© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

10/06/08 9:02 PM ET

A postgame interview with B.J. Upton

Rays outfielder talks about his power surge in ALDS clincher

B.J., you just hit a third of your home run total in four at bats for the regular season. That's incredible. I don't even know if anyone has ever done that in Division Series history. Was there a secret that you're hiding or were you just kind of waiting for the post season to break out with surprising power? What was going on there?

B.J. UPTON: You know, I mean, it's kind of been some fatigue with my shoulder all year. And, I mean, I've been battling it all year. Really this last month or so it's starting to feel good. I kind of got away from my approach. Kind of been up the middle all my career and lately I've been trying to pull the ball too much. Last couple days I've gotten back to my strength and kind of got a couple pitches to hit up in the zone. And basically took advantage of them.

complete postseason coverage
B.J., with everything you've been through with this organization what does it mean to be able to celebrate like this and have a locker room like you guys just had?

B.J. UPTON: It means everything. We've been at the bottom of the barrel for so long. And I think there was a point in time where people didn't even know who we were. And for the guys that have been here for awhile, Carl Crawford, I think it benefits him the most. I mean, he's been through some tough times. He's been in last place most of his career and for us to come out this year and, you know, right now we're in a good position.

So I think, you know, if we keep doing the things we're doing we're going to be okay.

What does this do for your confidence going into the Championship Series. It will be the biggest stage obviously you guys have played on. What does the series do for your confidence and for the best of your teammates?

B.J. UPTON: I believe we're going to play well every time we step on the field. And we expect to win every time we step on the field.

So the confidence level is there and it's never left us. There's never been any doubt I know in our clubhouse. I know a lot of people have doubted us. You know, we hear it but it's kind of fuel for the fire. You know, we feed off of that and we have all year. And it's showing right now.

B.J., what's the feeling for you in an environment like this where you have a packed crowd, you have the blackout environment going on, you know, people waving their towels. What does it feel like for you to be able to silence the crowd like that with one swing?

B.J. UPTON: I don't know. I mean, I am just out there playing baseball. And, I mean, it's definitely a hostile environment to come into as well as our place, but I think they've experienced it a little bit more around here than we have.

But for us to come in here and win some road games or win a road game to put us into the next round, I think it does everything for your confidence. It shows us that, you know, it doesn't matter where we go or who we're playing that we can win at any time.

B.J., looking back just a year ago, 96 losses, another last place finish. Could you have possibly this time last year envisioned where you would be right now?

B.J. UPTON: We've always had talent over here. And that's the big thing. I think in the past it's just kind of been, you know, guys on the individual, trying to do their own thing.

Since spring training we've been a team. And like Carlos said, we're kind of a fraternity. And we stick together at all times no matter what happens. I think that's a big part of why we're where we're at right now. And, I mean, as long as we keep that attitude and continue playing as a team, and doing the little things to win, I don't think there's any reason why we can't win this whole thing.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

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