Saturday, May 23, 2009

'They want to get a hit off you really bad'

John Smoltz will make his second rehab start at Stadium in Manchester on Tuesday. He threw 29 pitches in three innings, allowing one hit and striking out two, in his first rehab start on Thursday at Single-A Greenville.

What do you want to get out of that start on Tuesday?
"More pitches. (chuckles) I want to throw more pitches, extend the innings, upgrade a couple of things each time out. It’s like a spring training game – make sure I get all my pitches into the game and execute."

Is it fun to get to pitch in some of those smaller minor-league parks in front of people who don't usually get to see you pitch?
"It is, and it isn’t. It is for that reason, and it isn’t from the results standpoint because you don’t really have a lot to gain. You’ve got to try to make your pitches in a situation where you know nothing about the hitters, and they want to get a hit off you really bad. I enjoy the experience, but at the same time, I’ve got to remind myself that I’m trying to get ready to come up to the big leagues and really face the top of the line."

(Yes, that's it. But this was a totally spontaneous interview conducted in a doorway as Smoltz was on his way out of the Red Sox locker room late Friday night, too late even to make it into Saturday's Union Leader story. It's a OneIf exclusive. What do you want from me?)

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