October 2007

World Series champs!

We’re just soaking this all in right now. To do it with a sweep, it just shows how good this team is. We just stayed with the same mentality each day and kept coming out on top.

We’ve been here before, a lot of us. Some on other teams and some with us in 2004. This is great to win this and to be able to go home and celebrate it with all of our great fans.Youkblog

It’s a little different, the fact that it’s the second time around. You get used to it a little bit more and that’s a good thing. It’s exciting each time you win. In 2004, it was the most unbelievable thing and people were going crazy. It had been 86 years. Now you’re almost expected to do it.

Some people doubted us all year — people were worried about the Yankees and they should have just been enjoy our success of being in first place all year. But we had a lot of fans didn’t doubt us and they stayed with us and cheered us on, and this is awesome that they get to enjoy this.

To come back from 3-1 against Cleveland, it showed you that we’re both a resilient team and a great team. We’re the best team in baseball this year so we’re excited to pull this off. It’s unbelievable to win a World Series again.

We just went out and played this year from day one and had a great team all along. Every time you win it all, it takes a little bit of luck here and there. But it comes down to making the most of your opportunities and we did that.

Like I said all along, you just play for the day. Everything isn’t about the stats. When the postseason comes around, it doesn’t matter about anything but winning.

In October, we just played great ball and clicked on all cylinders and got good pitching. Good pitching leads you all the way. We also had timely hitting. We had a lot of guys who stepped up and had great years.

What can you say? We have the best team in baseball. We just can’t wait to go home and celebrate. This is what it’s all about!

Not getting ahead of ourselves

It’s a great feeling to be up 3-0. But tomorrow is another day and it’s not over until you win the fourth one. We can be excited all you want, but we have to come out and win one more.

Youkilis
We were up big early then they come back hard, but that showed the resiliency of this team. Those guys come back and score some runs, but we came back with some of our own and showed that we’d do what we needed to do. We did a good job tonight of playing the game the right way.

Dice-K pitched great, and also gave us a huge hit with his two-out, two-run single. He just got his pitch count up there in that one inning. You can’t ask for more than that: a two-out single and 5 1/3 strong innings.

People in the media mentioned that we’ve now won six games in a row, but we’re not even thinking about that. You can’t look at it that way. We just go day to day. These guys won 21 out of 22 and now they’ve lost three in a row. You can’t really go on the past. The playoffs is all about living for that day. It doesn’t matter what happens the day before. You’ve got to go out there and play.

Pedroia and Ellsbury did such a great job tonight. They’re rookies, but they’re going out and helping this team win every night. Jacoby’s double just fell in during that eighth-inning rally and that was probably one of the biggest plays of the game. We were able to get a little lead there for Papelbon.

I took in the first six innings or so from the bench and then replaced David Ortiz on defense for the rest of the game. It’s just one of those things where you know it’s coming and you have to deal with it and you try to stay loose and go in the game. This is not an easy place to come in late like that just because of the weather. It was so cold out there. It’s tough to come in there, but it was great.

We’re going to go home tonight and do the normal routines and come out tomorrow and get to the ballpark at the same time like we did today and go out and play the game like we always do. This team, whether we’re down three games or down two games or up three games, we go out and play the game the same way. We don’t take any day for granted.

Like I said when we were down 3-1 to the Indians, you play for the day, and today, we played really well. That’s the bottom line, you have to play each and every day as best you can.

We know the Rockies will come out and play hard, and play tough like they did tonight. Hopefully we can get ahead and stay ahead.

Jon Lester takes the ball for us in Game 4, and that will be a huge opportunity for Jon. I think the big thing is, if he keeps his composure and throws strikes, he’s going to be effective. He has great stuff. He looks strong and he’s been throwing the ball well. If he throws strikes, that will be huge.

Keeping a good thing going

Betteryouk Just where we’ve come from, down 3-1 in the ALCS to up 2-0 in the World Series, has allowed us to gain confidence and momentum going into Colorado. We had the best-case scenario of winning two games here at our park and putting ourselves in a good position to go play out in Denver. We have an off-day tomorrow to rest up and get ready to play on Saturday.

We went out there with confidence and really didn’t want to settle for the split. We’re just trying to keep going with this. Our pitching is going to take us as far as we go. That’s the biggest thing right now. We have great pitching and our bats will come alive on some days. Then, some days like today, we just edged out with just enough. It doesn’t matter how you win. A win is a win.

