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October 26, 2007

Daisuke Matsuzaka


Q. Can you reminisce about playing with Kazuo Matsui in Japan, and if it's correct you had dinner with him right before the season? Can you maybe discuss that a little bit, too?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Well, we played together with Sebu, he was always somebody that I respected tremendously, and he was someone who I always wanted to follow in his footsteps.
When we had dinner prior to the season, we just told each other that we should both do our best this year.

Q. Having arrived here in Denver at a high altitude location, have you noticed any significant difference in how you feel with the difference in air pressure and such?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I arrived yesterday, and I don't know if it's just that I'm insensitive, but I haven't noticed anything too different.

Q. Even though you may feel all right physically, having played catch today, I thought that you were throwing some breaking balls out there, as well. Did you notice any difference from Fenway Park?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Playing catch today and just feeling things out, I felt I might have to work a little harder on my command while I'm here, and the one thing that I want to be particularly careful about is leaving the breaking ball up.

Q. How much do you feel like you can build off of your performance in your last start, and how much of a confidence boost was that for you, whether you needed any sort of confidence boost or not?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: It is a different lineup from last time, but I know that they're a very aggressive lineup throughout. But even though I know that, I'd like to go in there and pitch without hesitation and throw strikes and get outs.

Q. Do you recall last December when you had dinner in Los Angeles at Tom Werner's house, when Tom Werner brought out the replica of the World Series trophy and said that he hoped you would get them get another one? At that time did you think you'd be sitting here less than a year later, and how satisfying is it to you to know that you helped put them back in the World Series?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Last year when I saw the trophy, I felt that it was very beautiful and I was very moved. At that point a lot of things were still in the air, but I definitely wanted to hold that trophy in my own hands one day.
As I said after I signed with the Red Sox in the press conference, I wanted to play my small part in getting us to the championship, and if others could think that I played my small part to get us here, then I would be very satisfied and grateful. And I feel the same way about this series; I just want to play my small part and help the team win.

Q. Tomorrow you'll be starting the first game of the series here at the visiting ballpark against an opponent you'll be facing for the first time. Despite all this, it seems that your team has the momentum coming into this, so despite it being at an away ballpark, despite it being the first time facing this team, do you feel this momentum is going to be ultimately an advantage for you?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: I think that coming into the Series the team with the momentum was really the Rockies, but thanks to Beckett and Schilling, they were able to bring a stop to this. But it was not only a stop in momentum, but we're a good team, and I see it being here, so I don't really think of it as a matter of momentum.

Q. Starting in the World Series is something that many people dream about as young children, and already you stand here in your first year in the Major Leagues. If you could comment on that, and also considering the fact that tomorrow may be your last start of the season, could you also talk a little bit about your thoughts on that, please?
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: Just because you have a long career doesn't necessarily mean that you get to be in this position, so today I feel very happy. In thinking about this, I've been thinking about this throughout the Series, but tomorrow I just want to use this last bit of strength to do my best to help the team win.

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