Q. Talk about obviously the last round you had Lackey going Game 2. Why did you make that switch?
JOHN FARRELL: Just we had some extra days to adjust, without bringing anyone back on short rest. We felt like with Clay falling in behind Jon it gives us a contrast of style. And that would be the case with John Lackey as well. But felt like we could get additional work done with Lackey today. I thought Clay threw the ball well in his start down in Tampa. That's not to say John Lackey's outing here was less than. He pitched us to a win again Tampa in Game 2. But with the rotation going forward the first two days we feel good about where we are.
Q. You made no secret in the first series that part of the decision making with Lackey was ballpark and home road splits. The fact that Detroit is a big ballpark that plays big and might be able to play into him a little bit like right and right center do here, was that a factor? And secondly, any concern that when John made his last start that there was some rust, and now obviously this is pushing him back a couple of days?
JOHN FARRELL: No, on the second part of it, no. I feel like we can get some live work against some hitters that will take place towards the end of today's work out. The game that John pitched over in Detroit earlier in the year he threw the ball well in Detroit, as well.
We just feel like with the alignment that we have, it gives us the best opportunity to hopefully take control of the series.
Q. Debate about people talk about stealing bases, you can take yourself out of innings. Does the base stealing and base running kind of play into the bigger picture with you guys. You have a lot of patient, big hitters, is it tied in together or is it tough to separate?
JOHN FARRELL: I don't know that we look at one as its interrelated to another. I don't know that our hitters are going to each at bat wanting to take pitches to give the guy a chance to steal a base. We have hitters that have a long track record of working deep counts and grinding out at bats. That will be a key for us this series as it has been all year.
The one thing that stands out with the base stealing and the overall tone of the base running, is to try to put as much pressure on the opposition as we can. And that means running smart. And not just giving outs away.
Q. You mentioned John Lackey throwing today live. Will Jake do that as well?
JOHN FARRELL: Not today, no.
Q. Is that something you'll have him do before he starts?
JOHN FARRELL: Potentially.
Q. When you look at you guys and the Tigers, do you see it as a contrast of style, you talked about being aggressive, the defensive stuff that you do, do you see it as two teams that go about it differently at all?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, I think each team is going to play to their strengths. We know this is a team we're going to go up against with power arms and power bats. They do have speed at the top of their order. But Jim is going to run his team as he sees fit. If there's a different style it's probably the strengths of the rosters as they stand today.
Q. Do you see it as two different styles of teams, does it seem that way to you?
JOHN FARRELL: We only played them 7 times during the season. It gives us a little bit of a glimpse. But, again, they're going to play to their strengths. I can't speak to the overall style or if there's a contrast to it.
Q. Ellsbury had such a good series against Tampa Bay, I think it's easy to forget that he was out with a broken bone in the foot, and presumably still has that. Are you surprised that he's as effective and typical of himself as he has been?
JOHN FARRELL: No, not at all. When he sat out for roughly ten days, two weeks, and came back and played every other day against Baltimore. Leading off that game he hits a ball out of the ballpark.
As far as getting his timing, we felt like that would come back relatively quick. The way he played the outfield in those three games, he had some opportunities to run the bases, as well, and there was no physical limitations in the short look that we got. So what he did the ALDS is not a surprise.
Q. Beyond managing against them, what kind of shared history, if any, do you have with Jim?
JOHN FARRELL: Not very much. In 2008 when we had the fortunate ability to be in the All Star Game in that final game in New York Jim was on the staff. So it was a day or a day and a half in which to be around him, listen to him. I know he and Tito probably have a longer history together, and to hear their bantering back and forth and the stories they shared. But he's always fun to be around.
I would consider him one of the caretakers of the game because of the long history in it, the success he's had. And I think the way people view him, with the utmost respect in the game of baseball.
Q. Can you talk about what Victor Martinez brought this team when he was here?
JOHN FARRELL: He's a guy that people gravitate to, naturally. I think he's got natural leadership abilities. And that wouldn't just be because he was a catcher at the time. He's a personality that people love to be around. He's positive, he's energetic. I know he's coming into this series swinging the hell out of the bat.
Putting that aside he's a genuine person. Very good player. And I think because of the person he is and the player he is he grabs his teammates' respect. He never likes to show a teammate up. And he's all about what needs to take place inside of a game on a given day. And that's what he showed us for the year plus that he was here. But just a very accomplished hitter.
