10/24/2013 12:13 A.M. ET
Oct. 23 John Farrell postgame interview
By / MLB.com
Q. Can you relate the case you made to Dana DeMuth after that play happened at second base?
JOHN FARRELL: Yeah, I thought from the dugout view it was pretty clear that that ball just tipped off the fingertips of his glove. I think we're fully accepting of the neighborhood play, but my view is that it wasn't even that. There was really no entry into the glove with the ball. And to their credit they did confer, and I think the one thing is we just strive to get the call correct. And I think based on their group conversation, surprisingly, to a certain extent, they overturned it and I think got the call right.
Q. Can you talk about Jon Lester tonight?
JOHN FARRELL: Yeah, I think the way they came out aggressively swinging at his fastball early in the count, I thought he and David did a very good job of getting his curveball in the mix a little bit more, to create a little more separation in his pitches in terms of velocity. Once he was able to establish that, I thought he had a very good cutter, particularly some backdoor cutters to some right‑handers.
And the key to me was the double play in that fourth inning. Come‑backer to him, the 1‑2‑3 double play. And as he got deeper into the game, he got his change‑up in the mix a little more. Just a solid, solid outing by Jon tonight.
Q. Talk about the importance of getting this first win. Everyone knows Game 1 does not decide the World Series, but it does sometimes set a tone. Can you talk about the tone that you hope was set tonight and the importance of getting off to that very early lead.
JOHN FARRELL: I think once again we were able to go into the game with our approach. I thought we had a lot of quality at‑bats that we were able to build some pitch counts against Wainwright.
But, you know, whether we view this as three different series inside of one, a two‑game set, three over there and possibly two back here, always getting that first one out of the way is a good feeling to continue to try to build some momentum. But I thought we played a very good game all around tonight.
Q. The Lester‑Ross relationship, is that emerging in your eyes or is that something that you will continue to go with?
JOHN FARRELL: Yeah, I think the one thing that we've seen the last probably six times Jon has gone to the mound, David has caught him. They've really developed I think a really good rapport. Their ability to read swings and make some adjustments from at‑bat to at‑bat or each time through the lineup. And we did it in the two games that Jon pitched against Detroit. So everything right now would point to that same tandem.
Q. As a manager have you ever had your argument over a bad call work to that degree?
JOHN FARRELL: There's been some conferences. And I can't say it's too often, particularly in this setting. I haven't been in this setting before. But typically they're probably going to stand pat with the decision that's made in the moment. But like I said, they got the call right.
Q. Can you speak a little bit about the historical value of the Red Sox winning nine games in a row in the World Series going back to 2004?
JOHN FARRELL: I guess it says that our guys, regardless of who's on the roster, and probably David is the one that's linked everyone together, you know, we're more than prepared to play. Our guys seemingly in this setting, through the nine games you made reference to, have gone out and executed consistently, particularly on the mound. And that was the case again tonight.
Q. Could you talk about the job that Mike Napoli did in taking advantage of that mistake in the first inning, and in the sense of what he's done the whole postseason?
JOHN FARRELL: Actually from the ALCS on, his extra‑base power is clear. I think of the nine hits he's got, six have come of the extra base variety. He got on top of a fastball in that situation, and he's come up big for us. And particularly in Game 3 in Detroit, and every game since he's been right in the middle of a lot of our multi‑run innings. We talked about it even coming out of the Tampa series.
So we ride the peaks and valleys with him. He's got some streakiness to his career path, and when he's in the good side of those streaks, he's had the ability to carry us, and he's doing that right now.
Q. Going back to the reversal of the call one more time, after that the fans were going crazy, Napoli gets the big hit. Can you describe the rush of momentum going through the dugout and able to carry that for the rest of the game?
JOHN FARRELL: It is a pretty big swing moment, even though you're not fully expecting something like that in the first inning. Instead of it being a two‑out situation with runners on first and third, we're in a bases‑loaded situation, where there's not a whole lot of margin for error in terms of the strike zone, and the ability to possibly have Wainwright expand the zone on Napoli. Fortunately he gets into a 2‑0 count and the three‑run double, it is a big moment. And we're able to capitalize on the mistake.
And I think we've seen that when you give a team extra outs, as good as the teams you're going to play this late in the season, it can come back to haunt you.
Q. Is there any change in the status of Clay Buchholz for games three or four?
JOHN FARRELL: No, no change. He's going to pitch. Likely that after we went through some work today, he did throw a little bit in the outfield, we'll probably look to give him every extra day we can, and that would point to Sunday being Game 4.
