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October 11, 2007

C.C. Sabathia


Q. Given how hard you had to work last time out, are you glad to have a couple extra days off, or would you rather pitch?
C.C. SABATHIA: I'd rather pitch, but I had two good games in my two last starts, felt pretty good. So I'm just excited to get out there tomorrow.

Q. Over the years have you seen Eric Wedge change as a manager or develop or grow, any of that stuff?
C.C. SABATHIA: Over the years I've just seen him -- I mean, yeah, you can say he changed. He's more lenient, I guess. He lets us get away with a little more as we got older. When we were a younger club he was on us all the time about little things, and over the years he's learned to kind of back off and just let us play.

Q. Against the Yankees you didn't seem to have the control that you usually have. I just wonder what happened in that game and what you've worked on to correct that for this game?
C.C. SABATHIA: I think it was just a case of me overthrowing. Usually I've got my pretty good control when I'm 91 to 94, in that range, and I can hump up and get 96, 97. From pitch one the other night I was 96, 97 the whole time. I'm going to work hard tomorrow to keep that under control and be able to hit my spots.

Q. Why were you overthrowing?
C.C. SABATHIA: It was the first game against the Yankees, first game of the playoffs, first playoff game in six years, so I was excited.
It was just one of those deals.

Q. What has made you over the years a better pitcher? What have you done or changed or adjusted over the years to make you go to the next level?
C.C. SABATHIA: Just what I talked about, taking a little off and adding some control. You know, instead of going out there and trying to throw every pitch 100 and leaving balls up and leaving them down the middle, go out and throw 91 and 92 and spot it up, get in on guys, and if I need to hump up and throw hard, then I will.

Q. Kenny said you were overamped, kind of addressed this a little bit, but you were overamped for the last game. Do you agree with that? And how do you control it for the next game?
C.C. SABATHIA: I definitely agree with it. I have to control every pitch. I had six walks. I don't think I've walked six guys in a couple years.
I need to be good. I need to control myself and control my emotions and be under control.

Q. The Red Sox are running up pitch counts and watching every pitch at the plate. How do you combat that and what's the plan of attack to try to get them out?
C.C. SABATHIA: I don't want to tell you my plan of attack. I'm just going to try to pound the zone with all my pitches, and hopefully the second and third time around the lineup they'll start swinging earlier. I need to show them that I can throw all my pitches for strikes and that's what I'll try and do.

Q. When you look at these clubs statistically, right down to the number of victories, strong pitching, run production, it looks like it's almost dead even. Is that the way that it suggests itself to you?
C.C. SABATHIA: Well, it is. They've got great pitching and we do, too. They've got huge bats and we do, too. Like you said, look at the numbers, you look at the pitching, you look at the offenses, and I think we're dead even. It's just going to take who wants it more, who executes little things and gets runners over and gets them in, and I think that'll determine the series.

Q. Fenway Park can be daunting for left-handed pitchers. In the past you seem to have handled yourself here okay. What do you think about pitching here in Fenway?
C.C. SABATHIA: I think it's going to be wild. I know that Red Sox Nation is going to be here in full effect, and I just need to go out there and try to keep them as quiet as possible.

Q. The fact that you didn't let the umpire get to you the first game when it was a little bit tight, does that say something about your maturity? And how important was that, that you were able to get through five innings?
C.C. SABATHIA: I don't want to say he was tight or anything like that. It was just a case of not worrying about things that -- I can't control if I throw a pitch and I think it's a strike and he doesn't call it a strike. I just go out and worry about what I can control, and that's trying to pound the zone and throwing it where he does call a strike. I don't let umpires or anything like that affect how I'm going to pitch or how I feel.

Q. Can you just address what's happened with you and Manny over the games?
C.C. SABATHIA: He's hit me. I need to go out and try and make good pitches and get him out, plain and simple.

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