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You're used to being a Game 1 pitcher and sort of setting the tone for a series. Is there any different mental approach now that you're a guy in a position to close one out?
No, because I've done both. Obviously, in 2003, you know, we clinched when I was on the mound. You know, I've kind of done it all, because in 2003, we pitched out of the bullpen on our bullpen days. I don't think it's any different. You've just got to go out there execute pitches. That's the same thing I told Jon Lester about Game 1. You don't have to do anything different.
How easy is it to kind of put the aches and pains aside this time of year?
I think some of them it's really easy. You just beat them with chemistry. So, like I said, you've got to go out there and just compete. That's what it's about. Keeping your team in the game. You saw how we kind of let them stay in the game yesterday and, you know, things happen, especially when you look back and they left 11 guys on base before they scored their second run. That's kind of what we're trying to do. I thought Ervin Santana kept them in the game and gave them a chance to win. Fortunately for us we ended up hitting the two run homer when we already had Papelbon in the game.
Some guys have a reputation, both batters and pitchers, of being able to step it up in the postseason. What do you think separates the guys who can do that in the postseason from run of the mill player?
I think a lot of it has to do with opportunity, put into situations to succeed. You take advantage of them. A lot of it comes down to preparation and being put in that opportunity.
I just want to know how you're feeling with the side?
How significant were the doubts in your mind whether you'd be able to pitch in this series or this month? And when did you turn the corner where you were convinced that you could go?
I think we were all preparing for Sunday the whole time. Even right after it happened, the day after it happened, you know, the soreness was probably at its peak. That's what we were preparing for. I think we were all pretty optimistic. I mean, we have a pretty good staff of doctors and generally whenever they tell you and keep reiterating the same thing, you start to believe it.
How much do you love pitching this time of the year and what's enabled you to be so successful when you've been on this stage before?
I like it because the weather's nice. Like I said, it just comes down to opportunity. I've been put in a lot of situations during this time of the year to be successful. I've taken advantage of them, so I really don't put too much else into it.
You guys have had a lot of success against the Angels in the postseason in recent years. Do you think there's any particular match up problem or is it just that you guys are playing better?
I really haven't sat down and looked at it. I've been a part of it for two years so I don't know how far it really goes back.
I just think that we have situational guys that, just like I said, get put in opportunities and they end up coming through. I think it probably comes down to preparation. Not saying that they're not prepared.
I think, to me, when I watch Mike Scioscia manage during the regular season against us, it's like it almost feels like it's embarrassing sometimes the way they take advantage of weaknesses and stuff like that. I think it's just us being put in opportunities to succeed and taking advantage of them.
Why do you think after six months of them being so dominant and successful against you guys that come this time of year the coin has been flipped?
Like I said, I think that we get put in situations and take advantage of them. I don't know what else, really, to say. They're still the same team. I think they're missing a few of their cogs. I know Izturis to me is a very good player. Obviously, he's not playing. He's another guy they could put at the top of that lineup and kind of get on base and work pitchers, maybe get guys fatigued a little earlier then get the middle of the lineup up there.
How much of a mental and physical grind has this season been for you up until now?
I don't know. I think that's one of those things that you look back during the off season and kind of assess. Right now I'm just trying to help this team win one game at a time.
Obviously, I've said this when we clinched our playoff berth, the first team to 11 is the one that wins it all, so that's what we're trying to do right now. I think that's probably a question better suited maybe a month from now.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.