10/19/07 5:38 PM ET
Eric Wedge workout day interview
Indians skipper wants Carmona to go pitch by pitch
By / MLB.com
ERIC WEDGE:We're fine. We flew in today. You know, we just had an off night last night. Boston took advantage of some opportunities. It's one game, it's over. Like I said last night, you would not expect to win four in a row in this type of series. The fact that we were able to split here prior, then take two out of three at home, you know, we're one win away from getting to where we want to get to. We separate and already have separated from yesterday, and looking forward to tomorrow.
I know you're in the classic one-day-at-a-time mode, but did you have a sense of this series, that it had to go the distance because of the balance of the teams?
ERIC WEDGE:You know, I'll answer that now because we're far enough into it: I think prior to this series we felt like it was going to go pretty deep into it. We really did. You look at just how well both teams performed in the regular season, as well as postseason prior to this series, and just looking at the match ups. You've got two pretty good teams that are going to battle it out and work hard to create opportunities for themselves, take advantage of opportunities. And I think that's what you've seen so far.
With as much work as your bullpen has gotten this series, are you hoping Fausto can give you a few more innings than he did last time?
ERIC WEDGE:You know, C.C. took us pretty deep into the ballgame. And with Fausto, the last thing I want him to do is think about the seventh, eighth or ninth inning. I just want him to take it pitch by pitch, go out there and compete, trust his stuff and give us a chance to win the ballgame. You know what, when he does that, we're a pretty good ballclub. Again, it all comes back to us, like we've talked about. We didn't do a very good job yesterday and we lost the game. It was multiple errors of our team that participated with that. But it's one game, and you know, you're going to have an off night from time to time. We did, we come back tomorrow.
Did you see any sign of Carmona being a little bit overwhelmed by the setting last time he was here in Fenway?
ERIC WEDGE:No, I didn't sense that. I really feel like he's done a great job of learning from all of his experiences in the past, this year and last year. And a big part of that was when he was here. He's a very strong young man that understands what he's been through and understands what he needs to do to handle things more appropriately for him. And he's done that all year. We talk about it all the time, every experience that you've been through, that's who you are today. Fausto I think is a perfect example of that when it comes to professional baseball.
Would you consider doing anything with Hafner in the lineup with the way he's swung the bat in this series, moving him up or down a little bit?
ERIC WEDGE:No, we wouldn't tinker with that right now. I mean, Haf has had a couple of tough games. I've got a lot of confidence in him. I think what we need him to do is just to maybe simplify things a little bit. No different than a pitcher, a position player can try to do a little bit too much, too, and work backwards a little bit. He's a great hitter. He's stepped up for us time and time again. There's been times this year I know that he's been disappointed with his performance, but everybody has to remember, when it comes to the postseason, you talk about even from yesterday's game to tomorrow's game, everything prior to today doesn't mean anything. There's only one thing that matters, and that's tomorrow night's game. And Travis Hafner can come out there and impact that game like any other great hitter in Major League Baseball.
Looking back on the second game, was Fausto's issue more his aggressiveness or just missing his spots by control?
ERIC WEDGE:I think he tried to be a little bit too fine. He has such a great arm and such great movement on his pitches. You know, sometimes when he does try to be a little bit too fine, the ball is going to run off the plate a little bit. What he needs to do is be aggressive with these guys, stay on the plate, run it off when he needs to, but be able to work it both ways.
Josh Beckett/Kenny Lofton incident last night, is that just the competitive nature of those guys, or is there a little more to that?
ERIC WEDGE:No, I don't think there was any more to that. I'm surprised we haven't seen more of it when it comes to the postseason because emotions run high. There was some verbiage back and forth and they toed up a little bit, and everybody ran out and got some exercise, and everybody ran back, which is usually the way it works. But nothing really happened.
How much of an advantage is their experience? They've been in this situation before, in this exact situation before, and they have positive memories of that. How much of an advantage is experience?
ERIC WEDGE:Well, we'll find out. I mean, I think that when it comes to our guys, the experience that they're gaining in the series that we've played in regard to wins and losses and so many different firsts, and really every day for us, or every game for us in a different way or in a different situation is another first for us. I think our guys have done a hell of a job handling all of that. And they have a sense of security with each other in regard to how they handle things. That's why I'm confident that they're going to come out tomorrow, and yesterday's game is going to be a long ways away from them because their focus will be on what they need to do tomorrow.
Respectful that he's obviously on the other side, but as a baseball guy what do you think of Schilling's reputation as kind of in these dramatic moments, in these spotlight moments?
ERIC WEDGE:Well, he's had a tremendous career and he's had a tremendous postseason career. I think that's well documented. He's been pitching for a long time. I look at Kenny Lofton, the career that he's had. He's had a tremendous career and a tremendous postseason career. But ultimately, you know, no different than what I was talking about just a few minutes ago, you could just go ahead and put that over here on the side because the only thing that matters is tomorrow night. And from my standpoint it only matters the way our guys play. If we go out there and play a good baseball game, we're going to give ourselves a good chance to win.
Rafi Perez has looked a little more human this series than usual. What do you attribute that to?
ERIC WEDGE:Well, he's been in some tough situations. I felt like he was a little bit better yesterday, I felt like he was a little more aggressive with his stuff, his fastball, slider, his delivery was a little bit more intact. With that, he hasn't had as many opportunities, as well, just in regard to the lineups. You look at the Red Sox' lineups and their right handers versus their left handers, and different situations and how the games play out. You don't want to force feed anything, but I think he's still going to come into play here before it's all said and done.
I'm just curious about the decision, could you have come in last night or was your mind made up that you were just going to take it easy and come in today?
ERIC WEDGE:Oh, last night? We weren't going to go to the ballpark expecting to lose. We were going to go to the ballpark expecting to win, so if it didn't come out we were going to come in today.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.