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October 16, 2007

Casey Blake


Q. Your at-bat, the home run, Wakefield had been unhittable up to that point. Take us through that at-bat, and what changed in that inning with Tim where you guys were able to get to him and then get to the bullpen?
CASEY BLAKE: Man, I don't know. I wanted to be aggressive. I mean, the first pitch to me looked like it was going to be chest high, and that thing just dropped off the table for a strike, and I just said, gosh. With him it's just a matter of maybe just getting one that just doesn't move that much and just trying to square it up. Sometimes against him you're up there just scratching and battling, just trying to just make solid contact and not look like an idiot up there swinging at that pitch when it's coming in there like that.
Like I said, I got lucky there, hit one on the barrel, and it seemed like that got us going a little bit.
You've got to give credit to the guys coming up later, some of the two-strike base hits, Asdrubal and Vic. Those guys were battling up there and came up with some huge hits.

Q. Talk about how this team feeds off each other.
CASEY BLAKE: Well, first off, I mean, this is a team that's extremely close in the clubhouse. I mean, it's just a lot of fun to be around these guys. We really care for one another. And I think that has a lot to do with how much confidence we have, and the success we've had this year is just the fact that we're really pulling for each other.
I mean, in this game you have to have some -- you have to be selfish in this game to an extent, but when you really are pulling for the guy next to you and caring how they do and picking them up when they're down, I think that's kind of how we feed off each other.

Q. Two really big innings in this series have helped you get to where you are in the series. Any similarities between those innings? And how does that speak to the explosive nature of this offense?
CASEY BLAKE: Well, I think the first big inning we had in Boston was just a matter of somebody stepping up there late, coming up with a big hit, and Trot stepped in there and got the single up the middle to get that inning going. And that was kind of capped off by a three-run homer.
I mean, three-run homers are great, and we've had several of them in the series, and those are big. We're not really a ballclub that can sit back and play for that, but we'll certainly take them when we can get them.
You know, I think those innings, kind of somebody gets it going and there's maybe a little advantage, a little momentum going there, and it's just a combination of guys battling, working the pitcher and just battling.

Q. You had the knuckleball tonight, and then you'll get Josh Beckett against on Thursday night. Just talk about facing Beckett again.
CASEY BLAKE: Well, I certainly look forward to the challenge, and it definitely is a challenge. He's as good as there is in the game. He's as good as there is. He's tough, he's a big-game pitcher, and we're going to have to play as well as we can play to beat him.
But we've got to like our chances with C.C. going for us.

Q. This is a loaded question now, but I want you to describe the importance of Paul Byrd's work here in the postseason.
CASEY BLAKE: Byrdie, this is the second time he's stepped up and did exactly what we needed him to do. He's probably, at least in my eyes, he's the MVP of our team right now just because when we needed a big ballgame out of somebody, he stepped up. And Jake last night, too. But Byrdie is kind of the unsung hero here.

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