We’re alive and kicking. That’s all we asked for, one win to keep us going. We’ve got a heartbeat, and like I said all along, as long as this team has life — as long as we’ve got innings, pitches, a pulse — we’re dangerous.
Let’s get the play that cost us three runs out of the way first. It was my fault; put it all on me. I should have gotten there, called off Howie Kendrick and caught that ball. We haven’t had a single ball fall like that, in that spot, all season — and it happens in a game we have to win. But you’ve got to move on, let it go. That’s what I told Howie between innings. It was in a tough spot. I was shading Jacoby Ellsbury toward left-center, and Howie had a long way to go. But it’s my turf out there, and I should have made the play.
It’s kind of strange, really. I didn’t make an error all season, and the other night in Anaheim in Game 2, Mark Kotsay hit a ball to me that was acting like a knuckleball, and it went off my glove. It’s crazy. But you can’t let things like that get you down. Not in this game, when you play every day. You’re tested all the time.
I love how our guys responded in this game, playing big when it counted. Our young guys have come alive. They’ve gotten over their anxieties and trying to do too much, and they’re settling in and just playing now. Erick Aybar got that big hit for the winning run. Howie got a couple of knocks and put down that bunt after Mike Napoli’s single in the 12th inning. Man, Napoli was incredible. That guy is so strong. He was swinging from the heels in the first game, but tonight he was smart, taking good swings. He’s so strong, he can hit it out without a big swing.
Reporters are asking me why I tried to stretch that single in the ninth inning. I hit it down the line, and from what I saw, it was going to take a great play to throw me out. If Jason Bay doesn’t put it where he did — if it’s a little wide either side of the bag — I’m at second with nobody out, and we’re in business. I was hustling, going for it, and a guy threw me out with a good throw. It happens.
That’s six straight games we’ve won at Fenway Park. One more and we’re going home with a chance to go to the ALCS. Hey, I’m not getting ahead of myself here. We know all about Boston, how dangerous those guys are. But we’re dangerous, too. They know that. You don’t get beat six straight times in your own house and not have some respect for that other team.
We really like playing here. The fans are great, the park is great. It’s intense, and I think we thrive on that.
I’ve got a lot of confidence in big John Lackey going against Jon Lester in Game 4. Lackey comes after you and pounds that strike zone. I love that. He keeps his guys in the game. I think we’ll have a better idea with Lester the second time around, especially the younger guys who were still new to all of this.
You learn a lot about yourself as you go through these postseason games. I love how our guys have responded. Nobody got down after losing the first two. We stayed cool, stayed supportive of each other. That’s how you win in October, by hanging together, playing hard and smart, making good things happen.
We’re alive. We’re kicking. Now we just want to keep it going and bring this series back home to our fans — and our Rally Monkey. No more talks about losing streaks, no more negativity, please. That monkey is off our backs.