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Sheffield Q&A: ALCS Game 610/20/2004 2:54 AM ET
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- After taking a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, Gary Sheffield and the New York Yankees will host the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 on Wednesday, as Boston staved off elimination for a third straight game, taking a 4-2 win on Tuesday night.
Sheffield went 1-for-4 with a single in the game, as Curt Schilling tossed seven innings of one-run ball to stretch the series to the limit.
After the game, Sheffield spoke with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand about Schilling, Jon Lieber, some strange plays in Game 6 and what he's looking for in Game 7.
MLB.com: Did Curt Schilling look any different to you than he did in Game 1?
Sheffield: He looked the same. All of his pitches were the same, same speed, same spots, we just didn't get the guys on that we had last time. That was the difference in the ballgame.
MLB.com: What did you think of Jon Lieber's performance in Game 6?
Sheffield: He did an outstanding job. Bellhorn did a great job of hitting that ball to left field, because Jon was making his pitches all night. They capitalized on one bad pitch.
MLB.com: You were in the on-deck circle when A-Rod was called out for interference. What was your view of the play?
Sheffield: I saw the pitcher get in the baseline, and when that happens, you do anything you can to knock the ball out. That's what he did, but they ruled that he grabbed his arm.
MLB.com: After the call was reversed, the fans reacted by throwing things on the field. What were you thinking at that point?
Sheffield: I didn't know what was going on. Matsui and I were standing there and all of a sudden, there were beer cans and baseballs coming at us from the stands. Willie Randolph yelled for us to get in the dugout, so we did. When things like that happen, you just think about not getting hit in the head.
MLB.com: When things settled down, you were at the plate, representing the tying run. Take us through that at-bat, which ended up with Bronson Arroyo getting you to pop out to the catcher.
Sheffield: I was relaxed that at-bat. He was throwing me some good pitches, those sidearm curveballs, staying inside so I couldn't extend my arms. He didn't want me to hit something far, so I knew he was going to stay out of the extension part of the plate.
MLB.com: Did this game get more tense as the innings went by?
Sheffield: Absolutely. Both clubs want this very badly. Both clubs are playing hard, and these guys have fought back. What it all boils down to now is one game, Game 7, which is what we all play for. Let's go.
MLB.com: With the A-Rod play at first, Mark Bellhorn's home run being called a double, then a homer, did this seem like a strange game?
Sheffield: The type of day it was, the cold, the rain, the home run they didn't see then did, the play with Alex, a couple of weird things happened. It could have gone either way.
MLB.com: You watched Game 7 between the Yankees and Red Sox on TV last year. What are you expecting tomorrow night?
Sheffield: It will probably be more intense than last year. Everybody expected the Yankees to win and they did. That's the same thing people expect this year, so hopefully we'll do that.
MLB.com: Is it deflating to be up three games to none and then have to play a Game 7?
Sheffield: The thing is that we know why it happened. We gave away two games. We put ourselves in the position we're in.
MLB.com: Your team lost four games in a row just once this year. Does that help your confidence going into Game 7?
Sheffield: Yes. After the 19-run game, we haven't exploded as an offense since. We're due to do that, to have a big game, offensively and help our pitchers go out there, not feeling like they have to make the perfect pitch every time.
MLB.com: Any prediction for tomorrow?
Sheffield: I don't make predictions. (Laughter)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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