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10/19/08 1:31 AM ET

Joe Maddon postgame interview

Manager says team is only looking to the future

Tonight did you notice any negative type of hangover left over from the Fenway game, or was it just a night of not hitting?

JOE MADDON: We just didn't hit the ball tonight. Shieldsy was not on top of his game, which definitely gave us a chance to win. We started out pretty well with B.J.'s homer, but we could not string anything together. We had four hits, whatever it was, and they left 12 guys on base, and I was taking that as a good sign, but it just didn't want to come through for us.

Overall we pitched pretty well. We just did not get the offensive performance tonight that we had been getting.

On Navarro's steal, was that supposed to be hit and run?

JOE MADDON: Yeah, that was just a bad pitch for J.B. to work with.

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Not to avoid the 900 pound gorilla in the room, but you guys were seven outs away, 7-0 lead and now you're facing the defending World Series champions in Game 7 on the verge of possibly one of the biggest collapses in postseason history. How do you get this team ready for tomorrow night and not think about Game 5?

JOE MADDON: That was a tremendous hyperbole right there. That happened a couple of days ago. That has nothing to do with tomorrow.

It's all about how we react to the moment, and it's a seventh game. It's a great learning experience. For us to win that game would be something special for us, also. So it's not about looking into the past. It's about looking into the future right now. We've got to get ready to play that game tomorrow. We've got Garza ready to pitch and we're going to go out and play our game, and that's basically how I'm going to look at it. It has nothing to do with what happened over the last couple days.

As an opposing manager what does a guy like Jason Varitek do for the Red Sox? He breaks his slump with a home run, and then he seemed to have a good handle of what was going on with the bullpen tonight especially.

JOE MADDON: Well, no, he's the heart and soul of that team. I've known that for years. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to be part of the All Star coaching staff, and I went up to him -- I didn't even know him. I just told him how much I appreciated the kind of work that he did and how important I thought he was to the Red Sox. That was 2003, I believe.

So this guy has always been there. He wears it on his face. This guy is always ready to play. I know about his preparation habits, they're tremendous, and you never take him for granted. He comes to win every night.

How did Beckett look to you relative to Game 2?

JOE MADDON: Well, pretty much the same. I thought more breaking balls tonight than he had the last time out. He relied on the curveball more. I'm sure that he came out of the game as soon as he did based on the delay. That may have had something to do with it, because he still was in pretty good shape.

But I thought primarily velocity was the same as we saw last time, more breaking balls tonight.

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Just to make sure, Shields was fine after the comeback or in the sixth, right?

JOE MADDON: Yeah, just had that pre set, and J.P. got the ground ball. Just didn't work out.

You just said something about playing your game. Do you feel you guys played your game tonight, your defense was a little spottier year than it has been most of the year, and the bullpen didn't quite slam the door the way they have in some games. Are you a little off with the way you're playing now?

JOE MADDON: Honestly, I disagree with that. We made one error. It was on the chopper, and Andy threw it away. The bullpen didn't give up anything, I don't think.

The ground ball that turned into an error, that was the one run on Papi's ball, but other than that, I thought Grant was not on top of his game tonight, but I thought Chad did a really nice job, and of course, Trever had a one pitch out.

So overall we just didn't hit tonight, and that's primarily why we lost. We got good enough pitching tonight to win that game. They out pitched us, and now we have to come back tomorrow and play Game 7.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

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