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October 5, 2007

Fausto Carmona

Travis Hafner

Eric Wedge


ROB DOELGER: Questions.

Q. The bugs that came in the 8th, have you ever seen anything like that?
ERIC WEDGE: We've had that happen here a few times. I don't know why it happens, but every now and again certain points of the time of the year they will show up, whatever reason they did tonight.

Q. Can you talk about Carmona? I mean, from last year through the regular season and now into the post-season, wondering what he was going to be like tonight, to give you the effort that he gave tonight to help this team?
ERIC WEDGE: Yeah, it was a great effort. I think you saw early on that he was under control. I think you saw early on that he had good stuff. He was going to command the baseball game and make pitches when he had to.
When you're facing a lineup like that, there's not much room for error. You've got to be aggressive, work ahead. Trust your stuff, and work off of your strengths. And I think we saw Fausto do that all night long.
When you get deeper into the ball game, especially a ball game like that where you're behind most of it and tied up, it's even a little bit more impressive just for the fact the way he kept going out there and getting it done. And ultimately to the last pitch he threw, because they kept pushing like they do.
And it was an outstanding effort by Fausto.

Q. Could you sense any frustration on the bench when so many guys got stranded? And, secondly, did you consider trying Nixon instead for pinch hitting for Michaels there?
ERIC WEDGE: Well, no, with Gutierrez, he's been the guy starting for us. We went with Kenny over him tonight, just with the way Kenny has been getting after it. But I think that when you look at the job that Franklin has done for us and the big hits he's had for us, he was the guy right there.
In regard to the other part of your question, I mean, everybody knows we can bunt now, I think. (Laughter) I don't know how many bunts we got down tonight, but it was quite a few. And the irony is the one time we don't get the bunt down and Gut gets the knock and Casey got it down and it went from there.
So it's a funny game. But you've got to keep putting yourself in position to win the ball game with one swing of the bat. I'm not talking about a home run or a double, when it's that type of game.
So we kept pushing and eventually it worked for us.

Q. Back to the bugs just for a moment. What did the guys say about how it affected them either on the mound or at the plate?
ERIC WEDGE: There wasn't any talk about it, really, on our side. Obviously you could tell the effect it had on some of the guys out there for New York. And I understand that.
But we've seen it happen before. And there was plenty of Off going around and everybody was getting into it. It was not as bad in the dugout, they were out there when it hit and we were out there after that and it was back and forth. Our guys didn't really complain about it too much. But obviously they saw how it was being played out and gotta prepare for it before they went out there.

Q. What's your mind-set now going into the stadium in New York up 2-0 for the next couple of games?
ERIC WEDGE: It's not going to change. It hasn't changed all year. We're flying tonight, and we'll let the guys blow off a little steam, work out tomorrow and we'll come out there with the same approach on Sunday that we've had all year long.
And this is a great win for us. It was a hard-fought battle by two very good teams. And you should enjoy it. You work hard to enjoy these types of victories.
But once these guys get to practice tomorrow, then they're going to be thinking about Sunday and nothing more. Not Monday, Sunday.

Q. Can you talk about what it means to see Travis Halfner get that game winning win? He's been your marquee player this year?
ERIC WEDGE: Great battle, great Big League battle and a big ball game post-season. Travis doesn't give into the fight. He had an opportunity to do that earlier. It was great. I thought it was great to see him have an opportunity to be able to do it again the next time. He took advantage of it.
And that type of game, you should figure it would go 3-2 bases loaded two outs find out which way it goes. That's one of the great things about this game. It was great to see him come through for us and also for him individually.
ROB DOELGER: Thank you.
Questions for Travis.

Q. How important was that for you mentally to get that big hit there, Travis?
TRAVIS HAFNER: It was great to come through there, but, I mean, the most important thing is just winning games. We're a team and every night we want to go out and win games.

Q. Travis, the bugs, everybody is going to be talking about it all over TV tonight, it's going to be shown. Can you talk about getting up there and hitting and what some of the guys were saying and dealing with all of a sudden the bugs swarming from nowhere?
TRAVIS HAFNER: Yeah, it was annoying up there. So guys were using bug repellent and trying to put it on their helmet, on their back, on their chest and stuff to kind of try and keep them away.
But every now and then one would get in your eye, you gotta call timeout and stuff. But it was kind of annoying.

Q. Travis, what's the mind-set now going into New York 2-0 the next couple of games? You don't want to leap too far ahead, but you have a commanding lead in the series right now.
TRAVIS HAFNER: Obviously Yankee Stadium is really a tough place to play. So our focus now will turn to Game 3 and just trying to win that one and take it one game at a time.

Q. If you could just talk about the fans tonight. They're so loud these first two games. Have you guys felt a difference in the energy level in the playoffs here?
TRAVIS HAFNER: This has been unbelievable. In my career I've never seen anything like it. Just these fans here have given us such a boost here at home. 40-some-thousand plus, the atmosphere is electric. They're into almost every pitch. It gives a huge boost to the players.

