Oct. 23 Jon Lester postgame interview

Oct. 23 Jon Lester postgame interview

Q. John was just talking about the way the Cardinals came out swinging. How did that affect the way you approached the game from that time forward?

JON LESTER:  Really didn't. We kind of expected it. We know how aggressive they can be at times. And late in the game they tried to slow some things down and take some pitches after that.

So we wanted to set the tone and get them swinging. That's important for my game as far as getting that fastball and cutter involved, and make sure that they're not able to just lock in and key on certain areas on me.

Q. Could you talk about the importance of winning Game 1? We all realize Game 1 does not decide the World Series, at the same time it's the game both teams want to win. How important is a win like this for this team?

JON LESTER:  Very important, especially at home. You want to make sure you get, hopefully, these wins. Going to St. Louis is going to be very tough. And you really have to bear down in these situations and play good baseball and try to get some Ws in front of the home crowd.

Q. How much did the experience you gained in 2007 on this stage help the transition into tonight?

JON LESTER:  I think just the preparation involved. Obviously there's going to be a lot of festivities, the introductions, the flyovers, the national anthems, everything is quadrupled because it's the World Series. So you know how to handle all those situations. Your warmup time, so forth.

So I think we talked about it yesterday, as far as every game is a learning experience, and you learn from each game, whether it's in the World Series or if it's April 15th, you've got to take something from it. And being in that situation in 2007 definitely prepared me for tonight.

Q. Can you talk about getting out of that fourth inning?

JON LESTER:  Yeah, it was big. Obviously with us scoring some early runs there, just wanted to ‑‑ especially in the middle innings, get some shut‑down innings, and get the guys back in the dugout. That one got a little away from me, but was fortunate enough to get a pitch down to Freese there and get a ground ball. Rossy did a great job of making sure that we got the first one at home and then made a good throw to Nap.

So that was obviously a big inning for us and to shut that down and not let any runs score.

Q. Your relationship with David Ross, is that as good as you've had as a Red Sox with a catcher? What's going on right now?

JON LESTER:  You know, I think I've had it with Salty. I think Salty did a great job for us this year. For whatever reason right now me and Rossy are clicking. That's nothing against what Salty does behind the plate, and we've had plenty of good games together. So for whatever reason it is, things are just working out right now.

So it's not a matter of I wouldn't say I like Rossy better than Salty or vice versa, you know. Just like I said, for whatever reason, we're going good and John Farrell is going to ride it out.

Q. A couple of quick ones: After the 5th, which also you got to pitch your way out of a little bit, you seemed to like getting to a groove and cruise until you came out of the game. What went on in the 5th? And what happened after that?

JON LESTER:  I don't really think any one thing clicked. Early on had a good rhythm. Kind of lost it a little bit in those middle innings, as far as getting quick outs. Had some long at‑bats, had a lot of pitches. Sixth inning, tried to go back out and do the same thing we did all game. And had some quick outs. That was big. First‑pitch‑swing outs are huge, especially this time of year.

Q. Could you talk about your Red Sox team now has won nine in a row in the World Series, and you've been part of five of them, how does that feel?

JON LESTER:  It's great. But that's something that we can talk about at the end, when everything is all said and done. Right now we're focused on ‑‑ we'll enjoy this one and come in tomorrow and be ready to go for Game 2. That's all we can worry about right now is just the next one, the next task at hand, and hopefully Lack goes out there and does a good job for us.

Q. Going back to 2007, how do you compare your emotions your adrenaline going into same Game 4 to close out that series in '07, as compared to what you felt tonight in the starting role to start the World Series?

JON LESTER:  I think very different. Obviously being at home obviously helps amp everything up. Game 1 is a little bit different than up 3‑0 going into Game 4. I think the biggest thing is just being able to control those emotions and pitch under control, and not try to throw the ball through the backstop. Just rely on location early on and try to get into that rhythm, try to get your feet under you, get your legs under you, execute some pitches to both sides of the plate. And we were able to do that in the first inning, and then just went from there.

Q. The number of called third strikes you were getting with your cutter, was that surprising given how aggressive they are? And what about that was working?

JON LESTER:  I don't think it was surprising. I think it was just kind of the way we attacked the guys early on. We went right after them. We pounded them in. Made them try to turn on some balls in. And when we're able to do that, you talked about getting swings early; that opens up the outer half of the plate.

We tried some four‑seamers out there and they fouled them off. When you foul off a four‑seamer and start the cutter just off a little bit off of that and have it come back, most of the time they give up on it. And we're able to get some big strikeouts for us tonight.

Q. After a series that was so tight every pitch, 0‑0 five innings, you get a little bit of a lead. What does that do for you tonight, pitching with a lead the entire way?  

JON LESTER:  Well, I think you can go one of two ways, let your guard down and take a deep breath, and say okay, we've got a lead, and not really pay attention to the next inning. This time of year you really have to think about winning each inning. And once we scored in that first, to go out there, you've got to win that inning. You've got to put a zero up. Get these guys back in the dugout and get them up to the batter's box. And we were able to do that and we ended up scoring a few more runs. And that was big for us, especially against a pitcher like Adam over there.

Q. Mike's come up with some big hits for you guys lately, giving you the three‑run lead in the first inning. Can you talk about the hits, and what he's been able to do offensively for you?

JON LESTER:  Yeah, it's been all season. He's done a great job. The thing that has impressed me the most about him is the amount of pitches he sees. Seems like every time he's up there it's 3‑2, 2‑2. I think it gives him the advantage over the pitcher, just seeing so many pitches. He's come up big, like you said, all year for us, and especially here lately against some really good pitchers. To have him go get a double in the first inning, score a couple of runs, David chugging around the bases, that's fun to see when he gets going.

That was just a big momentum change for us right there. And like I said, to go out there and get them back in the dugout I think is big.

Q. As the season has gone on, have you gotten more comfortable with David being behind the plate? How has that happened? Talk about him helping you navigate through the lineup.  

JON LESTER: Yeah, obviously David missing some time I think hurt a lot of relationships through the pitching staff. It took him some time during Spring Training to get used to us. And then for him to miss some time was rough on him. Ever since he's come back, it's been a seamless transition. I was saying earlier, for whatever reason me and him kind of fallen into a little bit of a pattern, a little bit of a routine together and it's worked. And we'll just keep riding it out until the end.

But he's done a great job navigating through the lineup tonight, mixing in. We hadn't gone to the backdoor cutter a lot lately, and he saw it was working, they were giving up on it, we kept ongoing after them. He did a great job helping navigate through the lineup.

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