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October 5, 2013

John Farrell


Q.  How is should your team handle Price today?
JOHN FARRELL:   Well, we're going to find out here in about three hours.  He's pitched extremely well here at Fenway.  He's pitched extremely well against us.  We know we're going to get a lot of power stuff thrown at us and a lot of strikes.  So whether or not responding to the way he establishes his strike zone early on, if that causes us to maybe swing the bat a little earlier in the count, we'll see.  But we know that we're in for a challenge here today.

Q.  Over the course of 163 games now, what's impressed you most about your team from a performance standpoint and personality standpoint about your team?
JOHN FARRELL:   Just the one word that we've continually tried to drive home is the word "relentless".  And I think that's played out whether it's in a given game, a given series, over the course of the 163 that you mentioned.  Our guys love the attention to detail.  And in some ways, does that give them an edge inside a game to be opportunistic?  But it's that overall relentlessness that I think has become a trait for this group.

Q.  You talked yesterday about the Rays being a model for developing pitchers.  Can you talk about the Red Sox?  You seem to have a few players called up here and a few more on their way.
JOHN FARRELL:   Well, it's clear that ‑‑ and this can probably be said for every organization, the ability to draft, sign and develop particularly starting pitching is the lifeline of any organization.  And there's a lot of resources and emphasis that are directed in that way.  But to be able to groom your own starting pitchers, whether it's the next wave that's coming, whether it's Workman, Webster, De la Rosa, guys that have either been acquired in a trade or in the draft, again, that's the life blood of an organization over the long haul.

Q.  You had said you'd play Ross in one of the first two games; he's in there today.  What went into your decision to make it today instead of yesterday?
JOHN FARRELL:  Even though it's a few number of bats against Price, he's squared them up a couple of times.  In addition to that it's the combination with Lackey.  They worked well in the final start here against Baltimore.  And the combination of he and Ross, maybe a little bit more adept at controlling the running game.  There's a few things that have gone into this.

Q.  Looking back with Clay and the way that you guys were very patient with him during the season, how happy are you now that you had that opportunity to give him the rest that he needed?
JOHN FARRELL:   You know, the first and foremost thing is a player's health.  We can't put a guy out there when he's less than.  It took a little bit longer than we anticipated.  But it's a tribute to every other guy in the clubhouse to maintain the lead that we had in this divisional race to keep some space between us and then everybody else.  And it afforded us further ability to be patient with Clay.  The acquisition of Peavy obviously goes into that.
But bottom line is the player's health is going to tell us when he's ready.  It's difficult enough to go out and compete when you're a hundred percent, but to compete against your body in addition to the guy at the plate, time was needed in Clay's situation.

Q.  How easy or difficult has it been for you to maintain the same philosophy from the regular season into the playoffs now that you've had a game?
JOHN FARRELL:   We're not going to run from our strengths.  Our preparation for a team or a series is going to remain consistent.  We're fortunate to capitalize on some situations yesterday to score the runs that we did.  But to say that we're going to do things completely different just because we're in October would probably be shortsighted on my part and would be one of concern in that clubhouse.
We pride ourselves on being consistent.  And that's how we deal with guys in our clubhouse or how we approach the game.  And that's put us in the position that we've been able to play in October.  And we're not going to deviate completely from that.

Q.  We saw Tampa had a devil of a time with a couple of balls off the wall yesterday.  How much do you stress with your guys to work with balls off the wall, and how much is it capricious, it's going to be what it's going to be?
JOHN FARRELL:   Our work in the outfield is daily with balls off the wall.  Because you've got so many different angles.  You get team plates.  You've got different things that are hanging on that, so there's going to be a lot of potential caroms that are going to be inconsistent.  So it's a matter of getting comfortable with the space that an outfielder plays with it out there.  Whether it's Jonny Gomes, Nava or Carp, there's daily work that goes on there.  Part of why it's home‑field advantage.

Q.  Can you talk about Lackey and why has he been so successful here at Fenway.
JOHN FARRELL:   Well, I think the one thing is that center field and right field are a little bit more spacious than other ballparks, and he's pitched accordingly to that.  Whether it's down and away to right‑handers.  It's a little bit more forgiving against some left‑handed hitters.
On top of that it's clear that he's comfortable with this mound, with the environment.  It's allowed him to relax and be more consistent with his execution.  For me those are the reasons he's put up almost a two‑run difference in ERA, home and on the road.  He feels comfortable here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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