Q. Over the All-Star break when you signed the contract and you came in here and you talked about wanting to stay in Cleveland, is this the kind of game you imagined having for the Indians?
TRAVIS HAFNER: Yeah, absolutely. This city's been hungry for a winner for a long time. And I'd love nothing more than to win a World Series for these fans and everything. But they're behind this team 100 percent. And it's a tremendous atmosphere out there. And we're having a blast right now playing.

Q. Knowing the pitcher's duel and the struggle and 11 guys left on base, is it tough in that last at-bat not to press a little bit? How difficult was it to sort of take a step back and take his pitches and then make sure you got a good pitch on 3-2?
TRAVIS HAFNER: I had come up a few times in big situations, had two punchouts. Hit one of them on the screws right to Mientkiewicz. But every time that happens you're just like, you know, I hope I get up there again and have a chance to do something here late in the game.
So came up in a great situation. Bases loaded, two outs. That's what you dream about as a kid. 3-2, threw me a changeup, was able to stay back on it. Put a good swing on it and hit a line drive up the middle.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about what the attitude was like in the dugout when you were stranding so many people on base and how did you overcome that frustration?
TRAVIS HAFNER: I think last year that was a game that we would lose, you know, miss some opportunities and that's a game that last year we would lose. But this year it's different. We kind of find a way to cover up mistakes or leaving runners on base and find a way to win. Fausto gave us a chance, the way he pitched, and kept putting up zeros and gave us a chance to push one across and then do one more run later in the game.

Q. You just kind of touched on it, but talk about Fausto's performance, watching from the dugout, what did you think about it?
TRAVIS HAFNER: I mean, it was unbelievable. That's about the only way you can put it. Against that lineup to go nine innings and give up one run, it's an amazing job on his part. He's a really tough kid, a great competitor, and I'm really happy for him. He threw a heck of a game tonight.

Q. Travis, you mentioned that you wouldn't have won this game last year or the year before. Why were you able to win it? What's different about this year's team than the last couple of years enabling you to win a tight game like this?
TRAVIS HAFNER: I think it's our bullpen has been so good this year. They give us a chance to win. Our pitching overall is good. But just there's kind of a feeling in the dugout if we get in a close game, that somehow we're going to find a way to win it. And we've done that quite a few times this year, like we don't ever really feel like we're out of the game. We feel like if we can keep it close eventually we're going to break through and score some runs.

Q. Did you not get pied today?
TRAVIS HAFNER: (Laughter) I got pied last night. I don't know if you can go back-to-back days.

Q. Were you sitting off speed on the 3-2 pitch or were you thinking fastball and made an adjustment?
TRAVIS HAFNER: Really just looked for the ball. You just try to keep your hands back until you recognize the pitch. You're not trying to do too much there, just trying to keep your swing short and hit it back up through the middle.
ROB DOELGER: Thank you.

Q. Did you do anything special pregame to get the adrenalin slowed down a little bit?
FAUSTO CARMONA: Nothing, nothing special. I know that it's going to be a lot of fun. It's going to be very loud. So I want to make sure I'm concentrating on my job and going out there and doing it. Nothing special. The way I pitched was special. But before the game, nothing.

Q. Chamberlain seemed very bothered by the bugs and everything. He threw two wild pitches. Were you bothered at all? If not, how were you able to stay focused through all that?
FAUSTO CARMONA: I wasn't thinking about that. I knew there were a lot of flies, but I was trying to stay focused and hit them in front of them. I was not going to allow nothing or nobody to distract me. I stayed focused on that.

Q. You said before you don't pay attention to names or get intimidated by specific players. When you see A-Rod come up, do you put a little something extra? He struck out three times.
FAUSTO CARMONA: Nothing. I just tried to pitch the same way to everybody. It just happened that I made real good pitches to A-Rod. I didn't leave anything over the plate that he could drive the ball. I faced everybody the same way.

Q. Your first post-season start ever, nine dominant innings. What allows you to have that focus and determination out there?
FAUSTO CARMONA: Going back through the whole year, the way I've been pitching, I was thinking when I was on the mound like it was just another game. I didn't put any pressure like it was a playoff. I just continued pitching the way I had been pitching the whole year. That's the way I found out I was calm on the mound.

Q. Did facing the Yankees earlier this season help you in preparing for this game and performing in this game because you had seen the lineup before?
FAUSTO CARMONA: It helped me a lot that I faced them twice. I knew they've got a great lineup. I know I had to have my A game to beat those guys. And today I had my A game.

Q. Were you pretty much out of gas when Eric took you out of the game?
FAUSTO CARMONA: (Laughter.) I was ready to throw another one but I had too many pitches. I do whatever the manager tells me to do. So that was enough.
ROB DOELGER: Thank you.

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