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October 12, 2007

Eric Wedge


Q. Is there any one or two things in particular you can point to with Sabathia where it all went wrong tonight?
ERIC WEDGE: Well, he didn't have it tonight. His command was off. He was off a little bit with his fastball, having trouble getting his breaking ball where he needed to. He was running away from his change-up a little bit. He just never really got in sync.
You know, when you're talking about facing a team like Boston, you know, they're going to make you come in, they're going to make you work for it. They're not going to chase. You've got to prove that you can be in the zone before they even think about expanding a little bit.
It was just one of those nights where C.C. just wasn't able to get on track.

Q. Given the number of walks he's had and the number of innings he's pitched this year, is there any concern on your part that fatigue is becoming a factor for him?
ERIC WEDGE: He's strong, he's really strong. I don't think fatigue is a factor. I think sometimes C.C., his heart gets in the way. He tries to do a little bit too much. It's one of the many reasons he is such a great pitcher and a great teammate. But one thing about C.C., and it's easier said than done, but he just doesn't need to try to do any more than what he normally does, because what he is, it's pretty good. It's one of the best in the game. But today he just wasn't able to put it all together.

Q. What do you tell your team for Game 2?
ERIC WEDGE: Nothing. We keep going. Today is over. Our guys do a good job of separating from day to day and from situation to situation. We'll chew on this one for a short period of time, a very short period of time tonight, and then we'll move on to tomorrow.

Q. How difficult is it to deal with Ortiz and Manny especially, and especially when they're locked in like they appear to be now?
ERIC WEDGE: Yeah, we kind of talked about this. They both got it going about the same time, and with Manny coming back, they obviously are both tremendous hitters. But I think it's just as important what you do with the guys ahead of them and behind them. You want to make sure that you still recognize the fact that even though they're great hitters, they're still going to get out seven out of ten times, they're still going to mishit pitches, and that's the way you have to look at it. You still have to focus on our strengths and what we need to do or what our individual pitcher needs to do out there, and that's what we're going to try to do.

Q. Percentage-wise they're not sure they're going to make seven out of ten but their on-base percentage has been phenomenal both against the Angels and tonight. You had Manny 0-2 there in the third and he ends up getting a walk. What does that say?
ERIC WEDGE: I think it's a combination of things, and like I said, I think C.C. was a little bit off, but I think if you've seen Manny and David, and we've got a couple guys, Victor and Hafner, and guys, they can be down 0-2 and they stick their noses in there, and they grind out an at-bat, and next thing you know they're on base with a walk. When you do get ahead with those guys, you need to work hard to put them away.
Again, easier said than done. But we've got people that can get the job done. C.C. was a little bit off tonight, but he'll be back. So we move on to tomorrow.

Q. What were your impressions of Beckett?
ERIC WEDGE: Real good. You know, he's dropping that breaking ball in there. You know, he was doing a good job of going left to right at the plate with his fastball, he elevates when he needs to. Had that long at-bat against Hafner and decided to break out that change-up 3-2 after about 10 or 11 pitches, so that says a lot about him, too.
Varitek does a great job, too. He was on. I thought he threw the ball well.

Q. Like you said, when you have a great pitcher who just can't seem to get in sync, how tricky is it deciding when is the time to make a change, and how many opportunities do you give him to kind of work his way into sync, hoping he can work his way through it?
ERIC WEDGE: That's a good question. I thought tonight was a good example. I've got so much confidence in our guys, and in particular a guy like C.C., who's our number one and I think one of the best in the game.
We're in a playoff game. He's proven to me before and he's proven to us before that he can be a little bit off and find it, and that's what you're looking for. And sometimes for a pitcher to find it, it takes that situation to where it's -- you've got runners on, and it's a big out, or you're trying to control damage and he gets it done there and he takes off. Unfortunately it just didn't happen tonight.

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