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October 8, 2004

John Lackey


Q. Have you been able to purge your last Fenway Park experience out of your memory?

JOHN LACKEY: I've been here three times and they have all been bad. It's the playoffs and it's a new time of year. Going to have to step up and pitch better.

Q. Mike says you're starting tomorrow, unless you're used today. How do you prepare for that, how do you get your head into that?

JOHN LACKEY: Just like any other start. Tonight if I'm needed, I'll go in there and do my best, try to get us to tomorrow. But as far as tomorrow, I'll go about my business, just like it's a regular day game.

Q. How would you describe the mood in the clubhouse going into this game?

JOHN LACKEY: I think guys are still pretty relaxed. I mean, we're down 0-2 in a tough spot, definitely. We've been in the playoffs before and I think the guys are going to come out and give a good effort tonight.

Q. Could you maybe compare the composure of the team to 2002, given that you came from behind to win the division and did it in the last weekend under difficult circumstances; so what's the composure compared to the team that won the World Championship?

JOHN LACKEY: I guess it would be similar. I mean, we were down 0-1 in all our series in the playoffs in 2002. But 0-2 is definitely a little bit tougher, and especially coming here on the road. Just the challenge, it's something if you pull it off, it makes it that much sweeter.

Q. Mike has said a few times that the door is open for Jose Guillen to come back next year. Given there were a few incidents this year that including him kind of calling out the pitchers, do you feel like you guys could welcome him back into the clubhouse next spring if it came to that?

JOHN LACKEY: We're worried about winning games right now. Jose is not here, so we'll cross that bridge when it comes.

Q. Does your mentality change at all when you're pitching in an elimination game and how much would the World Series experience from a couple of years ago help if you had to take the ball tomorrow?

JOHN LACKEY: Mentality wouldn't change at all that much. You definitely have to be intense and have to have -- have to be locked in from the get-go, because one run can mean the end of a season. But it's a situation where there's going to be a lot of pressure, but I've done that before. I've pitched in pretty much the biggest game you can pitch in, so I'll be all right.

Q. How is it different, pitching against the Red Sox in this ballpark, as opposed to in Anaheim?

JOHN LACKEY: I mean, they are tough regardless. They have got a great lineup. They have got some good hitters that I don't think it's that much different. Just the fans will be yelling at me instead of yelling at them, I guess, tomorrow.

Q. In the time you've been coming to Fenway, what are your memories or feelings about playing in this park and this town, the fans and the ambiance?

JOHN LACKEY: The fans are great here. They are really knowledgeable fans, and it's a fun atmosphere to play in, especially in an older ballpark with so much history. It's definitely fun to get to play in a historical park like this. But as far as personally, my performances haven't been very good here. So I'm going to have to try to change that around.

End of FastScripts...

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