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Oct. 17 Lester, Bogaerts postgame interview

MLB.com

Q. Jon, you didn't seem like you wanted to come out tonight, just like John Lackey didn't want to come out the other day. Is that sort of a hallmark of this team, the pitchers just want to stay in there?

JON LESTER: Yeah, I think so. Obviously our job is to start the game and try to finish the game. That's our ultimate goal every night that we take the ball.

Q. Jon, you didn't seem like you wanted to come out tonight, just like John Lackey didn't want to come out the other day. Is that sort of a hallmark of this team, the pitchers just want to stay in there?

JON LESTER: Yeah, I think so. Obviously our job is to start the game and try to finish the game. That's our ultimate goal every night that we take the ball.

But in that situation that's John's decision. I may not like it, but that's his job, and that's what ‑‑ I respect every decision he makes. That was his choice and I'm obviously not happy with it. If we had pitchers that were happy with getting taken out, then we obviously wouldn't want those guys out there.

Like I said, I'm at the moment not happy with it, but at the same time you get back to the dugout, you have your moment of frustration or whatever, of not finishing that inning, and then you move on and cheer your butt off for Taz.

Q. Can you talk about the win tonight and how important was Napoli and the guy next to you?

JON LESTER:  Tonight was huge, for obvious reasons. Just obviously putting us up 3‑2 going home. The guy sitting next to me, you wouldn't believe that he's ‑‑ how old are you, 21?

XANDER BOGAERTS:  21, yeah.

JON LESTER:  Wouldn't believe he's 21 years old. Big stage like tonight, he seems like a veteran.

Nap did a good job tonight of swinging the bat and guys played great behind me. Jonny made a great throw in the first. If that throw is not on the mark right there, they're up 1‑0 going into the second, and it may be a different ballgame. Guys stepped up tonight and did a great job. Like you said, this guy next to me had a big game, as well.

Q. What's it like for you watching the bullpen navigate those final outs?

JON LESTER:  Not fun. Sitting in the clubhouse having no control over anything, but the utmost faith in those guys. They've done it all year for us. Taz picked me up, Bres comes in and does his normal deal. And then obviously Koji has been great all year. So it's fun at the end when you know the result, but when you're going through it it's not fun sitting in that clubhouse.

Q. I know you didn't have a lot of time to think about it, but on the Iglesias bunt with just flicking your glove with the ball in the glove all in one motion there, was that all reaction or did you have a chance to process even a desperate thought there?

JON LESTER:  No. Obviously with Iggy running, you know you don't have much time. For whatever reason I decided not to open my glove up and let the ball come in and made it a little bit more difficult. But just all reaction right there. Fortunate enough with Iggy running down the line hard, getting it to Nap just in time. That was obviously a big out in that inning. Just all reaction, lucky enough to get the guy out.

Q. You played against Mike Napoli for a lot of years, you're his teammate. What do you know about him now spending a year with him that you couldn't have known before?

JON LESTER:  I said this in Spring Training, he's complete opposite of what I thought he was. I thought he was a pretty vocal guy, playing against him on the other side, just watching him, I thought he was kind of more I guess talkative, just all the way around. But the guy, it's unbelievable to see him go about his work every day. God blessed his butt in Spring Training to be an unbelievable first baseman for us this year.

He's obviously picked us up in big situations throughout the season. And tonight was another one of those situations, picking us up 1‑0 right there off a pretty good pitcher. It's a big yard to go in that park, and he made this yard look small with that swing. It's been fun to be his teammate this year, and hopefully we can continue that in the future.

Q. Can you talk about your first start in the postseason, were you nervous, and can you talk about your double in the second?

XANDER BOGAERTS:  Definitely I was a bit nervous before the game. But I would say coming in as a pinch‑hitter or defensive replacement at that time I would be more nervous.

I controlled my emotions pretty good. I got a good double to keep the inning going after Nap's home run. A good game overall. I mean, good defense for everyone and good hitting, timely hitting.

Q. What's this entire journey been like this year, going through Double‑A, Triple‑A, and now finding yourself in the ALCS?

XANDER BOGAERTS:  Wow, it's a crazy year, I would say. Very blessed. I mean sometimes I can't even believe I'm here. At 21 and starting in Double‑A, and now here in the ALCS, one game away from the World Series. Sometimes it's hard to believe. But it's good so far.

Q. Putting aside the talent on this team, what do you think of the toughness of this team, was it all you thought it would be coming into the big leagues or was it more?

XANDER BOGAERTS:  Definitely more. You see guys playing through injuries. It's tough sometimes. You have Pedey with his thumb issue. A lot of guys not feeling a hundred percent every day. Baseball is a tough game, a tough grind. And in Minor Leagues we only play to the beginning of September. We're here in October, now.

Q. You kind of got introduced to the postseason in bits and pieces coming in late in games. Did that help you today with your first start?

XANDER BOGAERTS:  Yeah, you could say so, yeah. Definitely. Playing in front of a big crowd, a crowd that's really into it, so many fans. I mean, every pitch, every at‑bat, everything is important. No time for mistakes. I was happy to get a start today and prove to myself that I can do the job.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.