Friday, October 17, 2008

Asked and answered: Holy @#&%#@#! edition

J.D. Drew, Red Sox outfielder, who hit a two-run home run and then drove in the game-winning run with a single in the bottom of the ninth:
Can you go over those at-bats?
"We were in a situation where we needed some runs in a big way, and Papi was able to get a huge home run and give us some run support there. I'm just in a situation where we're trying to get a ball in the zone, trying to get a rhythm going. Missing six weeks of the season, I've found myself in a little bit of a bad rhythm but trying to work through it. I felt like I had some good at-bats, was able to get a ball in the middle of the plate and put a nice swing on it. And then the same thing kind of happened in that last at-bat."

Were you guys able to draw on previous comebacks, like last year against Cleveland, in this game?
"It's a little different, you know -- it was critical. Everyone knew that we needed to win the ballgame. It doesn't matter how you do it. We didn't want to go down 7-0, but there's a lot of fight in that dugout, and a lot of guys knew as soon as we got some runs on the board, we could get something going, and we were able to do that with (Dustin Pedroia's) hit and then Papi got that home run and that got things kind of steamrolling, and we were able to win the game."

What did you see on that last hit?
"I knew I hit it really well. I got a ball in the middle of the plate, just tried to square it up, similar to what happened in Anaheim when Coco was on second, just trying to get a ball to hit in the hole somewhere. And I hit it really well -- I thought well enough to get it over his head, but (it being) so deep in right field here, I didn't know if he would catch it or not.

Terry Francona, Red Sox manager, for whose team this has become old hat:
Is a win a win, or is this one more than that?
"Well, considering a lot of things -- a loss, and we stay home -- I've never seen a group so happy to get on a place at 1:30 in the morning in my life. I can't say the game was exciting because the first six innings we did nothing. They had their way with us every way possible. And then this place came unglued, and we've seen that before. But because of the situation we're in, that was pretty magical."

Tell us what you saw with Ortiz's hit and then the two hits by Drew.
"Well, David got us back into (a place where) if something else happens, it makes it interesting, where all of a sudden they've got to go to the bullpen, do some different things. J.D. squared up two balls really well. Coco (Crisp's) at-bat was probably the best at-bat he's had as a Red Sox, again, because of the situation. But we did some unbelievable things. (Jonathan Papelbon) went out and threw another inning. He was gassed from the first inning. So we get to keep playing, and that's truly thrilling."

Coco Crisp, whose 10-pitch at-bat ended with a single to score Mark Kotsay with the tying run:
When you're going through an at-bat, do you have any idea how many pitches you were facing, what's going on? Do you know now?
"Yeah, somebody said nine."
It was 10.
"See? Somebody was wrong. I didn't know. I was just focusing on every pitch. I stepped out, said a little prayer, you know, and every time I got back in, it was the same routine, the same thing I asked for. I lost track of how many pitches."

What was the difference on the last pitch?
"The location was different. His ball sinks and tails away from you a lot; he left a few of them up, and I was able to get a piece of them. They were actually good pitches, up and out of the zone. But the ball sinks so much sometimes that it might just drop down into the zone. It didn't, so they ended up being good pitches, and I was able to foul those off and keep myself in it and then on a long at-bat, he made a mistake, and I was able to put it in play."

Did you see how many fans were still in the stands when it was 7-0?
"Yeah, I saw a few of the fans leaving -- with good cause, I guess, being down seven in the seventh, right? Most of the time, guys don't come back from that. This is an exception to that. But I know they're at home kicking themselves in the butt, like, 'Gosh, dog, I just left an instant classic!' But the guys that did stay, they're out there partying and celebrating and cheering, and it makes it exciting -- not only for us, to win a game like this and celebrate, but when you're coming back in here through the dugout and you see them out there partying and giving air high-fives, it makes you a little happier."

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