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October 15, 2007

Jake Westbrook


Q. How important was that second inning, getting out of that with zero runs and the bases loaded, nobody out?
JAKE WESTBROOK: Well, I think for me I was just trying to -- early on I was trying to get Varitek into a double play or try to just keep it to one run. But I made a pitch on him and he got a pop fly.
And then got behind Coco and then just told myself to trust the sinker and I was able to do that, made a good pitch and got a double play, which was big for us.

Q. Can you just talk about attacking the hitters. It looked like you drew a lot of strike ones on the first pitch, a little different than maybe C.C. and Fausto had done.
JAKE WESTBROOK: Well, that's kind of what you have to do against these guys. They're a very patient team. If you start out 1-0, it's not to your advantage. So you try to get ahead tonight. I was able to do that and put myself in some good counts and was able to make some good pitches when I needed to.

Q. Terry Francona said something about obviously the plan was to not swing at first pitches. But he said it was more the pitches that were strikes, they were not really good, hittable strikes, so he really did give the credit to you. It wasn't like that the Red Sox did anything wrong; he gave the credit more to you. Was that the case, that you weren't really in the middle of the play?
JAKE WESTBROOK: Well, you want to get ahead, you want to throw strikes. But you don't want to throw fastballs down the middle. You want to throw good, quality strikes on the outer half or make your pitches, and you definitely have to do that against that lineup, and I was able to do that tonight.

Q. For you what was the difference tonight in this playoff game versus your start against the Yankees? Maybe what did you learn from that start, what did you change, what was different?
JAKE WESTBROOK: Well, I felt pretty good in the start against the Yankees. I think I got into a little bit of a pattern against those guys and didn't mix it up, didn't work both sides of the plate, and it really cost me during that one inning.
One inning can mean the ballgame, especially in a playoff. Tonight I mixed it up a little better, worked both sides of the plate and I was able to keep them somewhat off balance and make good pitches when I needed to.

Q. Was this kind of the consummate sinkerball pitcher's night? You neutralized the lineup and got ground balls whenever you needed them.
JAKE WESTBROOK: Well, yeah, that's what you try to do. You try to get early contact, you try to keep hitters off base. But when they are on base, what you do is try to get a double play. That's kind of what I worked for and was able to get three really big double plays tonight.
I didn't say enough about our defense behind me tonight. They did a great job, from that first double play in the first inning. I mean, it was fun to be a sinkerball pitcher tonight.

Q. Eric said that C.C. and Fausto were a little too fine, probably didn't pitch to their game in Boston. Did you talk to them about it or take anything away from their two starts that helped you tonight?
JAKE WESTBROOK: Well, I mean, they've been our two best pitchers all year, and they've had success by attacking the zone and getting ahead. They didn't do that as well as they had during the season the first two ballgames.
But I just came in tonight wanting to get ahead, get strike one with a good quality pitch, and I was able to do that, and it showed by the way I pitched.

Q. Did you do anything unusual with your pitch mix? I mean, it seemed like early on especially you were using a lot of four-seamers that were hitting the mid-90s. Just wondering how you'd describe your pitch selection this evening?
JAKE WESTBROOK: I didn't throw any four-seamers, sorry (laughter). I'm a sinkerball guy, I'm a two-seam fastball guy. That's what I live and die by. I threw that all night and was able just to mix in my secondary pitches pretty well. But I think for me it was pitching to both sides of the plate, and I was able to do that tonight.

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