He sat down [before my start] and said, "Hey, anything that you need to know?" He said he feels like he's been in the same position as me early in his career as far as people telling you, "Hey, you've got really good stuff. You need to learn how to use it." It's been good so far having him. ...As impressive as his pitching has been this spring, it's hearing Buchholz talk about his mental state (having confidence amid adversity, not letting problems snowball) that is perhaps most encouraging. (Justin Masterson says he has also benefited from Smoltz's influence this spring.)
It was the best outing I've had in a long time. ... I do believe that anybody that goes out there and is getting outs whenever they're throwing the right pitch, it's easy to pitch that way. It's when adversity strikes, like in between those [good] innings, when you know what kind of pitcher you are.
Mike Lowell (1-for-3) was happy with his first game of the spring:
Things felt fast -- like your plate discipline is a little bit behind. I swung at an 0-2 pitch that probably wasn't the best pitch to swing at. ... [Playing third for three or four innings on Friday] will be more of a test. I'm not anticipating any problems, but yeah, that little bounce you do right before every pitch, there's going to be a lot of them. ... I think this was step one and playing the field is step two, and then we'll get to the endurance part of just being able to go the whole game and not think about the hip.Brad Penny will pitch in a game on Friday, but it will be an intrasquad contest at the minor league complex. Penny threw 20 pitches of BP yesterday and is hoping to get into an actual game next week.
Jason Bay is back in camp. While in Toronto for the WBC, he watched Shawn Horcoff score two goals to lead Edmonton over the the Maple Leafs. Horcoff's mother shared the same hospital room with Bay's mother when the women gave birth three days apart in 1978.
David Ortiz will be returning as well, as the Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic for a second time, single-handedly pushing them out of the WBC. The DR broke a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the 11th inning, but the Dutch scored two in the bottom half to win -- and advance to Round 2.
The Red Sox are off today. Josh Beckett, Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden will pitch against the Cardinals on Thursday.