Oct. 28 Jon Lester & David Ortiz postgame interview
Q. You left a fastball over the plate there in the fourth inning there. After that you retired 11 guys in a row. Did you want that pitch back? What happened in that particular at‑bat, you locked it down after that?
JON LESTER: Yeah, I think anytime you give up a homer you want a pitch back, regardless of the situation. But the guy next to me (Ross) did a good job of keeping me calm. Keeping me in the game. Next batter flies out deep to left, Jonny makes a great play. And you're kind of looking around, going, whoa, what's going on now? We settled back in and got back into a rhythm. And things were good after that.
Q. With everything at stake here with two games to two, the fifth game so pivotal, and you coming through with a tremendous performance, what does it mean to come through in a game like this, pitch so well, and put your team one game away from the series?
JON LESTER: I think the biggest thing is just the team played well all the way, top to bottom. My man, here, about to walk on the stage (Ortiz), the guy I don't think has gotten out this series. Knock on wood.
But I just really try not to screw it up for the rest of the day. Just try to keep my team in the ballgame. We know who we are going up against. They're going to pitch us tough and their bullpen is tough, as well. Just really try to keep them in the ballgame as best you can, and hopefully these guys can score some runs for me.
Q. What does it mean to be one game away? I know you haven't done it yet, I know no one is popping the champagne yet, but what does it mean to be in this position, one game away with two games in your home?
JON LESTER: Actually, I just told Jonny Gomes in the clubhouse, I said, you know, you show up February 1st, play 162, we're at probably like 180, I think now, total. Comes down to one game. Pretty special time. We've just got to go out and keep playing baseball the way we've been doing it all year.
DAVID ORTIZ: It's a tough spot when you get to 3‑2 because you know you're close to ‑‑ that's the biggest challenge. You've got to come back on Wednesday and continue playing the way we have.
Q. Jon, during the game one of your former teammates Gabe Kapler tweeted out he didn't think he's ever seen you so calm during a game. He said you looked like you were almost in a Zen‑like state. How accurate a description ‑‑
JON LESTER: I'm glad I looked that way. It doesn't matter. I'm sure he can attest to it, it doesn't matter how many games at this stage you play, your nerves are going, your heart rate is going. It's just a matter of once you kind of settle in, realizing, like I said yesterday, it's baseball, fastball down and away. Game 5 of the World Series is just as effective as February 1st.
And that goes back to what he does behind the plate, what Salty does behind the plate. They really set the tone for our pitching staff early, get us in a rhythm, get us going. And once you're able to get in that rhythm, you saw Adam tonight had a rough first, but after that he settled in. Had some innings where he got in trouble, but pitched out of it. Once you're able to do that, I think just the nerves, the adrenaline, all that stuff, you just try to go back to executing pitches down the zone.
DAVID ORTIZ: He's telling the truth. That's how he is every day. You don't know if he's mad or he's happy (laughter).
JON LESTER: For the most part.
Q. From a physical standpoint it looked like you gave all you had to give there when you came off the mound, how were you feeling? And did you do anything when you had that swing there? Looked like you might have done something there little bit.
JON LESTER: I feel like it's October 28th, but stuff that you just kind of try to have to battle through. We've got 25, 28, however many guys in that dugout that are relying on you to go out and pitch innings, and whatever it is now, you've got to put on the back burner, just like Buck did yesterday. We've got three months to recover. The time is now. We've got to win now. And that's all you can really do. That's all you can really focus on.
Q. Just when you had that rough stretch after the great start, what did you do to get back on track? And could you envision yourself being here in this moment and pitching the way you have, being as dominant as you've been in this postseason?
JON LESTER: I don't think there's really one mechanical adjustment or pitch selection or anything like that. I think really the physical break after the All‑Star break really helped me. The mental break helped. And, yeah, I mean, I expect a lot of high things from myself, as do my teammates. And I think the biggest thing is, is when you go out in a game like this or middle of the season, you don't want to let those guys down. And we're all trying to pull on the same rope and get to one common goal. And that's what makes this team pretty special.
