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October 4, 2003

Tim Hudson


Q. This is going to be the 7th game you guys have had to close out a series. How does this compare? Is there a different mentality?

TIM HUDSON: I don't know. I think preparation-wise, I think we all go about it the same way. We obviously try to win every game out there. Unfortunately we've fallen short in the past. We've been in this position before, and we've let it slip away. I think guys this year, we're really determined to go out there and play some good clean baseball, and try not to make the mistakes that have hurt us in the past.

Q. Ken Macha talked about how subdued your clubhouse was after winning Game 2 as opposed to last time against the Yankees. Is that a sign of maturation?

TIM HUDSON: I think so. The first time we were in the playoffs, we were excited about being there. We hadn't been there a while. Last year and this year, you know, when we clinched the playoff berth, we were obviously happy and excited. But we know we've fallen short in the past of our goal, and that's to win a championship. We know one bottle of champagne is nice, but there's some more bottles out there we want to get. I think the guys realize that. And we've got to take one step at a time. We finished with the regular season; it was a great regular season. But the regular season is over and done with. Now we have the first round of the playoffs, and we're trying to get past this. And we'll just have to go from there.

Q. How would you rate your bullpen this year compared to previous A's bullpens or other bullpens around the League?

TIM HUDSON: I think this year our bullpen has been great for us. I've said all along, they don't get the credit they deserve. I know for the longest time in the first half, our starters were going so deep in the games these guys weren't getting a lot of work. When we needed them the last part of the season, they stepped up big for us. We came in here and our starters went down early and they came in and stepped up huge for us this series here in Boston (in August). And we went from there and we went to Toronto and they stepped up big there. Keith Foulke, he's been the best closer in the League this year. He's not a guy that's going to go out there and be flashy and throw a 98 fastball by you. But he knows how to pitch, and throws strikes, and that's what I like to see out there.

Q. The times you've started on three days' rest have you noticed any difference?

TIM HUDSON: Not really. In 2001 in New York, I felt I had better stuff then on three days' rest than I did in the actual start. Last year I felt great coming off three days' rest. Physically, I feel fine with it. I think Zito is going to be the same way. It's the playoffs. You have to go out there and do some things you normally wouldn't want to do during the season.

Q. You mentioned Keith Foulke. How important to the team's success has he been?

TIM HUDSON: I don't think we would be in the position we're in right now without him. He's been the backbone of our bullpen the whole year. He goes out there and he competes and he's going to throw strikes, more times than not. Closers go out there and try to throw 100 miles an hour by guys, and they're walking guys and continuously getting in trouble. He's going to go out there and make the guys swing the bat. He knows how to pitch. We definitely wouldn't be where we're at without him.

Q. That little hip thing that you had last year during the playoffs, was that at all related to the three days' rest or was something else bothering you?

TIM HUDSON: That actually happened the day before my last start of the year last year in Seattle. So I actually pitched in Seattle with it and just had to deal with it. But it wasn't from the short days rest.

Q. Red Sox were asked the same question. With a chance to reflect now, how important was Game 1?

TIM HUDSON: That game was huge, I think you could see it on both sides. The whole game you could look at their dugout, at our dugout. We put so much emotionally and mentally into that game. We knew whoever walked away with that game was not necessarily going to be in the driver's seat, but their job was going to be a lot easier for them. It was a great ballgame. It was probably one of the best ballgames I've ever been a part of. We were obviously very happy we came out on top of that game, because the next day would have been tough if we were down 0-1.

Q. If there is a Game 4, will you change your approach to Boston's hitters at all or will you stick to what got you the win last time?

TIM HUDSON: I'll go out there and pitch my game. I always feel if I bring my best to the table out there, we're usually going to be successful. So I'll let those guys make adjustments to me, just go out there and try to make pitches, bottom line.

End of FastScripts...

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