When Brian Matusz takes the mound in Fenway Park on Monday night, it will have been two weeks since he last pitched in a game.
He gave up five runs in just 1 1/3 innings on September 5 at New York and now he is slated to start the evening game of Monday's day-night doubleheader at Boston.
"Yeah, I'm excited to get out there and just getting another opportunity is a good feeling. I just want to go out, compete, pound the zone and get ahead."
Matusz feels he has had a few productive side sessions with pitching coach Rick Adair and now the Red Sox hitters will tell him if he has, in fact, made progress.
"The focus has been on everything. Getting my delivery back. Getting back to having a good feel with all my pitches and just settling in.
"I feel like I've definitely made strides in terms of going out there and getting a good feel in the bullpen and working. As for the results, the game will be the deciding factor but I feel like I've made adjustments to go out there with confidence."
Matusz is 1-7 with an ERA of 9.84 in 10 major league starts this year over 43 innings.
He has had a tough season and would like to have a good outing or two to take into the offseason.
"Going out and working hard and trying to get myself better is not difficult, because I want to go out there and compete and win.
"The failure and going through some tough games and not giving the team a chance to win has been tough. But working hard, that is something that everyone should do to strive to get better," he said.