Q. David, you've had the experience a couple of times in your career of coming to the ballpark knowing you had the chance to win the World Series that night. But you've never had the experience of coming to Fenway Park knowing you were one win away. What do you expect it to be like on Wednesday at Fenway?
DAVID ORTIZ: I'm telling you, it's going to get loud out there. Our fans are baseball fans. They love the game and they love how we've been going at it every day. And I'm pretty sure it's going to be very loud out there.
Q. It's kind of crept into the game since you've been in it, six innings and three runs is called a quality start, at least based on how you've pitched in the World Series. You're not buying that. Do you need more out of yourself now?
JON LESTER: I don't know. I think the stat was made for a reason. I think you can really ask any pitcher, they're not too pleased with six innings and three runs. There's games where you go out and compete and you don't have your best stuff, and you have to grind through six and you give up three runs and we win. I think that's a quality start. You give your team a chance to win.
But as far as going in that type of column, I don't know. Like I said, as pitchers we all expect a little bit more than that.
Q. David, I'm curious whether you ever remember a five‑game span, World Series or otherwise, where you felt this locked in? And just for Jon, in terms of seeing a hitter like this locked in, is there anyone you remember just on any team hitting this well over a five‑game span?
DAVID ORTIZ: I did it like 20 times this year (laughter).
JON LESTER: That pretty much sums it up.
DAVID ORTIZ: I was born for this.
JON LESTER: I've said it before, this guy right here, I haven't played with many superstars. But this guy right here is the epitome of a superstar and a good teammate. And I don't think you could ever ask for more out of an individual than what he does on and off the field. The guy's got a heart of gold. And he goes out there every single night and competes. And it's been the past eight years or however long I've gotten to share a locker room with him, has been unbelievable to see him do the things he does on the field. It's pretty special. You don't get to play with many Hall of Famers, but I'd like to call him a Hall of Famer and the pleasure of playing with him for the last eight years, and hopefully a couple more.
DAVID ORTIZ: Thanks, brother.
Q. David, you heard Jon talk about you, when you look at games he's pitched, and you talk about tonight being a pivotal game, how big of a game was this for him to go out and do what he did for you guys? Was this as big a game as you've ever seen him pitch?
DAVID ORTIZ: Like I said earlier in an interview, Jon, he came up to the Big Leagues at a time where we were going to the playoffs and winning World Series. And as a young player he's always looking around and trying to improve himself and get better. And I'm pretty sure to him, watching him, those guys, when we won in 2007, you guys saw him perform that year. As a player, he told me straight up that he was going to be the future of the organization, the ace and there he is, doing what he does at this best.
Q. I'm curious, you seemed to pull up a little bit on your last hit. I'm wondering how you feel, what hurts you or bothered you at that point? You have three infield singles at this point, if that's going to impact the overall part of the game?
DAVID ORTIZ: That hurt (laughing). Just getting old, man. Just too much of running. I've been playing on the field the past three days, and I'm not used to it. And it's a whole totally different game. But you've got to do what you've got to do, especially at this stage. The World Series, you've got to help your ballclub to win games. Like they say, no pain, no gain.
Q. Did you notice Adam Wainwright's reaction when he finally got you out?
DAVID ORTIZ: No.
Q. It was sort of what you did with Iglesias, he stepped off the mound and looked up and just went "wow". It was like his ultimate tribute to you. What do you think when a competitor pays that kind of salute to you?
DAVID ORTIZ: I wasn't paying any attention to that. To be honest with you, he throw me some tough pitches tonight. He was throwing me cutters in. And I know that pretty much after he gets ahead with two strikes, he want to strike me out with a breaking ball. So you make up your mind. It's a battle when you face that kind of pitcher as good as he is, and as good as the rest of the pitchers that they have ‑‑ they have great pitching staff. And if you try to look for everything they throw, you definitely not going to hit anything.
I've got my mindset, I've been playing this game for too long, and when I go to the plate, I try to look for a strike and try not to get out of it. And that's pretty much what I've been doing all year.