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October 29, 2013

John Lackey


Q.  Can you compare tomorrow's start to Game 7 with the Angels?  In your mind is this almost a Game 7?  Do you have to treat it like that?
JOHN LACKEY:   You've got to treat all of them like that at this point in the year.  They're all big games.  It's tough to put one above any other when it comes to World Series.  They're all really important.

Q.  I know you weren't around in 1918, does that mean anything to you guys to have a chance to celebrate, to give the people here something to celebrate here at Fenway for the first time since 1918?
JOHN LACKEY:   It would be awesome.  As far as personally, I'm just thinking about executing pitches and trying to win a game.  And hopefully we get to that point.

Q.  What did you think about this park as an opposing pitcher and what do you think about it now?
JOHN LACKEY:   It's not a real great place to pitch.  Obviously with the leftfield wall being so close, and right field pole being even closer.  It can definitely pose some challenges.  But it is what it is.  The other guy's got to pitch here, too.

Q.  When you see what David's done in this series with his hitting, his fielding even, do you sometimes say to yourself, is there anything this guy can't do at this time of year?
JOHN LACKEY:   I mean, I've seen it from the other side, seen him hit so well against us in the playoffs.  So I guess it doesn't surprise me as much as some people.  Because he's just been so good in big games, I feel like, my whole career and his whole career, from the other side.

Q.  What do you kind of remember about that game back in ‑‑ when you were a rookie against the Giants?  Is there anything about the experience that can help you going into tomorrow?
JOHN LACKEY:   That was a long time ago, man.  I don't think that's going to play much into tomorrow.  I think most of those guys in that game aren't even playing anymore.

Q.  What do you remember about that game?
JOHN LACKEY:   I was a rookie.  We had a pretty veteran team.  I was just trying to ‑‑ our bullpen was probably our main strength on that team.  I was trying to get five or six innings and turn it over to those guys.  My job was just basically not to screw it up.

Q.  I know that was Game 7 and this is 6, can you appreciate on the other side what Michael Wacha is probably going to be thinking as a rookie trying to keep his team alive?
JOHN LACKEY:   Probably similar to the way I was feeling.  I think I was 23 or whatever that year.  I can't speak to ‑‑ I don't know what kind of guy he is.  But personally I was more excited about it than anything else as far as nerves, that sort of thing.

Q.  How can you feed off what Jon was able to do last night and maybe kind of take that into your start tomorrow?
JOHN LACKEY:   Jonny has been awesome, man.  He's been fun to watch.  Just as a teammate and as a good buddy, really happy for the way he's performed this postseason.  We've needed it, obviously, because the margin for error has been pretty tight in these games, and there hasn't been a lot of running away, and he's been killing it.

Q.  Historically since 1980 the teams have come home for 6 and 7 have won them the majority of time, and even closed it out in six.  Coming back to Fenway and the way you feel comfortable in this park, what does that do for your confidence in coming back with a lead?
JOHN LACKEY:   We're definitely confident.  We played here pretty good this season.  And the place, the atmosphere is going to be great.  The fans are going to be crazy.  But you've still got to focus on the task at hand and executing.  And just still playing baseball.  We're still one win away.

Q.  Will pitching out of the pen the other day help or hurt?  Will it be a factor either way?  I know it was your throw day, but you hop it up obviously a lot more in the game.
JOHN LACKEY:   The intensity obviously is a little bit different getting in the game than throwing out of the bullpen.  But the number of pitches I threw shouldn't be much of a factor.

Q.  I've heard a number of your teammates have talked about how much they've enjoyed this season beyond the wins and losses and getting to the World Series.  Can you talk about what part of this season you've enjoyed the most?  And what this season has meant for you coming off of last year?
JOHN LACKEY:   Obviously I'm not even ready to think about that yet.  I'm focused on tomorrow.  Focused on trying to make some pitches, trying to help this team win.  There will be time for that later on.

Q.  At the beginning of the season when a lot of so‑called experts were picking you guys for 4th or 5th, obviously your team felt you were much better than that.  But did you think, we could win the whole thing, were you thinking that from the start?
JOHN LACKEY:   These days the word "expert" gets thrown out way too much, first of all (laughter).  We're all experts.
We had a great group of guys, great chemistry, you could feel, from the start and had a lot of guys with some rings, a lot of guys that have been on playoff teams.  Our expectations were high.  We definitely wanted to make the playoffs.  And once you get in the playoffs, you never know what can happen at that point.

Q.  Obviously the pitching has been great in this World Series, but are you surprised that these two lineups have combined for like a .212 average, given the people in these lineups?
JOHN LACKEY:   Not really, honestly.  This time of year pitching usually is a big factor.  Teams that make it this far usually have pretty good pitchers from starters all the way through the bullpen, and I think both these teams do.  We may do a little bit different than they do, but it's two teams that know how to pitch, for sure.

Q.  Are you disappointed you won't get to bat tomorrow night?
JOHN LACKEY:   No (laughter). I hadn't even thought about that.

Q.  I just wondered, do you see any comparison between what David is doing this year and what Barry Bonds did in '02?  If so, do you see any comparison in the approaches the opposing teams are taking?
JOHN LACKEY:   We walked Barry a lot more than Dave has been walked.  I think that speaks to the guys we've got hitting behind David.  We've got some good players.  I can remember a couple of times in '02 intentionally walking Barry, and the first pitch Benito (Santiago) hooked me up with a couple of ground balls for double play balls.  Those were pretty big.  I remember that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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