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October 21, 2007

Daisuke Matsuzaka


Q. Can you talk about how gratifying it was to win tonight after Game 3.
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: After our three straight losses, the team kept telling me to get ready to pitch in Game 7, and I think everybody on this team worked very well together to bring us into Game 7, and I just wanted to respond as best I could to my teammates today.

Q. This being your third postseason start, it seemed like your velocity was at its best today, and how did you feel about your stuff overall?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: My velocity itself was okay, even in my last start, I think. But today I wanted to get ahead in the count, and even if I missed a few spots, I wanted to throw with a lot of power, and I think that I was able to do that today.

Q. Were you operating on the understanding that you would go as hard as you could for as long as you could and let the bullpen pick up the slack?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: To begin with, this is a very easy bullpen to feel confident passing the ball to, especially with Beckett waiting back there today, as well.
I hadn't been able to get through five innings, but in every start I wanted to throw hard right from the beginning of each game. Today I was able to pass the ball along to the bullpen in the best way I have been able to so far, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Q. To relate it to sumo, you're basically on the final day of the tournament in a situation to advance, do or die. Going into this situation, your team is tied 3-3. What were some of your thoughts heading into the game?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Regardless of how I might want to throw, that's not always the result that I can get. But same as it was in the WBC last year, I felt very lucky that this start came along and belonged to me, but I also felt that with the momentum we had going into the game, there was no way we were going to lose.

Q. On your strike out to Sizemore and on some other occasions you seemed to be showing a lot more emotion today compared to some of your experiences in big games at the Koshien Tournament, et cetera. How did you feel about your emotional state in the game today?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Today once I was in the game, I tried not to worry about all the small things. I wanted to go out there and swing my arm hard and put my heart into it, and I wanted to display that to everybody that was watching.

Q. This may be a very minor thing, but after your pregame warmup today, you went back to the clubhouse through the passageway on the first base side. Was this something intended to change the flow of things, a superstitious thing or something you wanted to do to focus on the game?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I think our momentum coming into the game was good. I had seen Manny go through that way a couple of times, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Q. You mentioned you were able to pass the ball on to the bullpen in a good way today, and you had said earlier in the series that you could not let it end like this. How content were you today with your payback, so to speak?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I think the first response to that is the team winning, and in that sense I'm very happy.
But there is more to play, and I'm not 100 percent satisfied with my own pitching today. I want to address some of those things in my next outing, not to make a big deal out of it, but the world's biggest stage is still waiting for us, and I'd like to see what I can do.

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