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October 24, 2007

Kevin Youkilis


Q. Did the ball look like a big pumpkin up there? You guys were taking BP it seemed like all night long.
KEVIN YOUKILIS: No, I think for us tonight we went out and put together good at-bats, made Francis work a little bit, didn't swing at some of his pitches that he likes to swing at, and we just jumped on top early. I think that was the biggest thing, for us to score runs early and often. A huge lead for Josh is always a little more comforting, and the whole team, from one through nine, playing defense and pitching, we did an unbelievable job tonight.

Q. It seems like lately especially, the last couple weeks, every time you look up the opposing pitcher after four innings is up to 83 pitches, five innings, 100. Can you explain that process and what's happening?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: Well, this team, they obviously have the moneyball and all that, blah blah blah, but I think this team just goes up to bat, has a great approach and is going to be aggressive but also be patient at the same time. We go up there and we're going to swing at the pitches that we can hit and hit hard. We're just going to work the counts and try to get on base as much as possible. We've been very good the past few games of piecing together a lot of great at-bats and stringing them together for not just one inning but more than one inning.

Q. How comforting is it for the rest of the team to see Josh Beckett on the mound working at this quality high level game after game?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: Well, I mean, he's proven himself over the whole year of how good of a pitcher he is, and now he's just stepping up even more and showing you that he's probably one of the best pitchers in the game right now. He's always been known since he was young as a phenom, and I think right now he's setting his mark and showing how good -- living up to all the expectations that were put on him when he was younger. You've got to tip your cap to Josh. He's handled it well the past few years and he's doing an unbelievable job for us. He's a guy out there that we want in a big game.

Q. You didn't just score a lot of runs, you started a couple of rallies with two outs. Can you talk about that a little bit?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: Well, I think in baseball that's one of the big things is two-out rallies, and I know pitchers can't stand the two-out rallies. Sometimes getting two quick outs is tough for some pitchers, and tonight we came through and had some good at-bats and huge two-out hits. When a pitcher is out there and trying to just -- that one out seems like it's six outs sometimes, and that's how it was tonight.
The offense, they did real well of not trying to do too much and just trying to go pitch to pitch and not try and hit home runs and just try to -- I think David did a great job of adjusting and hitting the ball to the left side and Julio hit the ball well tonight, and Manny exceptionally well.

Q. You guys just took apart a team that's one of the hottest teams that's ever been in baseball. What does that say about the way you guys are playing and the kind of roll you're on? Do you feel you're playing your best baseball right now?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: For us we definitely had a lot of momentum going. I think those last three games against the Indians we were rolling on all cylinders. Guys were feeling a little more comfortable at the plate. For me the whole looking back in history and putting out the numbers of teams and what we've done and this and that throughout the year doesn't matter. The big thing is you're playing for the day, and you've got to throw out everything you had in the past because it can change in a heartbeat. For us we don't worry about the stats we had in the past because they don't matter anymore. It's going game to game, pitch to pitch, and I think that's what we're doing real well right now.

Q. What did those three strikeouts by Josh in the first inning, what, if anything, did those do for you guys coming up to bat in the bottom of the eighth?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: Well, getting the opposition out one, two, three, you always want to have that in the first inning, but it kind of gets to the mood set for these fans here, they get real excited, and especially when there's three strikeouts, they get even more excited and get Fenway Park rocking. Tonight it was huge for us to get those three strikeouts but just get three outs. I think that's the key for us, just get one, two, three as quick as possible coming into hit because this team loves to hit.
Our motto is always early and often and try to get as many runs through. And Dustin, like he came up there and hit that home run, and that was huge. I think when he got that hit and got this offense going, I think that was one of the keys to the game.

Q. How much fun was this and how much does it carry over confidence-wise to tomorrow?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: Well, we definitely have a lot of confidence going into tomorrow, and you're always excited to come back to the ballpark. But those guys are definitely going to just wash it away because a loss is a loss and a win is a win. You've got to move on to the next day because this is the best of seven. It doesn't matter what you do the first game. Against Cleveland we won pretty good the first game and then lost the next three. This is a tough series and a tough team, and there's a reason why we're here. For us we're going to have to come out and try to win the first inning again and then the second after that. For us we're going to go home, rest and try and prepare ourselves as best we can for tomorrow.

Q. When you're on an offensive streak like you've been on, does it feel any different when you go to the plate?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: Well, I think you have more confidence, and you're more comfortable in the fact that you're just -- I mean, you're more comfortable in the fact that you just have more -- the confidence at the plate. But other than that I think I just go up there and just try to go pitch to pitch. I'm not trying to -- I know I can't get two or three hits in my first at-bat. I've got to go up there, have a good at-bat and get on base for David and Manny behind me. It's been going well for me lately, and I'm just going to try to keep doing the things I'm doing well and try and add onto that and try and get better each day, because as I said, this is going to be a tough series, and we've got one game down now, but there's going to be quite a few to come.

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