There was Curt Schilling and his bloody sock gutting out a win-or-die Game 6 in the 2004 ALCS, and there was Pedro Martinez with his bad back pitching six no-hit innings of relief in the decisive Game 5 of the 1999 Division Series against Cleveland.

And then there was Clay Buchholz last night in Game 4 of the World Series.

His four innings of three-hit ball, allowing one unearned run, may not resonate now or in the future as loudly as what Schilling and Martinez did, but it’s going to come close.

It’s been no secret that Buchholz and his stiff, fatigued shoulder the second half of this season, and especially this postseason, have turned him into a shell of his dominating self.

The bullpens he threw here the past couple of days were almost jaw-droppingly concerning, that’s how tentative he looked.

Even last night, his delivery was not fluid. He was not fully extending on his follow-through, so it looked as if he were aiming the ball rather than letting it go. And his velocity was down. He topped out at 90 mph a couple of times, but was mostly at 88, about 6 mph below his norm.

And yet, he got the job done.

Competing was his goal, and he knew he reached it, even exceeded it — so yes, he was proud of that effort.

“Especially on this stage,” said Buchholz. “Like I said (Saturday), I was going to go out and compete — that’s what I felt like I did today, given the fact that in National League games, there’s a situation that comes up, you get pinch-hit for. But yeah, I felt like I obviously gave it all I could while I was out there.”

Buchholz looked as if he was putting forth the kind of effort that a batting practice pitcher does when he’s had an extra cup of coffee. Major league hitters have a tendency to catch up to those kind of pitches, but Buchholz was able to command his slower than normal fastball, plus he was able to locate his two-seam, sinking fastball to great effect.

He had a 1-2-3 first inning, survived a double to Yadier Molina in the second, and in the third a ball that skipped under the glove of Jacoby Ellsbury led to Carlos Beltran’s RBI single. The RBI came with one out, but Buchholz was able to keep the big inning from escalating. He faced five batters in the fourth, but that was it for him. His spot in the batting order came up in the top of the fifth, and Mike Carp pinch-hit for him.

Because the next pitcher, Felix Doubront, pitched so well for Buchholz, manager John Farrell got asked about Doubront first.

“I don’t want to skip over Clay Buchholz,” said Farrell. “That was four innings. So much attention has been brought to (him), ‘Can he make it?’ ‘What’s he going to give you?’ A lot of scrutiny around his situation, but given that he might not have had his midseason stuff, if the ball doesn’t bounce up off of some clump of grass in the outfield, Beltran might ground into a double play and he may not have given up a run through four innings. He gave us everything he could.”