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October 19, 2001

Curt Schilling


THE MODERATOR: Curt Schilling. We'll take questions for Curt Schilling.

Q. Do you feel like after 27 innings, two runs, you are in a zone that you've never been in before?

CURT SCHILLING: I've never thrown better in more important games than I have the last three or four games. I think that's pretty obvious based on where we're at and what we're doing as a team right now.

Q. Could you compare this start to the first two starts you had in the NLDS?

CURT SCHILLING: I felt good tonight. I told Damian as we left the pen tonight that the key for me was going to be to relax, because I felt like I had real good stuff. I thought I had all my pitches, and I felt real comfortable with my game plan and knew what I wanted to do. It was just a matter of not getting caught up in it and taking a breath every now and then and thinking through situations when you get into binds, not rushing the important pitches.

Q. The play at the plate with Javy, do you think maybe you screened him on the ball a little bit when you were running?

CURT SCHILLING: Well, I'm not going to prove to be a good base runner, but as I came home and he scooted to make the throw, I tried to scoot with him to do whatever I could. Then I realized a little bit too late that I wasn't going to be able to slide. I didn't really have much of an option other than going into him. But I tried to, if -- but I'm not really sure that I did. I'm not sure -- I didn't see the throw, so...

Q. Were you scooting with him to try to screen him from the ball? Was that the idea?

CURT SCHILLING: That's what I was trying to do. I'm not sure what the rules are with base running. I don't know if I was breaking any or not. I was trying to watch him, how he went to the ball, because he was standing up to make the catch. Then he kind of slid to the side. I tried to move where I thought I would be between him and the throw. When the ball went by me, I didn't realize he missed it until after I hit him. Then I turned around and saw Tony coming back. I wanted to make sure I touched the plate.

Q. Speaking of base running, if Jordan had thrown to first on your single and Franco had been covering, is there any chance you would have been out?

CURT SCHILLING: Not with my speed, I don't think (laughter). I don't know. I didn't break it down. I kind of slowed up a little bit. But had he come up to make the throw and -- I knew Julio wasn't on the bag. I knew there wasn't going to be a throw or play. I only had one other guy do that to me. Last time it happened, I got hit in the head. It would have been maybe a good thing.

Q. Can you talk about Steve Finley? He's had obviously a rough first half, but in the second he's come up with some good hits for you.

CURT SCHILLING: He's been huge. He did not get down on himself. He struggled through a first half that a lot of guys might have packed it in. Skipper stuck with him. He was a major, major reason why we won the games that we won the second half. Obviously, in the post-season, from the game-winning hit in Game 1, to today, he's been huge. But I think the thing I'm proudest of is the fact that he's never, ever allowed his offense to affect his defense. Having a Gold Glover out there every start is a huge, huge advantage for us.

Q. Can you talk about how you felt coming into this game, how important it was? Could have been a swing game with Maddux going tomorrow.

CURT SCHILLING: It was a five-game series in my mind. I was getting to start in Game 1 again. That's the way I looked at it. No disrespect to Albie obviously because we're counting on him to win tomorrow, but I knew Maddux was going tomorrow. We'll have our work cut out for us again. Going down 2-1, definitely the ball would have been in their court. I don't know that I put any more pressure on myself tonight. I mean, to me, putting pressure on myself is always a good thing. But I felt good about everything as the game started to go. Then obviously we got two runs early and I started to think -- my first thought when we scored the two runs was our destiny was in my hands and I was in the position to do it.

Q. Any idea how many pitches you threw tonight?


Q. How does your arm feel? Can you go Game 6, Game 7, what do you think?

CURT SCHILLING: Well, last time I checked on the roster, it said P next to my name, not MGR. I'm the pitcher, not the manager. I have no idea how many I threw. I felt fresh tonight. I felt good. The weather was obviously a huge factor in staying fresh tonight. But I mean, again, I've said earlier, he watched our pitch counts all year long. And curtailed us from throwing complete games, us being Randy and I. Rather extensively for this reason. I'm as fresh as I could be. When I get the ball again, no matter when that game is, I'll be ready and I'm sure I'll feel fine.

Q. How much do you and Randy feed off each other, especially at this time of the year?

CURT SCHILLING: I don't know. I can't speak for Randy. But probably no more, no less than any other time of the year. He's been a huge plus for me to have, I mean not only as a teammate, but as a friend. He's taught me a lot, and, you know, I told him the hard part's going to be showing up in spring training next year having to do it all over year. Everybody's going to expect it next year. That will be the challenge.

Q. You're the first pitcher since Orel Hershiser to throw three consecutive games in post-season. What do you think about that?

CURT SCHILLING: Any time you get mentioned in the same breath as Orel, who was as good a big-game pitcher as anybody I ever saw, a clutch pitcher, it's an honor. I'd go out there -- I go out there 35 starts a year thinking I'm going to throw a complete game. I don't know that I take a different approach in the post-season. It's just, you know, it's just a different atmosphere. And there's no -- I just find it very hard to believe there will be any fatigue at this point in the season, mentally or physically, just because of what's on the line, what you play for. You dream about being here. When you get here, fatigue is probably the last thing that you worry about.

End of FastScripts....

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