Sunday, October 12, 2008

Asked and answered: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox outfielder

Jacoby Ellsbury, still a rookie but playing in his second postseason, is hitless in his last 17 at-bats. He'll have a chance to break out of that slump, though -- he's hitting .462 (6-for-13) against Matt Garza, Tampa Bay's Game 3 starter.

There were a lot of missed opportunities where Game 2 could have turned; how do you guys look at it?
"We had some opportunities; I know we left a lot of runners on base. It was just one of those games we wish we could have got, but we're here now at Fenway and we've already forgotten about that last game."

How do you mentally prepare yourself against Tampa Bay when you know every game is going to be like the last two?
"That's how the playoffs are. The biggest thing is timely hitting. That's going to be a key to this series. Obviously, we left some runners on that we'd like to get across late in the game, but that's the way it goes sometimes."

Do you feel like these two teams know each other so well that it ends up affecting the game?
"Both teams are so relentless. Both of us find a way to be in the ballgame, to give yourself an opportunity to win, and it's no different with Tampa. They just battle back to be in a position to be in it at the end."

When you look at your two games in Tampa, is it satisfying that you got the split or is it disappointing that last night didn't work out?
"We wish we would've got last night's game; we had a lot of opportunities to put it away and come back here 2-0. But if we split down there, we've got three games here to get it done. We can't complain. We can't complain. It would have been nice to get last night's win, but we're already putting it behind us."

You started off hot in these playoffs and things have cooled off a little bit; is there anything that's been happening differently?
"It's just the way it goes sometimes. Unfortunately, you can't stay hot all the time. But it'll turn. It's a matter of time."

Terry Francona said before the game last night that he has faith in you at the top of the order; is it frustrating when he has that much faith in you and you have a tough game?
"Not really. Obviously, you want to go out there and have a great game every time, but it happens. You're not going to have an excellent game every time. It's staying confident; that's the biggest thing. It's a long season, and you're not going to go 4-for-5 every night. It's a best-of-seven-game series. It's not about one game; it's about winning four of them."

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