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October 13, 2003

Tim Wakefield


Q. Could you evaluate your knuckleball tonight as opposed to the opener?

TIM WAKEFIELD: I think it had a little more depth tonight. It was moving quite a bit in New York but it didn't have as much depth as it did today.

Q. What does that mean, what do you mean depth? What's it doing; is it going deeper but not flattening out?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Depth meaning top to bottom.

Q. Did you get the feeling that maybe you are getting inside these guys heads a little bit, that they were pressing a little bit?

TIM WAKEFIELD: No, I mean, I have a ton of respect for their hitters. It's a great lineup from 1 through 9. My concentration was just trying to get outs. I ran into problems in the first inning. Giambi hit a ball real hard but I got lucky enough that Kevin Millar was standing in the right spot.

Q. Was that relief on your part?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Sometimes it's better to have luck on your side than talent.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the mood in the clubhouse, this was obviously an important game for you to win; how is the team feeling?

TIM WAKEFIELD: We are excited. It was a huge game. It was probably one of the most exciting game's I've been a part of in my whole career. I pitched in the NLCS when I was at Pittsburgh but I was too young to know what was going on at that time. I was trying to pitch. Now, ten years, 11 years later, I realize how hard it is to get to this level, to this stage of the playoffs, and you appreciate it a little bit more and understand how important these games are.

Q. There's a perception that you could throw almost every day. What is your availability in your opinion for the rest of this series?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Right now I feel great, but I may be running on adrenaline right now. I always have my spikes on, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow when I come off the BP and play catch. I could be available tomorrow. I don't know. Depends on how I feel. But I don't want to take anything away from Derek. He's pitched great at home and we are excited that he's going to get a start here.

Q. In the first inning, you walked a couple of batters and Derryl has a notoriously small strike zone. Did you make adjustments to be just so effective tonight?

TIM WAKEFIELD: I think my adrenaline got the best of me in the first inning. I was throwing it maybe a little bit too hard, throwing it through the break. And I want to apologize to Derryl for my emotions getting the best of me there in the eighth inning. I knew going out there that it this was -- I only had one hitter to get out. If anybody got on, I was taken out of the game and sometimes your emotions get the best of you, and I let it get the best of me at that point and I apologize. I thought it was a strike and it probably wasn't. You know, that's what happens when you play this child's game as an adult. Sometimes your emotions get best of you. To answer your question, in the first inning, I felt like maybe my adrenaline was a little bit too much and I was throwing a little bit too hard. I got lucky to get out of that inning with the line drive by Giambi and be able to settle down and take control of it.

Q. Because of the magnitude of these games, obviously, is this as focused as you've probably been in your career in baseball?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Well, you stay focused during the course of the career, too. You're only as good as your last start. I was taught that at a young age, that you do well, you prepare for your next start. You're only as good as your last one. The focus level I think is a little higher, I think, during this time of year, because these games, every game is important at this time. I'm very, very fortunate that the good Lord has blessed me with this ability and I'm able to stay focused as long as I did today.

End of FastScripts...

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