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October 9, 2009

Mike Scioscia

Jered Weaver


Angels – 4
Red Sox - 1

MATT McKENDRY: Questions for Mike and Jered.

Q. You had pitched well against this team in this park twice during the regular season. How much did those two games sort of help you going into this game?
JERED WEAVER: I think it was a big help. Obviously going into your home park and knowing that you're going to have your fans behind you. You obviously want to go out there and try to locate, first and foremost. I was able to do that for the most part tonight. You know, hopefully, these two will carry us into Boston with some positive feedback.
So it's nice, obviously, to take the first two at home and carry this into Boston.

Q. Last night you were talking about how nice it is to get up on Boston one game to none. You held the home service here. How important is that especially when you have a park like Fenway where they play?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, I don't know if we're talking how nice it was. We know the challenge ahead of us even after last night's ballgame. We certainly are aware of the challenge ahead of us even after tonight's ballgame. There is one thing that gives you command of the series when you win the third game in a five-game series.
That's what we're going to focus on trying to get done on Sunday, and that's going to be where our focus is. So it's always better to win than lose, but we know what's ahead of us, and we're going to have to play good baseball.

Q. Can you talk about the two pitchers tonight, Jered and Beckett?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: You know, these two guys were matching each other pitch for pitch. Ellsbury got him going with the triple, put him in a good scoring opportunity. Martinez got the base hit.
But I thought weave did a really good job of staying focused. Settling down. They didn't bunch too many hits together, and that's -- I think that's a tribute to the way Jered pitched tonight. That's a terrific offensive club over there. If you miss your spots, they're going to let you know. And fortunately for us we've matched Beckett pitch for pitch, and we were able to breakthrough late in the ballgame.

Q. Obviously, Boston's Lester and Beckett are a couple of the better pitchers in the American League. Can you describe how you feel about the accomplishment of having gotten past both of them without a loss in these first two games?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: The only way you're going to beat good pitching whether it's a spring training game or regular season gaming, pennant-race playoff game is to pitch with them. We've been able to do that the first couple of nights. That's what I think one of our strengths have been the last 40 or 50 games for our club since our rotation really got settled. We've pitched with a lot of the great pitchers that are in our league, and we've been able to come away with some wins.
So I can't say enough of what Jon did last night, and what Jered did tonight. How important it is for our team to go out there and match up with premium pitchers like Lester and Beckett. You've got to pitch with them. That's the way we were able to win, we were able to do that.

Q. Your whole deal, a lot of your deal is getting runners in scoring position. How satisfying is it to get the first run hit-and-run, second run stolen base, keep working at it, particularly in games like this?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, that's a big part of our offense. And along with the situational hitting tonight, you know, we were able to scratch across four runs.
I think both teams were aggressive on the base paths. We've been getting on a little bit more, and putting some guys in motion tonight, it paid off for us. But, you know, a win is a win. If we can sit back in the batter's box and pound the ball, I'd feel just as good about it.
But I think the one thing you take away from when you're facing a good pitcher like Beckett and you're able to manufacture some runs and hold on to a win is the fact you're not going to solely be relying on batter's box offense, and that's going to give us a chance to maybe create and manufacture some things when there's not a lot there.

Q. I don't know how many managers would pinch run for a clean-up hitter in the 7th inning in a tie game. But could you kind of walk us through what goes into that decision and how difficult that is for a manager?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, there's a lot of things to weigh right there. But I felt it was a great opportunity for us to at least get a guy in scoring position, maybe get a run there, and get up a run going into the 8th inning.
I think that it's a little different when you have a run lead going deep, and they've got -- we've talked about their bullpen even before this series and during the series, and they have some real power arms down there. So I think it was important at that point in the game to try to get something where we were going to be able to get a run across.
Fortunately, Izzy (Izturis) got the big two out hit for us. Howie got a good jump much and was able to get to second. Really it's just a matter of who you're matching up with in the bullpen, and where your game is at that time, where your team is at that time as far as your pitching staff. And you know, Izzy got the big hit that made it all work.

Q. Any win at this level would be satisfying. But these two sort of team-wide performances especially against Boston, terrifically satisfying?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I feel good about our club because we're playing better baseball than I think a lot of people have seen us in the playoffs before play.
Last year we showed glimpses of it. We lost a couple of games late last year, but I thought we played better and performed better even though we didn't win the series. I feel good for these guys because it's a terrific bunch of guys that play the game very, very hard, and it's good to see them go out and get rewarded with a couple of wins and on a national stage like a playoff situation.
So I feel better about that. And I think you can live with losing if you play well and another team beats you. That always hasn't been the case when we've had an opportunity to get in the playoffs, and I feel good about at least our club settling down and showing some of the things that they can do.

Q. When did you know that you were on for tonight's game?
JERED WEAVER: I knew about a week and a half ago, I guess. You know, obviously, we were in that playoff race with the Rangers and everything, and them coming into our park, and, you know, we were able to take that in the first game and it gave us a time to get some rest and, you know, line the guys up that Scioscia wanted to go out there.
So I knew about a week and a half ago that I was going to be throwing Game 2, and I was able to, you know, work my bullpens and workouts into throwing today. So it was nice to clinch and be able to have some downtime to kind of get yourself back in check and get ready for the postseason.
So it was nice, like I said, it was nice to be able to know when you were going to pitch instead of clinching the last game and not really know what's going on. So it was nice.

Q. Some pitchers are known for having success against certain clubs, and you're kind of becoming that guy with Boston that you've had a lot of success with Boston in your career so far. Do you like that? What did you get from continuing to pitch well against them?
JERED WEAVER: It's always nice going up against a lineup like that. I mean, obviously, you know, if you make any mistakes they're going to hurt you. So any time you can, you know, get ahead with these guys and try to make them chase late and, you know, just locating the pitches, I think is huge. So I don't know if I would say that I have more success against Boston than anybody, but, you know, at home I've fared well against them, and now we've got, like I said, some momentum going into Boston.

Q. In the fourth inning when Guerrero batted, that was a hit-and-run, right?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: No, that was a run and hit. Straight steal. Bobby got a good jump. At that point he was on his own running that pitch. Got a great jump. And Vlad got a pitch that he could hit behind him, and it worked very nicely. But it was a run and hit as opposed to a hit-and-run.

Q. With that play and the Kendrick steal, is that the Angels really playing to their personality?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: It's more than that. I think this year we've had incredible batter's box offence, which I think has really fueled most of our push during the regular season. We were really swinging the bats well with runners in scoring position and everything was happening.
Probably up until this year it was a much larger part of what we needed to do. This year it's part of it, but the whole picture is much more than just base running for us this year because we've really swung the bats well, especially with runners in scoring position and manufactured with the base running that we're talking about.
So it's one component. We don't have a trademark on it. A lot of teams do it. Boston does it. Tampa Bay, you know, Texas, the Yankees, those guys are extraordinary in running the bases and are very aggressive. We're one of those teams that needs to push that end of it, and we have the talent to do it, and these guys do a good job with it and it showed up tonight.

Q. Two things, you obviously had a good fastball coming into tonight. What specifically did you have working for you? And who did you point to when you were coming off the field there?
JERED WEAVER: Like I said, fastball command was there. I knew that was going to be big going into tonight. Slider was a lot sharper than it had been towards the end of the year.
I think just fastball command was huge, and being able to, you know, put some off-speed pitches in for strikes and fastball counts was big. Coming off the field, my parents were up there in the stands, so I had to tip my cap to them for, obviously, being here and being able to do that in front of them was pretty special.
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Jeff make it?
JERED WEAVER: Jeff didn't quite make it today.
MATT McKENDRY: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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