You’d have to ask them about their psyche, but for us, to go
ahead 2-0 is huge. They haven’t lost too many games lately. Hopefully this keeps them down. For us, we just have to keep rolling because that’s a good team over there. At any time, if they start clicking, they have a great offense.

I think this team is always pretty confident. We’re just playing good ball right now. We’re doing everything well right now.

Schilling pitched great. Okajima was unbelievable. Papelbon pitched great. Pap’s pickoff was huge. You have a great hitter in Helton up.

Now we go to Denver. We played at Coors in ’04, so it’s not brand new to all of us. It’s something we haven’t done in a while. We’ll see when we get there. They just say to stay as hydrated as possible.

Gaining momentum

The way this offense is clicking right now, it’s been an unbelievable experience. Guys are swinging the bats well and taking pitches and not swinging at bad pitches. That’s the biggest thing right now, is guys are going up there and being patient, but also being aggressive and putting together great at-bats. That’s the key right now is going out there and going pitch to pitch and not trying to do too much.

I think what we did against Cleveland really carried over and not having a lot of days off really helped. We got back in the swing of things tonight and we have to keep playing because this is a tough team across the way. The score tonight doesn’t say it all. This team is going to play a lot tougher the next couple of games and we’ve got to take advantage of our opportunities. We can’t look at the score. We just have to keep playing inning to inning and try to win each inning.

Youk_4

Dustin and I are both hitting at the top of the order and we’re just trying to get on base for the big guys behind us. We know if David and Manny are swinging the bat well — if we get on base, it just adds to the depth of our lineup and our team. When David and Manny are swinging the bat, this is hands down one of the best teams in baseball.

Even when we were up 13-1 tonight, the guys in the lineup were still grinding out at-bats and doing the best we could. We have guys that grind it out and keep at it and that’s how you score 13 runs.

What can you say about Josh? There were a couple of balls hit hard but he worked out of jams. He keeps doing it. Hopefully he doesn’t have to pitch again, but if we do see him again, we’ll be excited.

He’s throwing the ball so well and he has confidence and when Josh has all the confidence in the world out there, that’s when he’s at his best. He’s definitely been at his best and we want to keep him going at that rate. When he’s on, he’s the toughest pitcher in baseball.

The Rockies, I don’t think, looked that rusty. They swung the bats well. I think we just scored a bunch of runs and had timely hitting.

Game 2 is huge. We want to get a 2-0 lead. If we can get a 2-0 lead, maybe we’ll keep them  off guard. We don’t want to get them used to winning again because they can get hot quick and that’s not what we want.

Ready for the World Series

To me, it hasn’t really hit met that much yet that I’m going to be playing Game 1 of the World Series in 24 hours. I just think about playing a game and trying to treat it like every other game and prepare myself the same way I always do. I’ll just wake up and do the same things I always do on a daily basis. For me, World Series Game 1 will be the same as Day One of the regular season.

That’s how I’ve tried to look at it since the playoffs started — just play and don’t worry about things too much — and it’s worked for me so far.

I’ve been swinging the bat real well in the playoffs and feel good and I think the main reason is I’m healthy. I think that’s the biggest thing. There are little things here and there during the year that nagged at me and when you feel healthy and feel good, good things usually happen. I’m really excited just to get out there and play. Adrenaline helps this time of year too when you play in these games and these situations. You don’t feel a lot of the aches that you go through in the second half of the season. To be healthy and playing in October is awesome.

You just have to use your adrenaline in the right way, because it can be good and bad. If you use too much adrenaline and get too excited, that’s when you get in a funk. The easiest thing is to just try to relax and try to keep it simple and do the little things. Try not to do too much. I think when you try to do too much, that’s when you fall into a bad groove.

The Rockies are a good, young team and they’re hot — real hot,
obviously. Hopefully they slow down against us and we come out and
swing the bats and pitch well. For us, it’s all about playing our game.
That’s all we can worry about is us. We can’t worry about the other
team. We always feel we can win any game as long as we go out there and
play our game.

We played these guys in June and they took two out of three from us, but we can’t take too much from that series that will help us in this one. Maybe you’ll remember the pitchers you faced or some of our pitchers will remember the batters they faced. But Interleague is always tough, it’s always in June, that’s early in the year. You can’t assess it that much. This Colorado team is a lot different team now.

These guys have won 21 out of 22 and that’s just remarkable. That’s unbelievable that they did that. But that’s in the past. It’s amazing that they put together a string like that just to get to the playoffs and then to get all the way to the World Series. It’s a great feat, but Game 1 is a whole different story. You can’t look at past records because those records don’t matter. Everyone is zero and zero. You have to put all that aside and play the game.

