Yeah, I don't think it's a big surprise for us, and it's something that
I guess we're kind of used to hearing, whether we're at Fenway or
whether we're on the road.
I know you have to win tonight before it becomes reality, but
how exciting would it be to be able to take the mound in a Game
JON LESTER: It'll be definitely exciting. You know, it'll
be something that I think, like you said, kind of have to wait and
see what happens tonight in order for it to set in, which kind of
sucks, because you can't get your emotions one way or the other.
You have to wait and see and hopefully tonight we can pull it off,
and then come tomorrow turn the switch on and go get 'em.
But it'll definitely be a lot of fun and a lot of excitement.
And along those lines, how do you mentally prepare yourself
for a game you may or may not pitch?
JON LESTER: You just have to do the same routine that
you would if it's a regular season game. You know, I've done the
same workouts, prepared the same, done everything that I
normally do in between starts, and it's just a matter of mentally
staying focused enough tonight and tomorrow to come out
tomorrow night and pitch a good game.
Before you can pitch, Josh has to come out tonight and get his
job done. How confident and how excited are you to see him out
JON LESTER: Very confident. Josh has got a great track
record in the postseason. You know, regardless of his record in the
postseason, as well, he's a great pitcher. He's a great competitor.
It doesn't matter what he has physically tonight, whether it be the
old Josh, 96, 97, or the guy that we've seen the past couple starts,
struggle with velocity. But he's going to go out and compete and
he's going to go out and try to execute pitches, and hopefully he can
keep them at bay and hopefully we can score some runs early on
and get the momentum still on our side for the rest of the series.
Did you notice them approaching you any different last game,
and can you take anything away from that last start?
JON LESTER: Yeah, I noticed a little bit, they were
aggressive early on, especially to the fastball. You know, I don't
know if they approached me any different. I just think that's their
approach is to go out and get the fastball early. That's kind of what
we've seen all year from them and in the past.
I don't think I have to change my game plan. I think I pitch pretty
well, with the exception of a couple pitches, and unfortunately
those pitches hurt me pretty bad. But hopefully I can go out and
execute pitches again and stay away from the big innings, like I
talked about before and keep them off balance.
Was there any point where the Rays went from being a team
that you face a lot, 18 times a year, to sort of your new rival?
JON LESTER: Not that I'm aware of. I mean, every
team in the East is your rival. I think we have probably the best
division in baseball competitive wise. You know, to win 97, 95
games in this division is pretty tough. To be a starting pitcher, to
go out and have to pitch against the Yankees three, four, five times,
the Rays three, four, five times, whatever it may be, it's a tough
So I think any time you play somebody in our division, it's going to
be competitive, it's going to be like a rivalry, and something that I
guess we've become accustomed to.
As a starter, what does it feel like to have a closer like a
Papelbon in the ninth inning for you, and what do you think has
allowed him to have so much success in the postseason?
JON LESTER: Any time you have a guy like him on your
team, it definitely takes a lot of pressure off, not only your starting
pitcher but your offense and the rest of your bullpen. You know,
he's a guy that can go out and get six outs for you if you need to.
He's proven that he can do that before. He's huge for us. Any time
he comes in the game, we feel like we're going to win that game,
you know, whether we're up one with bases loaded, with no outs, or
we're up by a lot. He's definitely helped us out tremendously.
I guess what makes him so good is just his mentality. You know,
he goes out and he gives you his best stuff every night, and he
basically tells the hitters, I'm going to throw it here, and you're not
going to hit it. And most of the time that happens.
Have you ever tried to catch a pop up here, and what is that
like with the roof?
JON LESTER: I think it's fine. I mean, it's -- I don't think
it's as bad as the Metrodome. I think it's pretty good. The lights
get in your way sometimes, but it's not too bad.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.