Oct. 28 John Farrell pregame interview
Q. I was just wondering the bizarreness of the series the last two nights the games ending the way they did, first time ever on a pickoff and obstruction call, have you ever been part of a series at any level, where you've seen this many strange events happening?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, they're the first time they've ever happened in a series. So I don't know if anybody's been involved in that. But there's been a lot of uniqueness to this entire postseason, not just this series. When you consider how closely games have been played, whether it's been Divisional Series in both leagues, Championship Series in both leagues, I can't imagine Major League Baseball wanting anything more than what's taken place on the field. It's been an outstanding postseason all the way around.
Q. The thought of Shane being out of the lineup again, and but also moving up Dustin and David and Gomes in there?
JOHN FARRELL: Shane is much improved from yesterday. And probably could have started today. So he's available at full capacity. The only question going into today was the duration in which he might be on the field. So rather than putting ourselves in a position where if we've got to make a move and force our hand to eliminate a player, this way we can use him at our discretion. So he's available.
With the change in lineup, I feel like we need to lengthen out the lineup behind David. And we've made a subtle change, nothing dramatic. But it's going to be required, as we've seen. We haven't really put together many big innings, and that's a credit to their pitching. We feel the more we can lengthen out and give ourselves chances up and down the lineup, that's where we're at today.
Q. Take me through the play that ended the game, from Mike Napoli's perspective. Koji talked about the fact he wanted to act quickly and throw it over there. How big is it for Napoli to be able to react to that in real time, and especially in light of the fact that this is his first year playing first base?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, it's been his first year at first base full time. He's had a number of games played with Texas prior to this and even with the Angels to a lesser extent.
But holding a runner on is you're on alert all the time, whether it's an early pick, a late pick, whatever it might be. So there wasn't really anything abnormal inside of that play.
Q. Please could you talk a little bit about the obvious importance of today's game, and how do you feel regardless of what happens, you know you're going to go back to Boston?
JOHN FARRELL: I think much like the Cardinals, I'm sure felt coming back home for these three games, playing in our home ballpark you draw off the energy of the fans. Our guys embrace that. They feel comfortable at Fenway. Knowing that we're going back there is of some comfort. But Game 5, we don't look at any one game with more importance than the other. Tonight, we look at it as the most important game of the year. And that's been the case for the 162 in the regular season, and no difference with our approach in the postseason.
Q. I was hoping you could help fill out the meeting situation when David Ortiz calls the guys together in the dugout. Is that something he discussed with you? Would he discuss that sort of thing? What was the impact of it?
JOHN FARRELL: You know, David doesn't script much. And that certainly wasn't scripted last night. I thought the way things were unfolding in that game, it was an appropriate message that he gave. It ends up being a timely one. But even if the sixth inning doesn't unfold as it did, I still thought it was something that's very unique at this level for a Major League player to call an impromptu team message meeting.
And you know what, his words were spot on. I walked down close by and heard what he said. I can't say everything that he said, but at the same time the message was spot on. And you know what, whether it led to the inning that unfolded, he was right by what he said.
Q. Could you fill out the detail, if not the exact wording of what he said?
JOHN FARRELL: It was just more along the lines of, we've gotten to this point because of the players we are. And I think what he was reflecting on is what we all sensed and felt, in that we weren't having normal or typical at bats. Just felt like there was maybe an overarching mood that needed to be jolted and snapped out of. And that's what took place.
Q. Could you take us through your starting pitching for the rest of the series? Do you stay in rotation with Lackey and Peavy if it goes the max?
JOHN FARRELL: As of now, yes, that's the way we're lined up.
Q. Ortiz is so hot right now, Matheny said after last time night's game they'll make the adjustments and may pitch around him. How much did that weigh in your lineup today?
JOHN FARRELL: That's factored in. I can't say that's the sole purpose, but just what we're seeing with individual guys and how they're swinging the bat, and how we can maybe try to spread out potential production.
So the way David has swung the bat, certainly you would expect them to make some adjustments. So that's one of the things that's been factored into this.
Q. Obviously managers are motivators, too. But I was wondering when a player does it or what David does, how much does that help augment what you do and how much more can it help coming from a player, speaking to another player?
JOHN FARRELL: I've always subscribed to the thought that when a message comes from one of your peers, it resonates deeper. And in our case when it comes from a guy like David, it has the potential of resonating even further. So we never want to limit someone's ability to speak their mind, and we don't. And as I mentioned, the appropriate message at a timely point in the game.
Q. Following up on that, sort of ironic you talked the other day about how this team didn't need a team meeting the whole year. And this team meeting mid game, seems to spur them on and turns it around. How fortunate do you feel to have a guy like David that commands that kind of respect and can make that kind of impact?
JOHN FARRELL: When your best players, and I use "best" as a plural term here, when they're willing to speak up, I think we've all come across a lot of times players don't want to speak up because there's a lot of added responsibility that goes along with that. David has never been that guy. He relishes the moment. He wants to be the guy they look toward. And when I say or when we talk about not having team meetings, because we have reminders, we have so many advance meetings leading into a series that we use that opportunity as reminders all the time for certain points or things we have to clean up a little bit. But that was more about in the moment. And the way things have gone in the postseason for us David was right on with it.
Q. Can you talk about having Lester going in Game 5.
JOHN FARRELL: He's been very strong for us throughout all but about a month of this season. And no more strong than the way he's pitched in the postseason. We'll need that again tonight. I fully expect that Wainwright is going to be on his game here, particularly pitching in a comfortable place that he is at home here. This has every billing to be another great game, as we've seen in the first four.
Q. You got Quintin Berry in there, he stole a bag. As a manager how helpful is it to know that you have a weapon like that on your bench?
JOHN FARRELL: It was something that we were void of for the most part of the year. When Ben acquired him and I think the one thing that goes unnoticed in all this is some of the lower level or maybe the deals that is don't grab the headlines. And Quintin fills a specific role for us. We felt like the matchup, once Axford came in the ballgame, he had a chance to advance 90 feet; it ends up being that. But to have that at your disposal, certainly it's part of a strategy that you can look to use.
Q. Just a question on Buchholz, is he finished for the series or could you use him for an inning somewhere down the run in Game 7, if you have to?
JOHN FARRELL: He's not finished, both mentally and physically he is he's gearing up to be available on that day.
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