It’s obviously great to start the series with Josh, but to tell you the truth, I was laughing at everyone obsessing about Josh needing to pitch Games 4 and 7 for us to win the last round. I didn’t think Josh needed to pitch Game 7. I thought Dice-K got a bad rap and people were dogging him, but he pitched well. People get on Dice-K, but Dice-K has pitched well.

As for Josh, you’re confident as a position player when you start a series — or a game — with him taking the ball. You’re excited because you have the best pitcher in the game maybe, or in the American League, pitching for you. Every time he steps on the mound, we’re confident. That’s the biggest thing. Having confidence in your teammates and your pitchers is huge. We have confidence in all of our pitchers. It’s just that when Josh is out there, we feel at extra ease in the fact that when he’s on … he’s one of the best pitchers around. The guy is the best pitcher when he’s on — he’s shown it. Hopefully he shows it again in Game 1.

We stuck together

It’s unbelievable. It’s a great feeling to come out here in Game 7 and play so well. I’ll tell you what, it was unbelievable for us to win here at home, and a lot of people doubted us, but we didn’t doubt ourselves. That’s the biggest thing. When you believe in each other, you can go a long way in life.

If you ask me what the key to this series was, it was just sticking together. There’s a lot of people that are negative, and there’s a lot of people that doubt us, and they want to get on the bandwagon and say we can’t do it. You know what? We proved everyone wrong. We did it in 2004 and we did it again now. Maybe one of these days, people will start having a little more faith in us.

We have to play for each other. It’s a business, both in the media side or other sides, where people might write bad things about you. You know what? Just take it and go with it, and take out all that aggression on the baseball field.

This was a tense game tonight, but when Pedroia hit that home run, it was huge. That was the biggest thing for us. We’re just excited to put those runs across. Hey, we added on. That’s what we wanted to do, extend our lead.

Youk_3
I know the Indians are taking a lot of heat for not sending Lofton on that hit down the line in the seventh, but that sign the ball hit is not usually there. Usually, that ball kicks right to the shortstop. That’s one of those things I think third-base coach Joel Skinner prepared well for; that was actually a good call on his part. It just didn’t bounce his way, and we were very fortunate he held him up. Nine out of 10 times here in Boston, guys get thrown out trying to go to second or going home on balls hit down there.

We get the double play right after that; that was just huge. We were so excited to get back in the dugout. That was the biggest turnaround of the game.

I had a good series swinging the bat, but I don’t mind flying under the radar. I’ll fly under the radar any day of the week. That’s just how it is. I’ll fly under the radar as long as we win.

To me, I’m just excited to play this game. I’m very blessed in life to be able to play this game. I’m very blessed the Red Sox have stuck with me. That’s the biggest thing for me — the Red Sox have confidence in me and that’s all I need, for somebody to have confidence in me to let me play this game, because I love to play it. I give it 100 percent every day. I’m all about just having a lot of heart and playing the game.

I’m real excited just to go to the World Series, but I’m just trying to enjoy what we have right now and I’ll just prepare myself for that first game at Fenway on Wednesday against the Rockies.

Getting a lead was big

It was good to get the lead tonight and build a little more confidence on this team. I think that was a huge factor, just trying to get ahead and trying to get some runs on the board against C.C. I was glad I was able to help there, with that solo homer in the first.

Getting on the board first is huge when you have Josh Beckett on the mound pitching gems. Sometimes all he needs is one run. Getting that one run was big, and then we were able to add on.

I think once we were ahead, 2-1, guys were definitely more confident, but also, guys knew that we needed to get more runs. This is a great Indians offense, and they can get back in the game with one swing. For us, we were just excited to get those runs across in the seventh and eighth. That was huge for us.Youk_2

What Josh is doing right now is great. You wish he could go out there every day and throw the ball, but he can’t. He’s throwing the ball well, and we’re exited to have him on the mound pitching, because he’s dangerous out there. It just seems like he’s locked in and throwing his pitches where he wants, and ‘Tek is calling a great game. We’ll take him any day of the week out there.

Game 6 back in Boston is going to be great. I think the fans are going to be a little bit more confident. It seems like it was a little bit of panic mode while we were gone, and I think it’s huge for us to go back and get the momentum going in our favor and for us to win a game.

We know we’re still facing elimination, so we’ve got to win that game on Saturday.

We’re fortunate to have Curt Schilling on the mound in Game 6. He was definitely the guy that helped get us through 2004, and we’re hoping he comes out and throws a great game. If he can throw a great game and we can get a couple of runs across for him, we feel that we can hopefully win that ballgame and push it to a Game 7.