Oct. 23 Jon Lester postgame interview
Q. John was just talking about the way the Cardinals came out swinging. How did that affect the way you approached the game from that time forward?
JON LESTER: Really didn't. We kind of expected it. We know how aggressive they can be at times. And late in the game they tried to slow some things down and take some pitches after that.
So we wanted to set the tone and get them swinging. That's important for my game as far as getting that fastball and cutter involved, and make sure that they're not able to just lock in and key on certain areas on me.
Q. Could you talk about the importance of winning Game 1? We all realize Game 1 does not decide the World Series, at the same time it's the game both teams want to win. How important is a win like this for this team?
JON LESTER: Very important, especially at home. You want to make sure you get, hopefully, these wins. Going to St. Louis is going to be very tough. And you really have to bear down in these situations and play good baseball and try to get some Ws in front of the home crowd.
Q. How much did the experience you gained in 2007 on this stage help the transition into tonight?
JON LESTER: I think just the preparation involved. Obviously there's going to be a lot of festivities, the introductions, the flyovers, the national anthems, everything is quadrupled because it's the World Series. So you know how to handle all those situations. Your warmup time, so forth.
So I think we talked about it yesterday, as far as every game is a learning experience, and you learn from each game, whether it's in the World Series or if it's April 15th, you've got to take something from it. And being in that situation in 2007 definitely prepared me for tonight.
Q. Can you talk about getting out of that fourth inning?
JON LESTER: Yeah, it was big. Obviously with us scoring some early runs there, just wanted to ‑‑ especially in the middle innings, get some shut‑down innings, and get the guys back in the dugout. That one got a little away from me, but was fortunate enough to get a pitch down to Freese there and get a ground ball. Rossy did a great job of making sure that we got the first one at home and then made a good throw to Nap.
So that was obviously a big inning for us and to shut that down and not let any runs score.
Q. Your relationship with David Ross, is that as good as you've had as a Red Sox with a catcher? What's going on right now?
JON LESTER: You know, I think I've had it with Salty. I think Salty did a great job for us this year. For whatever reason right now me and Rossy are clicking. That's nothing against what Salty does behind the plate, and we've had plenty of good games together. So for whatever reason it is, things are just working out right now.
So it's not a matter of I wouldn't say I like Rossy better than Salty or vice versa, you know. Just like I said, for whatever reason, we're going good and John Farrell is going to ride it out.
Q. A couple of quick ones: After the 5th, which also you got to pitch your way out of a little bit, you seemed to like getting to a groove and cruise until you came out of the game. What went on in the 5th? And what happened after that?
JON LESTER: I don't really think any one thing clicked. Early on had a good rhythm. Kind of lost it a little bit in those middle innings, as far as getting quick outs. Had some long at‑bats, had a lot of pitches. Sixth inning, tried to go back out and do the same thing we did all game. And had some quick outs. That was big. First‑pitch‑swing outs are huge, especially this time of year.
Q. Could you talk about your Red Sox team now has won nine in a row in the World Series, and you've been part of five of them, how does that feel?
JON LESTER: It's great. But that's something that we can talk about at the end, when everything is all said and done. Right now we're focused on ‑‑ we'll enjoy this one and come in tomorrow and be ready to go for Game 2. That's all we can worry about right now is just the next one, the next task at hand, and hopefully Lack goes out there and does a good job for us.
Q. Going back to 2007, how do you compare your emotions your adrenaline going into same Game 4 to close out that series in '07, as compared to what you felt tonight in the starting role to start the World Series?
JON LESTER: I think very different. Obviously being at home obviously helps amp everything up. Game 1 is a little bit different than up 3‑0 going into Game 4. I think the biggest thing is just being able to control those emotions and pitch under control, and not try to throw the ball through the backstop. Just rely on location early on and try to get into that rhythm, try to get your feet under you, get your legs under you, execute some pitches to both sides of the plate. And we were able to do that in the first inning, and then just went from there.
Q. The number of called third strikes you were getting with your cutter, was that surprising given how aggressive they are? And what about that was working?
JON LESTER: I don't think it was surprising. I think it was just kind of the way we attacked the guys early on. We went right after them. We pounded them in. Made them try to turn on some balls in. And when we're able to do that, you talked about getting swings early; that opens up the outer half of the plate.
We tried some four‑seamers out there and they fouled them off. When you foul off a four‑seamer and start the cutter just off a little bit off of that and have it come back, most of the time they give up on it. And we're able to get some big strikeouts for us tonight.
