Buchholz at Peace as Deadline Approaches


Jul 28, 2009

Clay Buchholz has not had the easiest of years.

After dominating in spring training (2-0, 2.52 ERA), the 24-year-old still found himself without a spot in the Red Sox' major league rotation. After once again dominating in Triple-A (7-2, 2.36 ERA), Buchholz finally got his chance to log some big league innings.

As he prepares for just his third start of the season on Tuesday night, his name has been at the center of seemingly every trade rumor thrown around, as the deadline quickly approaches. Last year, Buchholz may have had trouble handling that pressure, but this year, he's taken a different approach.

"Trades are part of the game," Buchholz told MLB.com. "You can't control it. You can only do what you're told and let the rest take care of itself, and it always does either way. I'm pretty confident I'll be here. If not, this team will get better and I'll go somewhere else. It'll be the same opportunity.

"It's big league baseball," he added. "It's a job more than a game now. It is what it is. I'm just glad to be back."

Buchholz said that a major aspect of his growth this season has been in how he's approached the game mentally.

"A lot of mental work went into just working on those smaller things in the game instead of worrying too much about results," Buchholz said to MLB.com. "Now I'm not trying to do too much on the mound. When a runner gets on, I can't freak out because a guy's on base and think he's going to score. I still have to get the guy out that's in the box."

No longer an over-confident young man from Texas, Buchholz has been humbled by his experiences over the past 12 months.

"I'm more mature in the game," he said. "I wasn't nearly as good as I thought I was, and I've had to learn from some struggles. It wasn't always fun, but sometimes you've got to learn from your hiccups and mistakes."

Though struggling at such a young age could drive some players away from the game, Buchholz said it drove him in the other direction.

"That's what brought me back," he said. "That's what drove me in the offseason to get better, do the little things right and not take this game for granted."

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