Q. What do you see from Lester on game days with his emotions and his personality, because some guys say he's relaxed at times and then more serious at others, and do you notice that carry into his performance in any way?
JOHN FARRELL: Yeah, he's all business. He works hard four days leading up to a 5th day start. He's a very concrete thinker. That's the one description I've used for him for a number of years. And that allows him to, I think, achieve a high level of concentration and maintain it for the time that he's on the mound. He's an intense competitor. But I can't say that when he walks in the clubhouse on game day, you have to steer clear, because either you're going to piss him off or you're going to say something he may not like, he's all business. And that's the way he carries himself on the field.
Q. When a hitter like Cabrera is physically hurting, is it smart for a pitcher to possibly change the way he's pitching to him or is that not a good idea?
JOHN FARRELL: I think we still see some of the strengths that he has, which are many. But if you make a mistake on the other part of the plate you're going to pay for it, much like last night. You hope that you can find ways to, I don't want to say contain him, but maybe minimize the damage that the situations present themselves. But at the same time there's two guys hitting behind him that are having a hell of a series themselves. That's where Victor Martinez has made this lineup that much more deep, especially the second half of the season.
Q. There's a lot of different factors as to who your guy is going to be the Game 1 starter. How did that game John pitched against the Tigers last month add to and influence what you thought of him and that game in general?
JOHN FARRELL: He and David Ross hooked up and executed a game plan that was successful. It was powerful. That was one game inside the entire second half that, as we viewed John's season, and really it became clear throughout the second half, not just that one game, that he would lead us through the month of October. And we're in that next series. He's rested. And right in line with what we had hoped coming out of the regular season.
Q. Have you made a decision what you're going to do at third base in games 1 and 2?
JOHN FARRELL: It will be Middlebrooks tomorrow. And then based on some matchups, we've got some things that we're looking at in a couple of different spots.
Q. You had this dynamic a few years back with Ortiz and Manny. But with Fielder and Cabrera, what's it like to game plan for those two spots?
JOHN FARRELL: You game plan carefully. And I wouldn't limit it to 3 and 4. Because it's 3, 4, 5, the way Victor is swinging the bat. We have to keep that very clear in our minds. There may be different matchups based on who is on the mound for us, that we might look to adjust our attack plan.
Anytime you're looking at the middle of the order that's as powerful and productive as they are, you're always going to look at the lead off two guys that really set the stage for potential damage to take place. We don't want to overlook anyone in that lineup.
So we've got some specific plans for each guy and particularly that middle three. Our starters particularly our starters. The strength of their team is clearly their starting rotation, or one of their strengths. But I look upon the keys to us is our starters to keep a game in check. And that is going to be specific to those particularly those three guys through the middle of that order.
Q. You don't face a lefty starter in this series, and you don't have a day game after a night game. How do you figure how to work David Ross into your lineup?
JOHN FARRELL: There's a place for him in here. As I see it on paper on a couple of situations. I've yet to meet with both he and Salty. So forgive me if I'm not going to reveal that right now. I think it's important that they hear it first. But there's some matchups in here that Salty's had good performance against some guys in the rotation. We'll look to mix and match. And it may be a strength of the combination on our side as opposed to facing an opposing pitcher.
Q. Getting to the question of who's going to be handling 3, 4, 5. Felix has enjoyed some success against that trio. Can you envision him in the role?
JOHN FARRELL: Possibly, but as has Craig Breslow. There's been some success with him as well through the portion of that lineup. Again, game situation, inning, score, there's going to be a number of things that will factor into this, as will be the case.
Q. Is what you were talking about with David Ross apply to Jonny Gomes, too?
JOHN FARRELL: Yes, there will be. And Mike Carp, as well. The strength of this team has been the depth of its roster. There are going to be some matchups that we think are more favorable in one case or another. And we've had the utmost we've had complete confidence in every guy in our uniform. And they're going to be involved.
Q. How important do you think that is, you were able to get a lot out of those guys over the course of the season, to continue to do that in the postseason?
JOHN FARRELL: It's been a trait of this team. And then when we've looked to get it a productive pinch hit, it's because they've had some recent activity. And we envision that to be the case over the course of the seven game series.
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