We gave it our best shot, but Josh Beckett was on his game, making pitches when he needed them, and he got some plays from his defense, too.
I wanted to come out and set an aggressive tone in that first inning. I hit a ball pretty hard and it got through for a hit. I?m running, stealing second, when Orlando Cabrera bounced out. I?m running again, stealing third, when Vladdy Guerrero hit that ball hard that Mike Lowell handled at third. That?s the way it goes. If a ball finds a hole, we get a run on the board, then who knows?
But you can?t take anything away from their guy. Beckett threw a great game. He was putting the ball where he wanted it. When a guy like that gets a lead, it makes him really tough. He kept getting ahead in the count, and you can?t get locked in on a pitch that way. Getting that lead gave him the opportunity to do that, and he took advantage of it. That?s the way it is with any good pitcher.
I thought both guys threw great games. It was a little rough for John Lackey in the early part of the game, but after that he settled down and was on his game.
I hit a couple of other balls good, but you know how that goes sometimes. They made plays on me: Coco Crisp in center in the sixth inning and the young guy, Jacoby Ellsbury, in the ninth. He?d come in for Manny Ramirez and made a nice play.
That was real disappointing, that play in the ninth. We had our big guys coming up, and we were only down by four. We were still in it. But he makes the catch, and then Vlad gets a hit … like I was saying, a break here and there, and you never know. But that?s baseball. You play the game, stay the same and move on.
We?re a resilient team. We?ll bounce back strong. You play all season to get here. You know you?re going to put everything you have in it.
Our mind-set? Come out to win. There can?t be any other mind-set. Do everything you can to win the game.
You know how I feel about Kelvim Escobar. He?s been a great pitcher all year, and I think he?ll come up big in Game 2. We just have to get in our game, get a few balls to find holes, and get a win.
This is a demanding and challenging game we play, but I love everything about it. I hate losing, of course, but being in the postseason, in this environment, this is what every player dreams about.
Nine good, hard innings, one win, and we?re in it. That?s all it takes. There?s no doubt in my mind we can get it done and bring the series home to our park, to our fans, all tied up.