’ve been having to deal with for the last three and a half months.” Still, he maintains a goal of “giving the team a chance to win. … That’s what I’ve worked up to this point. That’s my goal.”

Buchholz said that he has avoided Toradol injections — which played a role in his trip to the disabled list last year due to an esophagus erosion that led to a gastrointestinal bleed — but that he is receiving both anti-inflammatories and ample treatment to be ready to pitch on Sunday. That said, as much as he is excited for the opportunity to pitch in his first World Series game, Buchholz also said that he would be candid with the team regarding his physical well-being.

“I’m sure people will be talking to me after each and every inning I’ve been on the field. At this level, especially on this stage, it’s tough to take yourself out of a game. I’ve never done that before,” said Buchholz. “But with this scenario that’s going on right now, I’m going to tell them the truth. This is not going to be one of the times where, yeah, you might be a little bit tired but keep telling everyone you’re good to go. I’m going to compete, give my team the best chance of winning that I can and if something does come up or if I’m a little run down, that’s something I will let them know.”

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