October 9, 2003
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Game Two
Q. You've routinely started runners on a 2-3 count throughout the season; what percentage of the time has it probably backfired on you?
GRADY LITTLE: It's backfired a whole lot less than it has worked for us. Chances are, when you've got a hitter like Billy Mueller up there, the guy that led the American League in hitting, chances are he's going to hit.
Q. Did you feel it was the turning point in the game that early?
GRADY LITTLE: I didn't think the game was determined there in the first two innings when we were at the plate because we had a chance to get Mr. Pettitte, we didn't capitalize on our opportunity and he got into a rhythm thereafter that and the rest is history.
Q. Along the same lines, did you give any thought to having Kapler bunt in that situation.
GRADY LITTLE: No. We didn't get to this point where we are right now by moving runners that early in the ballgame. We're not going to start now.
Q. When you sort of stand back and take a look at the big picture, you come out of here with the split, did you get done what you wanted here?
GRADY LITTLE: Well, after last night, we didn't get done what we wanted to get done here but the way it turned out, we are going back to Fenway Park after splitting here in a ballpark where it's very hard to win a ballgame. We don't have any choice but to be happy about it right now.
Q. What you've seen in Contreras, is that going to affect any thinking process if you make any moves?
GRADY LITTLE: It quite possibly could. He's a guy that's been throwing the ball very well right now. He's certainly become a big factor in their decisions, also.
Q. Do you know if Johnny will be in the lineup on Saturday?
GRADY LITTLE: I couldn't answer that for you right now about Johnny. We'll have to check him out again tomorrow. He did take batting practice today and he felt much, much better. So he'll work out again tomorrow and we'll make that decision.
Q. Given some of the things that were said about Ortiz's plate coverage earlier in the season by Clemens, any concerns that they buzzed Ortiz there in the eighth?
GRADY LITTLE: Not from our end. Not at all.
Q. You got Pedro going Saturday. Do you feel now the pitching matchups are in your favor, whereas at the beginning of the series it might have been more difficult?
GRADY LITTLE: We like the guy we've got on the mound and we know we've got a heck of a battle going against us on the other side. We'll take that day by day. These pitching matchups, sometimes they don't always turn out exactly the way you foresaw them a day before the series starts. And so we take them a day at a time and we like our man.
End of FastScripts...