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October 6, 2006

Eric Chavez

Marco Scutaro


Q. How does it feel to get to the next level?
ERIC CHAVEZ: Feels really good. We have had some good teams here before, but in a game where there is only five-game sets, you take the Minnesota Twins, who is playing the best baseball that anybody in Major League Baseball, we take two on the road and come back and finish it, so we have been saying all week it's a crap shoot, anything can happen.
It's sort of weird going out to Minnesota, we didn't have a chance to win a ball game, but anything can happen. We played some really good baseball.

Q. When is the last time you heard the fans chanting your name? Has that ever happened before?
MARCO SCUTARO: Thirty years ago. That was a special feeling. When I heard everyone screaming my name, I just said to myself, "Do not strike out, please. Just make some contact."
And I hit it on the line and that's the greatest feeling ever.

Q. Did you watch the replay? You did a little hop when you hit the ball.
MARCO SCUTARO: Yeah, I was just trying to pull -- I don't want the ball to go foul, so I don't even know what I did.

Q. Eric, could you tell us kind of what went through your mind when you saw the ball go out of the park after -- it's been a long time since you did that?
ERIC CHAVEZ: The homerun? Going into the game today I just wanted to swing at strikes. I was swinging at balls all over the place, so given previous at-bats in post-season, I have got myself out swinging at balls.
So just went back and just told myself, got to get pitches to hit today, and that was it. I got all the confidence in the world in my ability. Sometimes it doesn't come out, but in Minnesota I was just swinging at everything, so I just tried to calm down a little bit today.

Q. Was it as enjoyable today as it was frustrating the other times?
ERIC CHAVEZ: Yeah, it is. It's kind of a weird feeling. Like I said, a game where there is five-game sets, it's a crap shoot, but we have had good teams here before, but it's a weird feeling. I am really excited.
But just looking at the next series, regardless of who we play, it's an uphill battle, and we got a long way to go, and there is still the thought of going home early exiting the next round, so you've got to keep that in your mind, but it's definitely enjoyable.
I am having a lot of fun, but it's going to be a big series next series.

Q. Marco, you've gotten a lot of big hits over the last few years. Have you begun to want to be up in that situation when the pressure is on?
MARCO SCUTARO: I don't really know what to say. In this kind of situation, I just look for a pitch and just try to make your contact, and for the last three years he has just -- it's just been working for me, but I don't really know how to explain. It's just it's been working for me. I don't know what it is.

Q. Marco, were you looking to go out of the field on that? Were you looking outside?
MARCO SCUTARO: That's pretty much my approach after two strikes. I just tried to wait for the ball the deepest I could and just try to react.

Q. On TV awhile back they were talking about how you have played on some great teams, but you've said this is a great team, not just great players. Can you expand on that?
ERIC CHAVEZ: Just team baseball, really. We have had a lot of injuries and we have had a lot of guys pick each other up this year, and other years it's been the Big 3 or it's been Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, but this is the one year I think you could say this is Oakland A's baseball that participated, and I think with the defense and the relief pitching, that's really set us aside than other years.
You know, talent-wise this is one of the least talented teams I have ever been on and participated in the playoffs, but with a bunch of hard-nosed baseball players who love to play the game of baseball, and it's really showed.

Q. Any extra satisfaction being able to do that today at home in front of the home fans?
ERIC CHAVEZ: Yeah, the energy was ridiculous. I was able to let it sink in today. Before it was always out-of-body experiences, and I wasn't able to enjoy the atmosphere, but I had a good feeling about today, I knew today was the day, we wanted to close it, we didn't want to give Minnesota an opportunity to come back, and they are a good team, and the momentum switches really good in these series, so we have been up 2-up before and lost it, and we knew we wanted to come in today and close it.

Q. When everyone else went to the clubhouse, you were patiently waiting for an interview on TV.
ERIC CHAVEZ: No. Like I said, it's a weird situation. There is no doubt, inside I am dying at critics and I am having a good laugh inside, but the ultimate goal here is World Series, and there is a long way to go, and like I said, in the back of my mind, if we end up short next series, that's probably going to be a worse feeling than all four of the other ones put together, so I don't want to experience that.

Q. Justin Duchscherer may not have gotten a lot of publicity nationally. How confident are you guys with Justin?
ERIC CHAVEZ: So confident. He is the closer. You go back to Anaheim when they win, you get to the 7th inning, the game is over, kind of the same thing with New York the last couple years, but when we get down to Calero, Duke, Kennedy, we feel comfortable the game is pretty much in our hands.
So if we can get them the lead going into the 7th, we can feel good closing down, and Street has done a tremendous job. He has got his velocity back up, and we feel comfortable with him finishing up after Duke.

End of FastScripts...

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