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10/20/08 12:11 AM ET

A postgame interview with Matt Garza

ALCS MVP talks about pitching his team into the World Series

A lot of times in those last couple innings it seemed like you were really close to being on empty with the gas tank, but yet you kept finding ways to battle through innings and getting outs. How were you able to do it?

MATT GARZA: You know, when I came out, I wasn't out of gas. I told myself from the beginning that I'm going to leave it all out there today, no matter what.

I've gotta go hard, give my team the best chance to win, and that was for me to give everything I had. I didn't know if today was my last start of the year or what, so I just went out there and emptied my tank and said hey, here goes, we'll see what happens.

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After the home run of Pedroia and then you walked Ortiz, and then it looked like you were angry. You threw the rosin bag on the mound. What were you telling yourself at that point?

MATT GARZA: Just calm down. Take one pitch at a time. I left a mistake up to Pedroia, and the good hitter he is, he made me pay for it. He took that ball over the left field wall, and I just told myself, that's it. I can't give up anything more because I got Lester going, and obviously he's going to bring his "A" game tonight.

What was the conversation like with Joe Maddon when he came out to see you?

MATT GARZA: The first time?

Yeah, the first time.

MATT GARZA: He looked at me, he said, how do you feel? I said, great. You ain't taking me out of this game. And he just looked at me. I said, you're not taking me out of this game. This is my game and I'm going to finish it off.

What did he say then?

MATT GARZA: He said, well, you look good. I'll see you later.

Be honest here. After the loss in Boston, the collapse in Boston on Thursday and the loss yesterday, was there any doubt or fear among the players on this team?

MATT GARZA: No, none at all. We've been like this all year. We told ourselves, people have been doubting us from day one.

People were happy when we got our 71st win. People were excited when we got our 81st win, saying you guys have cleared the .500 mark. We still kept going, people kept saying, you guys are going to falter in August and September. You guys are going to falter in September. You guys are going to falter when you face Chicago. You guys don't match up well against Boston in Boston.

You know, we've proved doubters wrong this entire time and we just told each other, you know, keep believing, keep fighting. Keep playing the way we played all year and good things are going to happen. We just told ourselves today and that was it. I took today's game just like another game in June. That's the only way I could do it.

I know you touched on it in Boston, but when you got traded over here, this had to be really hard to conceive that you'd be pitching in the World Series this year, I think.

MATT GARZA: You know, when I got traded over here, and I was disappointed for a while. And then I got on the phone with Mr. Friedman, and I'll tell you what, that guy is so energetic, he had so much excitement going through his voice.

He made me feel welcome, made me feel at home when I walked in that clubhouse the first day of spring training. It wasn't like I was a new guy, it was like I had been here all year. The guys took me in with open arms and said, hey, you're a piece of this puzzle that we're going to put together. And from there on out we rode the wave and we're still going.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

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