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October 18, 2007

Eric Wedge


Q. In that seventh inning you decided to send C.C. back out there. He was over 100 pitches, he walked a tight rope all night long. Why not go to your bullpen, which was so dominant all series long?
ERIC WEDGE: We had a couple decisions to make there. One, C.C. pitched probably about as good as he pitched the prior inning. He was pretty efficient. If you go straight to Betancourt, you're talking about Betancourt throwing two innings down, and the way C.C. was throwing, it was not something I was interested in because it's going to weaken us over the weekend, if everything remains the same.
Otherwise we're talking about potentially using three relievers in one inning because we're at the top of the order and we go right-hander, left-hander, right-hander, and we're using three relievers in one inning. And if we tie it up late, you're talking about being pretty thin in your bullpen.
If C.C. can work through Ortiz, then we go to Betancourt, then we've got a decision where we can ultimately keep the game the same way and not overuse Rafi in that situation. It didn't work out, but C.C., I felt like he worked through it and got a little bit better as the game wore on. He's thrown 120 pitches before. He threw 110 a couple starts ago. I think he was 103 or 104 going out there that inning, but it just didn't work out.

Q. How good was Beckett tonight?
ERIC WEDGE: He was good. I mean, he's pitched real good obviously both times we've seen him. Where my disappointed lay was lack of adjustments in hitters. We just saw him four or five days ago, and not to take anything away from Beckett because he was very good, but we were in between all night long. When you've got somebody throwing against you like that with that type of stuff, you can't live in between. You've got to make some decisions. You've got to take some chances and get after it, and we never did tonight.

Q. Just in the first inning you guys kind of scraped a little bit, got three hits. Were you thinking it might not be Beckett's night?
ERIC WEDGE: Too early, too early. We should have done more in that first inning. We had the people up there that we wanted to, but we really let him off the hook. Really let him off the hook right there, and weren't able to do anything beyond that.

Q. What's your take on what happened between Josh Beckett and Kenny Lofton?
ERIC WEDGE: I think there was just a little verbiage back and forth and nothing happened. Both teams run out, look at each other, and both teams ran back.

Q. When you talk about living in between by your hitters, I know you seemed to take a lot of strikes tonight that looked like pretty decent pitches to hit. He threw a lot of first-pitch curve balls, those get-ahead curve balls. Is that the sort of thing you're talking about?
ERIC WEDGE: Obviously he has an outstanding fastball, good breaking ball, mix in an occasional change-up, but you're not going to be able to cover it all. When you have a pitcher with that type of stuff, with that type of command, you've got to put a game plan together and stick with it, and again, stay out of the middle, because if you do, you're going to play right into his hand, and that's pretty much what we did tonight.

Q. Your two 19-game winners are struggling a little bit this series. What does Carmona need to do Saturday night?
ERIC WEDGE: He just needs to get back after it. C.C. was a lot better tonight than he was last time. Fausto just needs to be aggressive, pitch his game, again, focus on his strengths and go after it, and let his defense work for him. If he does that, I think we'll be in pretty good shape.

Q. It's no secret that everybody, all your guys want to win this at home. How big a disappointment is it to have to go back to Boston and try and wrap it up there?
ERIC WEDGE: Well, I think when you talk about beating a team like Boston four in a row, that's tough to do, particularly in the postseason. We put ourselves in a pretty good position by the way we played here at home, and we did not play particularly well tonight.
The first loss this series I just didn't feel like anything really happened with us. Today I didn't feel like we played very well.
We'll head to Boston tomorrow, have an off-day, and look to go to work on Saturday.

Q. How concerned are you about Travis Hafner right now, six strikeouts in his last eight at-bats? He seems to be really scuffling at the plate.
ERIC WEDGE: We need him to get it going. He's right there in the heart of our order. Sometimes he'll out-think himself from time to time. He just needs to go up there and hit. He's such a great talent when it comes to being an offensive player at this level, and he needs to go up there and just trust that and just hit.
I think right now he's getting in his own way a little bit.

Q. Was the fly ball that Youkilis hit to right, did Sizemore hesitate a little bit? Should he have just taken it?
ERIC WEDGE: They got a little bit in between. I think there was some eye contact, and usually when there's some eye contact, you're in trouble. Grady is a great center fielder, and I think just that slight hesitation is what threw him off a little bit.

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