You've faced him three times before that. Anything that you learned during those at bats that helped you out tonight?
No, I don't think so. I remember facing him once and walking. I think maybe even on four pitches. So that didn't do me a whole lot of good, so just in that situation realizing that he was going to mix his pitches and trying to see the ball well.
I'm working on minimal at bats in six weeks and still trying to grind out and get pitches in the zone and see what happened.
You mentioned you had limited at bats and you said yesterday that if this had happened earlier in the year you might have been in a rehab assignment. How well are you seeing the ball?
Feel like I saw the ball well. Didn't get anything to show for it. Squared up nice on the ball in the first inning. Just relying on what I do well all year, track the ball, swing at strikes and try not to chase pitches out of the zone that I'm looking for and that's the stuff I stuck with tonight. Was able to sneak in some hits tonight, big hit in the first inning, double for me to score a run and an infield single off the bat and just trying to square up in the zone.
How does that compare to the home run you hit last year in the ALCS, the grand slam?
You know, it's a little different situation, last year it was in the first inning, in a key situation as well, though, I mean we were down in the series, wanted to start coming back and try to win it so that was a cool feeling. That kinda helped turn my year around.
This was huge, we were in a spot, tie ballgame, they had seemingly had the momentum, having scored to tie the game and Jonathan Papelbon, you don't want to go out there and burn him if you don't have to, so it was nice to get those two runs to let him have something to work with.
J.D., was there ever a point in the last couple of months, six weeks where you thought your back wasn't going to allow you to play?
Absolutely. I thought at some point I was going to have to shut it down and watch the team go through the playoffs, so it is nice to be out there and participate. You know, it's just trying to get everything back into playing shape while you're in the playoffs. It isn't the easiest thing to do but it's working out. My legs are coming back underneath me and just trying to continue to grind out at bats, play good defense and see what happens.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.