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October 8, 2009

Torii Hunter

John Lackey

Mike Scioscia


Angels – 5
Red Sox - 0

ROB DOELGER: Questions for Mike or Torii.

Q. On the home run, was that a hit-and-run, or was Bobby just going with the pitch?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: No, Bobby got a good jump, and he was just running. Torii got a good pitch to hit, and he didn't miss it. So, no, it was not a hit-and-run.
TORII HUNTER: I thought it was (laughing).
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Come on, man.

Q. In that inning you bunted with Chone Figgins to get the run. Is that kind of a sign there that one run for Lackey is going to be pretty huge?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, you know, early runs are going to be important in this series. They definitely have a bullpen that they can shut a team down. I think where the game was to get up 1-0 was going to be important at that point.
So we wanted to try to get in a position to at least get on top there in -- was it the fifth inning? The fifth inning, I believe it was.
So got him over, and the inning got bigger once Torii got up, so that was nice.

Q. Can you talk about John's performance tonight? And John can you pick it up and talk about what you had going for you tonight?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, you know, John has been pitching great baseball ever since he came off the disabled list early. I think the little break from the end of the season refreshed him a little bit. He had great stuff tonight.
That's what Lackey's going to put the ball in good zones and make teams dig it out or make teams beat them. We played good defense tonight. John made pitches, and that's a long way to pitch against that lineup to get us 22 outs like that. That's a tremendous effort.

Q. Do you guys think that tonight means that you don't ever have to answer another question about a hex or a curse?
JOHN LACKEY: That's all you, man.
TORII HUNTER: No, we don't really care about that. We let you guys care about that. We just go out there and play the game, man.
Sometimes you can read all that stuff and it gets in your head. I choose to stay away from it, you know. If you guys ask a question I try to answer the best way I can and try to explain to you guys that we really don't give a damn, but we just go out there and we played. We had fun, and doesn't matter against Boston, we don't play Boston, we play the Yankees. If we don't play the Yankees, we play somebody in the central that's good.
Doesn't matter who we're going to play. It's going to be a good ballclub. We just go out there and play the game.

Q. Is this what you meant by showing some guts tonight?
TORII HUNTER: I didn't say guts, I said nuts (laughing). I mean, just go out there and you play, man. In baseball, man, three out of ten, you're a hero. That's your job. Three out of ten stories, you're going to get fired.
So I definitely tell you, man, you go out there and you play the game. You don't know if you're going to get it done. You just try your best and have some heart about yourself and go on out there and play the game the best way you know how. That's all I said. That's what nuts means. That's all that means. Not the human nuts, but bag of nuts.
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Can you guys use any of that at all?

Q. Can you sort of take us through your performance? I think it was the sixth inning where you threw seven straight balls and you caught it?
JOHN LACKEY: Always finding something negative, aren't you (laughing)? I felt pretty good. Even in the bullpen I knew my arm was feeling good. I think like Scioscia said, the extra rest that I had and this kind of short start that I ended the season with really helped me out for sure. I really felt like my arm was pretty live tonight. I had a pretty good fastball.

Q. It had been a while since you won a postseason game. What does that mean to you to get past that? And I think it had been 0-2 in the World Series?
JOHN LACKEY: I mean there's a lot of -- I don't even know how to say it. I mean, it's nice, for sure. But we're not -- we're definitely not towards any goals, for sure. We won one game, we've got to get to three before anything really matters here.

Q. Kind of along those lines, what did that ovation mean to you that you got coming off the field?
JOHN LACKEY: That meant a lot, for sure. I just did a radio thing. And I want to congratulate our fans a lot tonight. I mean, they sometimes get dogged on for not being loud enough. But they brought it tonight. And that ovation that I got coming off the mound meant a lot to me. We definitely appreciate them tonight.

Q. The way John came out ask kind of set the tone, does that give the team the feeling right away you're going to win this game?
TORII HUNTER: Yeah, both Lester went out there. He's one of the toughest lefties in the game, in the American League for sure. And Lackey, you know, he's a bulldog. He's one of the reasons why I came over here because I was tired of him getting me out (smiling). So I definitely know what he's all about.
JOHN LACKEY: You're lying (laughing).
TORII HUNTER: No, I'm not lying. He's definitely a bulldog. Runners in scoring position, he bares down. You should hear him in the dugout, he's so pumped up, man. We both play football, so we have that adrenaline, that intensity. So I'm very excited about his start today. He went out there and set the tone early. Man, we were so pumped up from then on. So I'm excited about his start today.

Q. Can you talk about your home run? And Lester, what he had, what he didn't have tonight?
TORII HUNTER: Man, what he did have, that guy, like I said, he's one of the toughest lefties in the game. He had a lot going. The guy was throwing 96- 95-mile-an-hour fastball, cutter on your back leg as a right-hander. He was pretty tough, man. I guess I was lucky or blessed that he threw a fastball down the middle, and I was able to capitalize on that mistake.
But other than that, man, that guy's filthy, man. You guys don't want him, we'll take him.

Q. Bobby Abreu walked four times and once in front of Torii's home run. But Tito made a reference to it about its overall importance and about his overall importance with those walks?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Not only tonight, but for our whole season Bobby set a tone that I think has gone more than what he's -- his numbers show. He's brought some great numbers to us. The home base percentage. Hitting, runners in scoring position, the amount of runs he's scored, the amount he's driven in, the way he's run the bases. He's brought a lot.
But I think there's some spillover to other players. I think that over the course of the season we had a lot of guys that were around Bobby that had terrific seasons, and that's not an accident.
So tonight, the four walks not only would have led to the pitch count where Jon Lester had to work hard to get to that part of the game. But also setting the table. Passing the baton to Torii or Vlad or whoever it's going to be. Bobby does that as well as anybody ever has. It was critical to our lineup to get somebody like that. That's why we assigned Bobby. And tonight, not that he's always going to go out there and draw four walks, but that's the plate discipline that he has.
ROB DOELGER: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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