Play for the day

I think the biggest thing you’ve got to do is, you have to go out there and scrap and play like there’s no tomorrow. I think sometimes you can be more of a dangerous team when there is no tomorrow. For us, we’ve been in a lot worse spots. We’re down 3-1 now, but we were down 3-0 in 2004.

Youk_1We just have to go out there and play for the day — just go out there and play as hard as we can and not worry about yesterday, and we’ll just play for the present.

For us, we want to take a plane flight home on Thursday night and play a game in Boston on Saturday. We think if we can get to Boston and play, we have a good chance. We have Josh on the mound in Game 5. There’s nobody we’d rather have out there.

We have to play like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t. You have to go out there and give your all, give it 100 percent. You have to battle. It’s going to be a dogfight out there. We have to go out there and find a way to get back home.

I think a lot of times you’re a dangerous team when you have nothing to lose. For us, we want to go back home. We just have to try to win one game.

What can I say about tonight? It just wasn’t our inning. You lose ballgames when you can’t stop rallies. I had that foul ball down the line that I couldn’t come up with. I slipped a little, and Dustin and I sort of bumped into each other. If we could have come up with that ball, it would have been big. But we didn’t.

No time to panic

You can’t be in panic mode. A lot of times, it’s panic mode in Boston, but we’re not in panic mode. We were in a situation a lot worse than this in the 2004 ALCS, and we won that. This is easy compared to 2004, when we were down 3-0 against the Yankees.

For us, we’re not in panic mode. We’re just excited to go out and win a ballgame tomorrow and get this series back to even.

So for us, we’re not down. I think we haven’t played our best game — that’s what we have to do. We have to get
back to how we played in the first game and come out and get those
timely hits and start rolling. We’re a dangerous team. We
think we can take the series if we can just put some runs together.

Kevin

We didn’t hit in a timely manner and we didn’t get the breaks that we needed tonight, and we had our opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize on them.

We were hitting the ball good. It was just one of those nights when we just couldn’t put things together, and you just have to shake it off and move on to the next day and not worry about it. We’ve still got a long series to go. We have to come out tomorrow and win Game 4 and tie it back up.

There were a couple of pitches here and there where if they go our way, we may have a couple of baserunners and this and that. But they just didn’t. You have to deal with it.

Dice-K pitched well. He had good velocity. He had that one pitch to Kenny Lofton that just wouldn’t stay in the park, and J.D. wasn’t all that far from catching it. That was huge at the time.

We face Paul Byrd in Game 4. You just have to keep him in the strike zone and not swing at his pitches. When you get a good pitch to hit, you have to get it. He’s going to mix it up a lot. You just have to be patient, but also be aggressive.

I feel good with Wake on the mound. He can be dangerous. If he has the knuckleball working real well, it’s going to be tough. We’re excited to come out and play Game 4. It’s a new day.

Putting a tough loss in the rearview mirror

Was this a tough loss? Sure it was. But you can’t dwell on it. It was just a bad inning, and youjust move on. You can’t worry about the past. This is the playoffs. You
can’t worry about what you did in your last at-bat or your last time on the
mound. That’s the wrong philosophy. You just have to put it all aside and give it all you’ve got when you go out there on the field the next day.

It definitely would have been great to go 2-0, but for us, we did some things well. We didn’t do the other things well. But hey, we battled and played hard and played tough. It just didn’t go our way there at the end.

I had a chance to win the game there in the bottom of the ninth inning, with Jacoby Ellsbury on second, but I hit a line drive to center field right at Grady Sizemore, and he caught it. Not much I can do about that. I saw it go right to him and Sizemore is a great center fielder.

Youk

It’s just one of those things — you do everything right and it doesn’t always pay off. There’s a lot of luck involved in this game. You go out there and try to do everything the right way, and sometimes that’s how it works. It’s better to be lucky than good sometimes.

When you lose, it doesn’t matter — one run, 10 runs, 20 runs. A loss is a loss. In the end, for us, it would have been nice if we could have gotten in the run with our big guys up in the 10th, but we just couldn’t. The ball just wasn’t bouncing our way. It happens sometimes.

Trot is a tough out. We know better than anyone that we don’t want to see him up there in that situation. He found a way to get a big hit for his team there.

It’s 1-1, but I think we’re looking real good. We have full confidence in all our pitchers and our ability to win. This one just got away from us. We could have easily won this game. Now we just move on. It looks bad on paper, the score, but we were one swing away from winning.

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