Q. After a series that was so tight every pitch, 0‑0 five innings, you get a little bit of a lead. What does that do for you tonight, pitching with a lead the entire way?
JON LESTER: Well, I think you can go one of two ways, let your guard down and take a deep breath, and say okay, we've got a lead, and not really pay attention to the next inning. This time of year you really have to think about winning each inning. And once we scored in that first, to go out there, you've got to win that inning. You've got to put a zero up. Get these guys back in the dugout and get them up to the batter's box. And we were able to do that and we ended up scoring a few more runs. And that was big for us, especially against a pitcher like Adam over there.
Q. Mike's come up with some big hits for you guys lately, giving you the three‑run lead in the first inning. Can you talk about the hits, and what he's been able to do offensively for you?
JON LESTER: Yeah, it's been all season. He's done a great job. The thing that has impressed me the most about him is the amount of pitches he sees. Seems like every time he's up there it's 3‑2, 2‑2. I think it gives him the advantage over the pitcher, just seeing so many pitches. He's come up big, like you said, all year for us, and especially here lately against some really good pitchers. To have him go get a double in the first inning, score a couple of runs, David chugging around the bases, that's fun to see when he gets going.
That was just a big momentum change for us right there. And like I said, to go out there and get them back in the dugout I think is big.
Q. As the season has gone on, have you gotten more comfortable with David being behind the plate? How has that happened? Talk about him helping you navigate through the lineup.
JON LESTER: Yeah, obviously David missing some time I think hurt a lot of relationships through the pitching staff. It took him some time during Spring Training to get used to us. And then for him to miss some time was rough on him. Ever since he's come back, it's been a seamless transition. I was saying earlier, for whatever reason me and him kind of fallen into a little bit of a pattern, a little bit of a routine together and it's worked. And we'll just keep riding it out until the end.
But he's done a great job navigating through the lineup tonight, mixing in. We hadn't gone to the backdoor cutter a lot lately, and he saw it was working, they were giving up on it, we kept ongoing after them. He did a great job helping navigate through the lineup.
Oct. 23 Mike Napoli postgame interview
Q. You have great career World Series numbers, it seems like. Is there anything specifically you attribute that to or is it just the way it's worked out?
MIKE NAPOLI: Yeah, I think it's just the way it worked out. I love this stage. It's in the spotlight. I really enjoy this time of year, I guess. But it's just going out there and getting the job done.
Q. After that call was reversed, the fans were going nuts. You come up and you seize the moment with a big hit. Could you talk about seizing the moment there?
MIKE NAPOLI: Yeah, bases loaded, I'm just trying to get the ball up in the air to the outfield in that situation. I got myself into a good hitter's count, and got a pitch I can handle to drive out there.
Q. Does what happened in 2011, does that play in your mind a little?
MIKE NAPOLI: No, not really. The main thing was trying to get back here. But I think it's nice being able to play against them. They took a world championship away from me. But it doesn't have anything to do with anything, just trying to win a World Series.
Q. Can you talk about having a money pitcher in Jon Lester. And talk about his effect on the game and potentially the series.
MIKE NAPOLI: Yeah, he's been doing it all year. He's a big‑time pitcher. We have all the confidence in the world when he's out there throwing the baseball. He did a great job tonight, we were able to get him a couple of runs early. And he settled in and pitched awesome.
Q. Was there any sense of surprise on your part that the call was overturned?
MIKE NAPOLI: Yeah, you rarely see that, especially on a stage like this. But I think that was good for the game. If everyone can get together, and they saw something different and get it right, I think it's something that should be done all the time.
Yeah, the play was the right call and just went from there.
Q. Can you just talk about how sometimes there's a game where everything goes right for you. Maybe on the other side they're saying everything went wrong. Can you talk about when everything is clicking, the confidence this team has, the importance of getting off to this big start?
MIKE NAPOLI: Yeah, I think we're a confident group, no matter what. But I think you've got to take advantage of the opportunities you get in a game. We've been able to do that all playoffs. And that's what it's about. A lot of things went right for us, but we've got to take advantage of those opportunities and we did.
Q. There are some of us who like to call you a streaky hitter, but you've come up with big hits lately. Can you explain what makes you so comfortable at the plate, anything that lends to that?
MIKE NAPOLI: Just grind through every at‑bat. I'm able to forget about an at‑bat to my next at‑bat. You can't dwell when you get out; just go up there and have a plan and try to execute as best as possible. I just go up there, and I'm confident every time I go up there, even if I struck out the last time. I always feel like I'm going to get a hit.
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