10/21/07 1:01 AM ET
Curt Schilling postgame interview
Red Sox starter feels Matsuzaka will come up big in Game 7
By / MLB.com
CURT SCHILLING:I mean, that inning was pretty much a microcosm of the season. All the lessons that John has been working and drilling into my head, and all the things we've worked on kind of came into play within the sequence of five hitters. Got ahead, left some splits up early in the inning, and then really, the one thing he pounded into my head is focus on each pitch, execute pitch to pitch. I spent the next three hitters every pitch trying to make sure that I executed the pitch. You know, game plan-wise, Tek was perfect, and it worked out.
How gratifying is it to remain undefeated in games where your team could potentially be eliminated from the series?
CURT SCHILLING:I mean, it's five trips I would have taken earlier going home. I mean, it's nice. We're playing a Game 7. I mean, there's nothing, I think, funner in sports then a Game 7, regardless of the venue. We scored ten runs tonight. This was about our offense just doing a phenomenal job of working the counts, not being overly aggressive, and in a situation where you're in a must win, which we are, were, offenses can press and pitchers can take advantage of that, and our offense stayed the same. You know, J.D. comes up with this incredible at-bat, and it was very gratifying night.
You said on FOX late in the game that you expected Daisuke to come up big tomorrow night, can you expand on that? And B, is there anything you would say to him tomorrow about preparing for this, or would you stay away from him or how would you handle that?
CURT SCHILLING:I haven't seen him come up small in a huge game yet in his career. I mean, all the games I've seen that he pitched in Japan, he hasn't been in a back against the wall/winner go home game here yet. Tomorrow is the first day. I believe based on his make up, based on his demeanor, he's going to do something special tomorrow. As far as what I would say to him, there's not a whole lot to say, win. Just go out and win. I'm expecting him to come up huge.
As you left the field in the seventh and reached the top step and waved your hat, what were you thinking as you approached the dugout?
CURT SCHILLING:How incredibly blessed I am, how -- I mean, those are the moments you don't ever forget. God gave me a chance to play professional baseball, which is a gift beyond anything you'd ever dream of. But to play in this environment, in this stadium in front of these people, you know, I would argue that you'll never hear home field advantage being pooh-poohed against in this city. The crowd tonight from the first inning on I thought had an incredible, they had an incredible effect on me. I don't know how they affected other people, but it's a privilege to be able to play here and experience this.
Given everything that surrounded J.D., from the moment of his first moment that he was going to sign here, what was it like when he got back to the dugout?
CURT SCHILLING:Well, I know he got the (expletive) beat out of him (laughter), which was kind of cool. But you know what, that's one of the things that will always get Tito in trouble, and it's one of his strengths, his loyalty to his players. J.D. Drew is a special player. He did not have the year -- I'm sure he's not real proud of the year he had, but if it were anybody else, any of you, any of the media here, any of the fans that have railed on him for six months in the situations he's been in, you wouldn't produce because you'd be squeezing the bat, you'd be stressed. I think part of his personality that goes both ways with people, that upsets people and makes people have confidence in him is his ability, he is the definition of "even keel." I mean, he doesn't snap, he doesn't get too high, too low. He just goes up and he plays the game. And tonight that wins the game, that won the game. In a situation where he could have easily been pressing, and he didn't, and it was huge and it was exciting to see.
This warrior mentality that this team seems to have, is that something that's acquired or that you're born with, you either have it or you don't?
CURT SCHILLING:Well, from a team standpoint I think it's a combination of the personalities. This is a mix of players. I think from Jason's dedication to preparation to Pap's horrible dancing, there's extremes from a personality standpoint, and I think that works (laughter). I also think that we're very much channeling the fan base here in the sense that these fans are relentless, passionate, relentless, and they don't allow us to let up for an inning, a minute, and if we do we hear about it. So I think that's part of it.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.