Youkilis postgame interview
Red Sox first baseman talks about his offense, team's approach
Facing elimination like you guys were, to hit that home run, did the team get a big lift right off the bat when you came back into the dugout? Did you feel the mood of the team change at all?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: Yeah, I think getting ahead was a huge factor for us in this game. I think getting the confidence and all the players, getting that first run ahead is huge for this team. Knowing when Josh Beckett is on the mound, we know maybe that one run could be all we need in a game.
I think a lot of guys were pretty pumped up to get on top. It definitely eased a lot of people's minds, and it was great. But we also knew that one run, we had to get more than that in this game because this Indians offense is a pretty good offense, and they can come back.
For us we just had to go inning by inning, and try to get as many runs as we could.
What's it like playing behind Josh Beckett when he's got it going, again, tonight?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: It's definitely exciting to watch. It's definitely fun to go out there and play behind a guy that can dominate a game. It definitely is a little more relaxing when you're out there on the field because when you see balls that guys are taking that are moving, you can see Varitek sets off a little bit and he hits off that corner, and guys are taking because they just don't see it that well. It's great just to have him go out there and pitch the way he does because it eases us as hitters knowing that we don't have to try to do too much at the plate.
You've been hot in the playoffs, you didn't finish the season hot. Is this a question of just mainly being back to good health again, or is there something different going on, something more going on?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: Well, yeah, I think the health reasons was definitely -- it was tough. My whole entire wrist and hand weren't feeling 100 percent. When I hit I'm more of a handsy hitter. I try to use more hands than body a lot of times. It was tough just to get the swing back and get the feel of facing live pitching again. When you're out over a week, it's very tough to go out there and hit against live pitching, and timing, and feeling comfortable at the plate.
Luckily I've gone up there every at-bat and just felt comfortable in the box, and just trying to stick to doing the little things and not getting away from my approach, and I've had success just by sticking to my plan when I go up to bat.
Terry talked about the approach you guys went with against C.C. You've beaten him twice now in the playoffs. Earlier this year I think it was a 1-0 game. What changes have you guys made as hitters going up against him to have the success you've had?
KEVIN YOUKILIS: You know, it's kind of tough when you only face C.C. once during the season and now in the playoffs. It's kind of tough to say that we've faced him enough where we can actually see some differences in the way he pitches. For us I think it was just going up there and having a plan. You've got to try to jump on hitters' pitches. When he's throwing his pitches in his spots, it's very tough to go up there and hit. So for us it was just going up there and getting pitches that we could hit hard and capitalize on them. You have to go out there and hit those pitches that you can hit and try to lay off the pitcher's pitches. He wants you to swing at balls out of the zone, and he wants you to chase the pitch up in the zone and pop you up. I think for us it's about battling each at-bat and trying to stay alive when you get two strikes, and try to get him out of the game as soon as possible with the pitch count.
It was either yesterday or the day before, Terry talked about when the team was down 3-0 against the Yankees a couple years ago, or in '04, and had Animal House playing in the clubhouse. I'm wondering if there's any pregame flavor you could share with us about what was going on in there before you guys went out on the field.
KEVIN YOUKILIS: We really don't do anything as crazy as 2004. I think this group of guys is a little bit different in the way they go about their business and go about their approach to get ready for the game. I think it's a little more quiet of a group. But there's some joking around.
For us it just seemed like another game. Guys were in there with the same attitude they had day one, and I think that's what helped us win this game tonight. Everyone had the same approach, no one looked unconfident in their abilities, and guys went out there and just went pitch to pitch and at-bat to at-bat, and I think that was the biggest success tonight is everyone just went out there and played for the moment. After they'd have an at-bat and get an out, they'd go to the next at-bat and go out on the field and play their position. I think that was the key to the defense we played.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.