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October 6, 2004

Kelvim Escobar


Q. Kelvim, could you just talk about how you are feeling heading into a very pivotal start in Game 3 of the division series.

KELVIM ESCOBAR: I feel good and I am ready. Depending what happens, tonight is going to be a very important game tomorrow. One thing that I will tell you, I am ready for them.

Q. Are you flying to Boston early or are you going with your team? And just talk a little bit about how you pitched down the stretch in the regular season, maybe the last three or four weeks.

KELVIM ESCOBAR: No. I think I am just going to stay tonight for the game and I am going to leave tomorrow with the team. And I am very pleased with the way I threw the ball all year long, and I had some tough games, you know, but I've always been the kind of guy to always keep my confidence and always believe in myself.

Q. Kelvim, did you find it frustrating at all this season that maybe you didn't get the wins that, you know, your pitching deserved? Was that ever something you struggled with?

KELVIM ESCOBAR: I didn't hear.

Q. Was there any frustration in that you felt you pitched better than your one-loss record reflects?

KELVIM ESCOBAR: No, it wasn't any frustration, because I was very happy with the way I was throwing, because I think I did one of the things that I wanted to when I signed here as a free agent. It was to be a consistent pitcher, and I think I did that and that really made me very proud of myself.

Q. In your mind, who is the tougher out in the Red Sox lineup, Ramirez or Ortiz, and why?

KELVIM ESCOBAR: I don't think it's any easy out. I think they have very good lineup from the top to the bottom. But Manny and Davey, I think they're the tough in the lineup. They can easy-out you. But I have always been a guy that I don't really care who is hitting out there. I mean, I am just going with my best, try to make good pitches. And when you make good pitches, it doesn't matter who is hitting. You pretty much going to have a chance to get people out. But at the same time, Manny, I think he has been one of the best hitters in the game for years, and you have to respect that. And Davey, since last year, he is having like a great season, and he had a great season this year, and he is very, very dangerous. One of the things that I wanted to do is just -- when they come to hit, I try to still wait -- to get people out, when they come to hit, try to have nobody on base, you know, because they get a lot of people in. They have a lot of RBI's and home runs, and one of the things that I saw in last night's game was they really make you throw a strike, and they work the count, so you have to throw and get ahead and be very aggressive. Throw strikes, that's the bottom line. You throw strikes, make it easy for you.

Q. Kelvim, pitching last weekend in Oakland with the season on the line, did that help prepare you for the pressure of a playoff start?

KELVIM ESCOBAR: For some reason, I have always been a guy that I get excited. I don't think I get any pressure, because when you put pressure on yourself, I think you try to do too much, and it never works out that way. But that weekend in Oakland, it was huge for us. It was kind of like a playoff game, and I couldn't sleep the night before, with the excitement, knowing that if we win the game, we clinched our division. But I try not to think too much and put pressure on myself. I think more about my game plan and to know what I wanted to do the next game, so that's the way I am.

Q. There has been a lot of talk about what it's like to play in Fenway Park. What is that atmosphere like for you when you are there pitching?

KELVIM ESCOBAR: I think being a part of the Blue Jays for a third season, I played there many, many times, and I think it's one of the best places to play baseball. I mean, defense, the atmosphere, it's great. And for some reason, late in my career, I always have the best pitching in Fenway Park. I like it. I like pitching there. It's great.

Q. Your team is very well known for putting pressure on pitchers with the way that they run the bases. Are there people in the Red Sox, like a Johnny Damon, who put pressure on you when you are pitching, and if so, how do they do it?

KELVIM ESCOBAR: I think just knowing that they're very fast, you have to sometimes change the way you pitching, like sometimes you have to go quicker to the home plate, and that takes sometimes (Inaudible) because you know that they can run, and you're always going to have that in your mind, and it's an advantage for the team when you have some guys like Johnny Damon.

Q. (Spanish question)?

KELVIM ESCOBAR: (Spanish answer).

Q. Watching yesterday's game, did you learn anything about facing the Red Sox lineup that you didn't know before the game that you might be able to use when you pitch again?

KELVIM ESCOBAR: I think one of the things that I saw last night, they were very patient, and that really makes you -- you have to throw strikes. You have to go out there and throw a strike. If not, you have to be able to throw something besides a fastball for a strike, like a breaking ball or change-up to keep the guys out of balance, because when you fall behind, they know pretty much you are coming with a fastball, and if you're able to throw like a slider or change-up or strike, it's going to make it tough on the hitters

End of FastScripts...

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