Can you talk anything about Okajima. He pitched three games against you guys and played very well. But September, he was a little bit tired and the team gave him a rest. What do you think about him?
Well, I think he established himself very early as a key part of Boston's bullpen. Pitched terrific baseball against us. You know, the times that we've seen him pitch. I know he's a little tired in September, he never looked anything but right on against us. So I'm sure he's recharged and he's certainly an important piece to their bullpen.
Terry was talking about one of his reasons for pitching Daisuke in Game 2 was the unfamiliarity that you guys have with him. How do you approach a pitcher that you haven't seen as unique as he is?
Well, you have to get in the batter's box and you have to experience it. You can watch videotape all you want and look at tendencies and look at some charts. That will give you a little piece of the puzzle. But you have to get in there and experience it.
You know, there probably will be a slight edge until we see some pitches with a new pitcher. We have to make a quick study. We were very familiar with Beckett and we didn't have much success. I don't think it's a general rule you're not going to have success against a guy you've never seen. But certainly there is a little edge that will go towards a pitcher in that until you see some pitches, get in the batter's box as the game moves on, you know, naturally we need more batter's box offense.
Just if you could give us an update with Garret Anderson and the conjunctivitis. Last night when he stepped in the box, it looked like he had gone 15 rounds with Tyson or something. Can you tell us is the eye affected at all now?
No, I think it looks a lot worse than it is. Garret assures us his vision's there, he's seeing the ball and that is what's important. Garret knows you're not going to get in that batter's box and not have a chance to have success if you're not seeing the ball. He's comfortable where he is, he's confident where he is. You know, hopefully as this moves on, the swelling will dissipate, and it will look like it should.
I'm sure you didn't need a reminder of what David Ortiz can do in October, but can you tell what kind of threat that is to have him in that lineup?
David Ortiz is an incredible hitter. And Boston is more than David Ortiz. I think that's the power they have in their lineup. That is the depth they have in their lineup. If it was one guy, I think there are some things you can do that could neutralize one guy in the lineup and maybe take your chances somewhere else. But you know, they've got Manny Ramirez behind him, with a guy behind Manny who had a 120 RBIs. So these guys are a deep offensive lineup, and we have to pitch much like John did innings 4, 5, and 6.
And he got ahead, he had command, put guys away. If you make good pitches, you're going to be able to contain them. If you're not, and you're trying to get back into counts, these guys feast off of that.
And David Ortiz is probably the leader of that band. He's about as good a mistake hitter as you're going to see in the game today. And you make some good pitches, he still has the ability to square balls up, much like Vlad does. So he's a terrific offensive player. But I think it's the wrong perspective to have that their lineup is just David Ortiz, because it's much broader than that, and that's the dilemma you have when you're facing a lineup that's deep.
Not just him, but in terms of for Ortiz, he does seem to rise to the occasion in the playoffs. Do you think there are guys that do that or is that a case of a guy that's good all year just showing it in October?
He's had a pretty terrific season to say he just rises to the occasion. I think he's able to, as we talked about some pitchers where they can slow the game down, he's able in the batter's box to slow some things down and stay within himself. And I think he performs well in any situation. So as far as a clutch hitter late in the game, you're not going to see many guys better than David.
I don't think it's a matter of stepping up. I think it's a matter of maintaining your game and not trying to do too much. Not taking yourself out of what you do well. And he does it as well as anybody, and I think that's why he's had success late in games, early in games, whatever the situation. He's very focused. Got a lot of confidence in the batter's box, and he's a tough out.
I know you mentioned that it looks a lot worse with Garret, and he said he's able to see the ball. Just wondering if he's definitely starting on Friday, if that's a determination that will be made tomorrow or if there's any question about that?
Unless his left eye looks as bad as his right eye tomorrow, he's starting. We don't anticipate this moving in any direction but the right way. And he'll be in the lineup Friday unless something unforeseen happens.
Short of firsthand experience of standing in the box against a pitcher, is video and scouting report enough to leave a team feeling prepared to face a guy like Matsuzaka?
I think it gets you on the right path of maybe what you might expect in the batter's box, but you have to get in there and you have to experience it. There's a lot of knowledge you can draw. You know, all your practice may be on the driving range, until you get out on the golf course you never know how it's going to play. You can watch video all you want, you can take batting practice all you want. You can look at tendencies of a pitcher and examine them. And they'll give you some background information that might make a quicker study when you get in the batter's box, but you're not going to be totally prepared until you experience it and then make your adjustments.
I think that's what we'll have to do early and hopefully have more success than we did in yesterday's game.
Is Vladdie a possibility for right field? And if so, how would that change your overall lineup?
Right now we have Vlad as a probability to play right field tomorrow. He's going to go through another workout this afternoon, and if everything goes well, he will be playing right field tomorrow and give us a little more options for some batter's box offense.
We can talk about manufacturing runs, we can talk about the way we can run the bases, unless you get out of the batter's box and start getting more happening in the batter's box that's not going to play. And you saw how we struggled last night. So we need more in the batter's box, and we'll look at some options.
Daisuke throws a lot of sliders, and you have seen a lot of...
He does oh, let me (mimics taking notes) sliders? Keep going, what else?
I mean, do you see the similarity in the slider and, obviously you never know before you ever faced him, but after watching the video, do you see the similarities of his slider with other Japanese pitchers?
I think with his velocity and his arm speed, he has a power slider that's different than Shigetoshi Hasegawa. We saw Shiggy and he had a comparable package of a fastball slider, but didn't have the arm speed that Daisuke has to be able to throw that power, slider, cyclone, whatever you want to call it. You know, it's a power pitch, and it's probably a little different than some of the guys you've talked about. And the only way is you got to get in the batter's box and see it. That's what you have to do. And we'll hopefully have a better luck tomorrow than we had last night off Beckett.
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