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October 8, 2009

Josh Beckett


ROB DOELGER: Questions for Josh Beckett.

Q. How would you assess how you come into the playoffs this year compared to last year? How you feel physically and throwing the ball?
JOSH BECKETT: Well, there's no issues physically at all. Obviously, last year was a little bit different. So as far as physically coming in, it's a lot better. Last month it's been better than it was two months ago, so I'm just looking forward to going out there and doing what I'm supposed to do.

Q. You've had great experience, great success in the postseason early in your career. From the start, are you one of those guys that just approach it exactly as a regular season game, or is there any kind of difference, really?
JOSH BECKETT: Well, I think the focus is going to be there. I think the extra adrenaline helps that. So I think everybody's a little more locked in in the postseason. I know that you come in, and obviously, you don't feel like you did when you come into spring training. You've got a little bit of physical, you know, tiredness, whatever it may be.
But, you know, I think the best way to approach it is to just approach it exactly as you said. It is just another game. You've got to go out there and do exactly the same things you did in the games you were successful in the regular season.

Q. What has it been like over the four years you've been here just kind of watching the development of Youkilis who was kind of a role player when you first got here, now he's one of the best hitters in the game?
JOSH BECKETT: Yeah, his stance has gotten different, too. You know, he just, even when he was a role player, he doesn't give at-bats away. He didn't give at-bats away then, he doesn't give at-bats away now. He really fits that mold of guys when I first got here and continued on until now as guys that work pitchers.
The more pitches you can make their starter throw earlier, the better chance you are of getting to that point of their bullpen where, you know, maybe those middle guys are not equipped stuff-wise to be starters or end-of the-game guys, so those are guys you end up scoring the crooked numbers off of.

Q. The guy who starts the first game of the series can set the tone for the series. Do you approach it differently if you're up 1-0 or down 0-1, pitching the second game in the series?
JOSH BECKETT: No, I think this kind of goes with what Bob said. You've got to approach it -- you need to win every game. You're trying to. The first one to 11 is the one who takes home the ultimate prize. Every game it means a lot. Whether you're up 2 games to nothing, you're not trying to give any games away.

Q. The dominance that you guys have had over the Angels, is that something that we just write a lot about, or is it a special hold that you guys kind of cherish and hold on to and use psychologically?
JOSH BECKETT: I haven't been here through the whole thing. I just know that we've had good teams the years that I've played the Angels, and they've had good teams. I think some of it just comes down to execution. The team who executes the best is the one that's going to win.

Q. Can you describe how you digested the idea that you would be the Game 2 starter instead of the Game 1 starter this year?
JOSH BECKETT: There was no digestion. I don't make those -- I don't make those decisions. That would be a great question for Tito, maybe.

Q. All your past playoff experiences, how much has that helped you in this situation, you know, what you have to do?
JOSH BECKETT: I don't know. I think just like the preparation. You know other, I know going into my first start in the postseason, I didn't really know what to expect and what I needed to do. Did I need to do something different? I think my experience, if anything, helps me just go at it the exact same way that I would a regular season game and prepare myself the exact same way for the games that I was successful in during the season.

Q. Do you look at this start as a, I guess, any more excited about it because you don't have the physical limitations on you that you had last year when you really had to grind it out? Are you a little bit more excited for the opportunity in this situation?
JOSH BECKETT: Yeah, I definitely look more forward to this start than I do whenever I've got physical things that are holding me back. But I've had a lot of starts this year that I've felt good in. So I'm just going to continue to try to execute pitches.

Q. For so many years the Angels were very much one through nine, put the ball in play quickly type of club. This year with Bobby Abreu and Chone Figgins walking more, it's a little bit different. Do you adjust the way you pitch to the way that they hit? Or do you simply just pitch your game and whatever they do is what they do?
JOSH BECKETT: Well, I mean, you definitely go in with a plan. You know, the plan's obviously going to be altered a little bit by their approach. Bobby's been one of the great guys to face my whole career because he's always been a guy that's worked counts. He's obviously brought that over here and some other guys have fed off that and kind of doing what I was talking about Youkilis. Working guys and trying to get them out of the game to get to the middle guys.
But as far as like their approach against me, I don't think it's changed even with Bobby being here. I think that certain guys have certain approaches when they have enough at-bats against somebody, that they just usually stick with that.
ROB DOELGER: Josh, thank you very much.

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