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Aybar led your team in sacrifices; what were your options there?
Erick's a terrific bunter. He feels obviously badly he didn't get it down. It was a great count for it. Delcarmen throws hard which is a challenge, but I think it was a, you know, it was a buntable ball. Erick just didn't get it done, and that happens.
The resulting play at third, were you aware that the ground can cause a fumble in baseball?
You know, he's got to have -- I feel he had to have control of the ball. It depends on what they consider control. You know, Tim felt, you know, Tim Welke felt that the tag was made and the out was recorded before he lost the ball. But it's like, you know, guy slides into the bag, you put a tag on him, and if the infielder drops the ball, there is a gray area there of interpretation of what happened. He felt he had control of the ball.
You had thought through, the whole series was going to give us a preview of the Rays and the Red Sox?
Not right now I can't. I'm sorry.
Your thoughts on the series?
On this series? Yeah. First of all, I want to congratulate the Red Sox, you know, they beat us. They beat us.
I can't tell you how proud I am of our guys and the way we battled, not only the whole summer, but to get back into this playoffs and really have a chance to win just about every game we played. But the Red Sox, they got it done a little bit better.
You know, that happens. So, you know, I think this series, every game could have gone either way. We just, you know, at times those guys they stepped up and did the job, and we didn't do it quite as often. I'm very proud of the way our guys played. Naturally, we wish the Red Sox luck in their series.
Reggie dives in right field for that ball by Bay. If he doesn't dive is there anyway he holds him to a single from your perspective?
No, if he doesn't dive, that ball's going to kangaroo. He didn't touch the ball, that ball's going to be impossible to play. That ball jumped 30 feet or 20 feet into the stands. That was a great effort by Reggie.
Can you talk about the disappointment of coming up short against the Red Sox again?
Well, you know, those guys have certainly in the last three series that we've been involved with them they've beaten us.
I thought we played much better this series than going back to '04 or '07 against them. It's naturally disappointing. But we're going to have to keep trying to get better. That's all we can do.
You know, like I said, one little play here or there, and we're certainly in every game. Just couldn't get enough done and pressure them enough. Hitting players in scoring position, we didn't quite get opportunity -- we had opportunities tonight and couldn't get it done. You know, we've got a lot of guys that are frustrated right now. Can't tell you how proud we are of the way our guys played through the whole summer, and it's unfortunate the way this series turned out. But those guys left it all on the field.
I guess in the dissection of this whole thing, the toughest thing for you to swallow is just the lack of execution in certain instances in the course of the series that you had from this team?
I think in Game 1, I don't think we did a lot of things we could have done. You know, Lester threw a great game. But I think the rest of the way in 2, 3 and 4, I'm proud of the way our guys played.
You know, Red Sox, they jumped up and beat us. They did what they had to do to win. But I feel much better about the way we played the last couple of games. You know, I think that the Red Sox, they beat us. That's the bottom line.
Did you think that the way Delcarmen was working Aybar inside? Did you think they were anticipating at all that he might try the squeeze there, or was that irrelevant?
Well, I'm sure it's something he's looking out for. It has to be on their radar, I'm sure it was. We got to a count where I thought it was going to be a pitch that Erick could handle, and it didn't work out. But, you know, I'm sure that they were, there's no doubt that they were aware there was a possibility of it, sure.
If I could follow up, can you talk about the job Lackey did tonight?
Yeah, John, really, he pitched a terrific ballgame. You know, to beat a good pitcher like Lester or give yourself a chance to, you have to pitch with him. And John did for the most part. You know, Pedroia got a big two out hit for him to get a run in. You know, Ellsbury put a ball in play to get a run in. Varitek had a good at bat to create a first and third. So, John minimized damage, and I thought he pitched a really strong ballgame. Can't say enough for what Scotty Shields did. He's been with us all year and he's been terrific. You know, he sucked it up tonight. We needed it, and he just couldn't get out of the last inning. But he's been there for us all year. You know if we were going to have one guy that we were going to lose it with, we feel good with Scotty out there.
You have perspective on the Varitek tag play at third base? You thought he didn't have possession of the ball long enough?
Yeah, I think if a guy -- my view of the play was that, yeah, there's a tag made. But just like a guy slides into the base, and an infielder tags him and goes to take the ball up and show the umpire and the ball pops out, he doesn't have possession of that ball. I don't care if he hit the ground or what happened.
So I felt the ball was loose, that Reggie should have been safe. Although I know there was a tag made, but there still has to be control of the ball. Tim saw it differently, and that's all that's what they're going to go by.
I know you said it got to a count where you saw Aybar handled the bunt there. Could you go into the strategy there why you decided to go with the squeeze there?
I thought it was a good situation for us. With the guy at third base, with the guy at the plate and the count we had. And it didn't work out.
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