September 30, 2003
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Workout Day
Q. Can you each guys talk about the game Hudson pitched against you and was it the best?
KEVIN MILLAR: The '92 complete game from Hudson was the best game I've ever seen, and thank God he doesn't do that every time or he would be 350. You have to tip your hat. He's tough. He's a competitor. That's what makes this game special. We have to make adjustments.
JASON VARITEK: That was the first and only time we saw him this year and hopefully we made some adjustments and we'll go out there tomorrow and compete.
Q. For Jason, Grady said Pedro right now is the best he's seen him in two years. Why?
JASON VARITEK: It's hard to put an evaluation on him over a two-year period, but he's healthy. He's healthy and he finished the season healthy again and that's all we ask. And to be able to go out there with a healthy mind and strong body, I like what he can bring.
Q. They say good pitching stops good hitting in the postseason. What can top that? Kevin then Jason.
KEVIN MILLAR: First of all, we live off pitchers' mistakes. If any pitcher makes their pitches, it's going to stop good hitting. We live off mistakes. That's what makes our lineup tough, we capitalize on most of the mistakes. But a good pitcher doesn't make as many mistakes. We're going to have to capitalize and do the best we can to give Pedro Martinez the lead offensively, whether that be 1-0 or 5-0 and let him go to work from there.
Q. Since both Game 1 starters are so good, is it there a psychological advantage to going up one game in this series?
KEVIN MILLAR: Games are important. It doesn't matter if it's Game 1, Game 2. I understand that because we were able to come back from two down. You can't panic either way. This team won't. It's a good matchup, but you have to go out there and play the game. To put it all on who wins the best pitching matchup by that first game, I don't know, but I like our chances.
Q. How does previous experience help you in the playoffs this time, Jason?
JASON VARITEK: I was able to experience being swept and able to experience almost being swept to come back from two down. It's a great experience to be involved in the playoffs and the excitement and the ability to have that opportunity to win. And these are the most important games you'll play. It's fun. It's a lot of fun. This team, I think, once everybody gets a few swings in, they will enjoy how fun it is.
JEFF MILLAR: For me with the Seadogs, it was a blast in '97.
Q. How important is character and makeup in postseason?
JEFF MILLAR: I think the one thing that we have in this clubhouse is a bunch of character and chemistry. It's not overrated. I think chemistry is one thing when you're general manager and ownership to get a team together, 25 different egos and 25 different salaries, I think they've done an awesome job in putting together 25 baseball players. My favorite team was the '93 Phillies. And you looked at all these guys that had the long mullets, which, as you guys can see are coming back. But that team, whether you were from whenever you were you pulled for them. I think we look alike, we play alike and that's what it's about. We've come from behind a lot this year, it's not where you want to make a living, but it's also, like I said, knowing we can do it and I think it takes character and that chemistry to do those kinds of things we have done. We've had God-awful losses but come back from big-time games and that's why we're sitting here today.
JASON VARITEK: I agree with him 110 percent, our ability to not panic, be down three or four runs, have different people contribute, it makes the pressure facing this team great. And our ability to do that and bounce back is our biggest attribute that we're not out of any game.
Q. Do you have a different feeling than you did in 1999?
JASON VARITEK: I'm a little less green behind the ears. I thought every year we were supposed to make the playoffs. I made it my first two years. I'm experienced, more settled, and I'm ready. It's going to rely on our pitching. As much as this team will face adversity and fight through it, we're going to have to pitch well, pitch real well.
Q. Teams like you perhaps are favorites in this series. Are you surprised by that being the wildcard team and not having the homefield advantage?
JASON VARITEK: The thing about being favorites, baseball is baseball. Baseball is a great game. I've been with the Marlins and we used to beat the Braves, and they've won the division for ten years, and today the Yankees are losing 3-0 in the 7th and they haven't been beat in two years by the Twins. There are no favorites in this game. You're going to see two warriors take the mound tomorrow. It's going to be Hudson and Martinez and you'll see which team is going to capitalize on that pitcher's mistakes. That's the bottom line. Offensively, we're pretty tough. You look at the numbers, it's like holy cow. They also have guys that will shut you down no matter who you are. We're not looking at it as we're a favorite. We're going to give Pedro a lead and see him go to work.
Q. Talk about facing Hudson especially after the way he pitched in August.
KEVIN MILLAR: Like I said, we saw him at his best. It was the most unbelievable game we saw. It helped us because the next few pitchers we saw after him were like a walk in the park. This guy is phenomenal. When he's got stuff, he's good. He's a competitor, but like I said, our lineup competes 1 through 9. And the thing our lineup brings is there are no matchups. That's the things that you get asked about our lineups. There's no matchups. We're going lefty, right, lefty, right, lefty, right, you've got the switch hitter at the eight-nine hole with Tek and Bill Mueller. Lead hitters hitting 8th for us. You have guys that will pop you out of the yard at any time. It's a tough lineup to pitch for. The pressure is also on him. If he's got to execute 1 through 9, there's not two or three guys he's got to be careful with. He has the ability to do that. That's where our pressure hopefully, we can get to him a little bit and hopefully, like I said, give Pedro a lead.
Q. Stories say your confidence high is in your clubhouse. Is that true or exaggerated?
JASON VARITEK: Our confidence has been high all year. That's been our ability to really bounce back, to really play a tough game. I don't know how many extra innings we played. It seemed like we played one a week. Our ability to set outcome aside and come back the next day and come away with a W is this team's biggest ability. So that does create confidence. There is a lot of confidence in that clubhouse.
End of FastScripts...