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October 6, 2021

Eduardo Rodriguez

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Tropicana Field

Boston Red Sox

Workout Day Press Conference

Q. Eddie, a year ago you didn't know what the future holds, and now you're going to be starting a playoff game. What does that mean to you to be able to do that?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: It means a lot, you know, because everything that I went through last year and I have the opportunity to throw the first inning in the ALDS, it feels really good, you know what I mean? It's just special. I feel like it's really special for me to have the opportunity to start a game like that.

Q. Your last playoff game had some highs and lows. How much have you sort of, in your mind, been waiting for another chance to pitch in the playoffs since that game?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: I feel in my last postseason game it was in the World Series. That was a day when I throw my glove down, so. I mean, that was three years ago, so it's just a different year. I feel like I have a lot of experience to be on the mound tomorrow, so I'm just going to get ready and go out there and do my job.

Q. Eddie, Alex talks a lot about the last series you guys were down here when you lost the first two and then won the last. You pitched the last game. How big a game do you think that was for the team at the time, just kind of to get you guys back on track and kind of get through that whole COVID outbreak you guys had?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: I will say, you know, it's not just that game. I feel like every game that we win in the regular season was special for us because thanks to all games that we win, that's where we are right now. So I can't call if that game was different or special or something like that. It's part of the games we win the whole season, and that's what gets us where we are right now.

Q. Eduardo, how would you describe the way you've changed as a pitcher since your first experiences in the postseason?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: The way I changed? I will say the first time that I pitch I feel like I was a rookie on the postseason. I mean, like, first time and everything and all that. I feel like right now I have more experience. I know how to handle it, you know. So that's the way I see the difference between back then and now, you know.

Q. Also, I just want to ask about the effect of Alex Cora on your team. What does he bring? The energy that you see in a postseason game like last night, what effect does Alex have on that?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: I feel like I say the whole time, he is like a brother, like a father, like a friend to us, so that explains everything. When you call somebody a friend, as a father, as a brother, I think that explains to you everything the way that he is with us and the way he is on the dugout with us, he is in the clubhouse every day. So you can ask any questions any way you want to ask, and he is out there. He want to talk to you, he want to help you all the time. It's a big change for us this year.

Q. Eddie, not just as a pitcher but as a person, how much do you think you've changed since coming to this organization from Baltimore and, you know, a lot of different things that have happened to you, your wife and your kids and everything, how much do you think you've changed?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: I will say, first of all, I was in the minor leagues over there and got to the Big Leagues here, so that's the biggest change. But I will say the experience, the teammates that I have, the guys that I play with throughout my career here, I will say that that's what got me to the point where I am right now. I will say mentally body-wise, everything changes. To a better place to where I'm at right now.

Q. Obviously, Alex has challenged you a lot in the time you've been here, and you've also worked closely with Sale, Price, Rick, all those guys. What in your mind has had the biggest impact on you in these last however many years? Is it the relationship with Alex? Is it some of the pitchers you've been around? What's shaped you the most?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: I will say with everybody. With everybody that I play with. I mean, you named some of them. You named Porcello, Price, Sale, Eovaldi. All of them. All of them helped me to be where I am at right now.

Q. I wonder, Eduardo, did you have a chance to meet Nelson Cruz during spring training with the Orioles the one season he played there in 2014, and what's your relationship been like with him as an opponent since then?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, I had an opportunity to meet him when I was with Baltimore in the Big League Camp. Since then we've been good friends. This past offseason I had the opportunity to train with him for a couple of days back in Miami. I consider him a good friend. A really, really good friend.

You know how it is, man. When you cross that line, you're enemies. You play for a team, and I play for another one. After those lines, we're back to being good friends, but when we cross those lines, he's a hitter, I'm the pitcher. So I want to strike him out, and he wants to hit a homer. That's part of life. That's how the sport is.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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