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October 11, 2021

Eduardo Rodriguez

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Fenway Park

Boston Red Sox

Postgame 4 Press Conference

Red Sox 6, Rays 5

Q. Eduardo, how did you feel about pitching in this game and pitching superbly?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: Coming into the game, I was feeling really good. When I got into the bullpen and I was worming up for the game, I was feeling really good and everything in all my pitches.

It was a relief that I got a second chance, and thank God I had the opportunity to pitch today again and keep the team in position to win the game.

Q. What was the biggest difference between this start and the last start against Tampa?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: Fastball location. That's what I think. If you have your fastball location, the rest of the pitches are going to work pretty good, you know. As a starting pitcher, that's the first thing you have to have for having a good game. If you locate your fastball, the rest is money.

Q. You've had some ups and downs in the postseason in your career. How much does it mean to you to have pitched as well as you did today in a game that you guys clinched?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: After the last start, I feel like today was really special for me. It was just amazing to go up there and have the opportunity to do what I did today.

Q. Eddie, I want to take you back to April 2nd. You started at the alt site in Worcester and after the three-inning outing in a simulated game, you quickly jumped in your car and drove up here to be with your teammates for Opening Day. What did it mean for you to be back on the mound and make sure you got up here to join your teammates?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: It means a lot because after what I went through last year, I had an opportunity to be at Opening Day this year, it was really special for me. And everything that I went through this year and all the bad starts, and up and down, and have the opportunity to be here today, it's just something that's really special, you know.

Q. Somewhat following up on that, and I'm going to ask you in English and Spanish, if you can answer in both. Going back to last year, obviously everything you went through, and to be soaked in champagne at this point in the year, how much does that mean?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: That means a lot. It means everything. Like I say, after everything I went through, like you just said it, to have a chance to be here pouring champagne with my teammates, it's something I really appreciate.

I just say thanks to God to give me an opportunity to be here.

Q. Does anything about this run so far this past week feel like 2018? Are there similarities to that championship sort of feeling and stuff that's happening in the games right now?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: I can't compare '18 with this. This is a new year, a new team. Everything, new schedule, everything's different. '18 was '18. This is 2021.

It's just special to be with this group of guys. We grind it out every day. We just go out there and play ball. I feel like nobody expected us to be here right now, and look at where we are at. After everything we went through this year, it's just special to be here with all my teammates, you know.

Q. You all talk a lot about the way Alex builds confidence and trust, but also the last time you pitched, he had to pull you very early. I wonder what does he say or do in the past four or five days to let you know he still -- he specifically believes in you coming into this start again?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: Like I said at the beginning, he knows me, and he knows the way I pitch, he knows the way I like to pitch and everything. I feel like that game on Thursday, it was just fastball command. The rest, everything was over there. All my pitches was over there, it's just the fastball command.

So the last couple days, I was working on it, and I have it over here. I come into this game thinking about that. That was the first thing that I want to use in the whole game and I had the change established early in the game, and it helped me a lot. As I said, fastball command is always everything you need as a starting pitcher.

Q. You mentioned it a little bit there. I know Alex has been more vocal about it throughout the year that you guys are picked in fourth place, no one thinks you win the Wild Card game, no one picked you to win this series. How much talk of that has there been in the clubhouse, and how much have you guys used that?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: I don't think we talk about all that at all. We just go out there and have fun and play the game. That's the way we do it here, and that's the way we've always been doing it. We always tell each other have fun, enjoy the game, don't listen to what they're talking about on the outside. Play together, be as a family, and that's the way we do it. That's what keeps us where were are right now.

Q. How much credit does Alex Cora deserve for you guys being one of the last four teams here standing in MLB this season?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: A lot. Like I always say, he's like a father, brother, manager, whatever, however you can call it to us. It means a lot to have him. It's really good to have him. He trusts us. He trusts everybody in that clubhouse. He gives you the chance every time that he hands it to you, and you've just got to go out there and do your job, you know what I mean.

You guys asked me about my last start and he pulled me out early, but I wasn't doing my job. Today was really good for me. It was different. And he let me go out there for more innings. That's how much he trusts us every time we go out there.

Q. Eddie, can you just talk about Devers and his postseason performance and what it meant to have him get you out to that lead so early?

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ: I've known Devers since he got to the Big Leagues. He's a special kid. You guys see it in the last postseason we played, even this postseason. I know I trust him, and I know what he can do. If you miss a pitch with him, he's going to hit it out of the ballpark. That's the way he does it. He swings hard all the time. He plays hard all the time. That's the Devers we all know.

It's just amazing having him as a teammate because I don't want to face him at all. I prefer to have him as a teammate right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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