10/14/07 5:04 PM ET
Matsuzaka workout day interview
Red Sox pitcher discusses preparation for Game 3 start
By / MLB.com
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Yes, there are certainly some batters that I'm looking forward to facing, and it's been a while since I last faced them. And I've noticed some subtle differences in their lineup.
Finally you're here with a game tomorrow, how do you feel? You mentioned that there are some batters you're looking forward to facing. Who, for example, are some of those batters?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Even with a game coming up tomorrow, I feel relaxed.
I didn't say I was looking forward to facing any particular batter, but there are some batters that I haven't yet faced, and it's been a while since I faced the other members of the lineup.
I'm not looking forward to facing any batter in particular, but I do know that I have to be careful with a few of them, and that includes their number one leadoff man, Sizemore, who hit off me last time.
How would you evaluate your first year with the Red Sox, and what has been as expected and what has been maybe more difficult than expected?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I think I'll answer that question when everything is done with, when the entire season is done with.
With one postseason start under your belt, how did you find that to be different, if at all, from the regular season, and how did you that help you prepare for tomorrow night?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I didn't go into the game particularly conscious of the fact that it was a postseason game, and I approached it the same way I did my regular season starts. But I also know that I made mistakes in that previous start in the postseason, and I hope to learn from them though in my start tomorrow.
A two part question: In your previous ALDS start your team was 1-0, and the start was at home. Now you're going into a start 1-1 in a visiting ballpark. Do you feel any difference in pressure?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I think that both games have the same amount of importance. There is a slight difference when you go into a visiting ballpark having won the last game or having lost the last game, so I feel that in that sense maybe I have a bigger responsibility tomorrow, but I hope to use that as a source of strength.
You mentioned that Grady Sizemore is one particular batter you're conscious of going into the game having watched these previous two games in the ALCS. Do you have any particular strategy?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Having watched Beckett and Schilling start in the previous two games, perhaps Beckett was more successful in holding their lineup to fewer runs, but I personally feel that I can learn more from the way Schilling pitched yesterday.
Kevin Youkilis, one of your teammates, said the other day that he can't imagine what it must have been like to spend months with a team where you can't communicate freely with your teammates at all. He said that he thought that would be very lonely. I wonder how that whole experience was for you. DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I didn't think everything was going to be great from the start. I was well aware of the language barrier before I headed over here, so admittedly it was difficult, but I managed.
If I may ask one follow up: You've pitched in Athens, you've pitched in San Diego where national pride was at stake in the entire country. How different is it for you at all pitching on this stage?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: It's difficult to say, but I think that wanting to win for the team is not that different from wanting to win for my country.
I was wondering if you saw the swarm of bugs that attacked here in the last series, what were your impressions of that, and is there anything you can do to prepare for something crazy like that?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I did bring along some bug spray (laughter).
But in term of preparation, that's about it.
You said you could learn more from the way Curt Schilling pitched against this team. What specifically did you take from his outing yesterday?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I think with the game coming up tomorrow I'd prefer not to talk about that here.
In this past year adjusting to a more slippery ball, different mounds and a different environment all together, tomorrow will be your 34th start of the season, Game 3 of the ALCS, and having overcome all of those things, do you feel that your preparation for tomorrow's game going into that game, you're at your best condition in being able to prepare in the best way?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Above all else, I hope I can use everything I've learned and picked up during the past year in my start tomorrow. That's how I've looked at all my starts this year, using the experiences from my previous starts in the next start, and that's sort of the mindset that I've had throughout the entire season.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.