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Bill Mueller pregame quotes10/18/2004 1:58 PM ET
Q. You came from a very famous baseball market and passionate fans and now you're playing here, could you give a comparison of what it's like to play for the Cubs versus here?
BILL MUELLER: Well, it's kind of tough to compare the two cities just because they are -- you are missing another city which I also was in, San Francisco. All of the cities, really, and I'm from St. Louis, so I've been really spoiled with being in great baseball cities. And, you know, Boston is just kind of like the cherry on top of the sundae.
Q. How are you able to wind down last night after such an exciting game and such a quick turnaround for today, was it tough to do?
BILL MUELLER: Sure, I don't think you do. After the first three games, it's tough to wind down. You get this far, it's very emotional and a lot of adrenaline. So, you know, it's the same for them. It's probably one of those things that you just deal with it and you make the best of it from here on out.
Q. How would you explain both your personal success and the Red Sox success against Mariano Rivera, do you think it's just because you've played them so many times you happen to see him more than other teams do?
BILL MUELLER: I said that last night, where I think the more you face someone, I think sometimes it can help. You know, one of the things about the last three outs in the ballgame, it's a very, very tough job, and those three outs are very difficult. He's done an unbelievable job on being able to do that over the years.
I think we are just very fortunate to get some breaks and it's not like -- we have a lot of success. I think we've just been having some success at the right time. You know, yeah, I think it helps that you get to see a guy that's that talented more because we play them so much and I think that helps a little bit. But still, he's still a great, great closer and you know, it's a battle every time you face him.
Q. I'm sure yesterday is a little bit of a blur, but at what point do you remember hearing or knowing that Schilling would be able to start if there was a Game 6 and how much of a motivating lift was that when you did know?
BILL MUELLER: Well, I think -- I'm one of those guys that takes it a day at a time so, we have to win today. Until that happens, then that really doesn't play a factor into my thinking. I'm a one-step-at-a-time person and there's one big step in front of us today. So until we get past today's game with a Victory, then you can think about the next game, the following game. But until then, we have our work cut out for us today and that's what you have to focus on.
Q. You have a number of high-profile free agents to be on this team, Derek Lowe alluded to last night it being better he has his last start in a Red Sox uniform and it's conceivable it could be Pedro's tonight. Do you sense anything in the way these guys are approaching this game, is that on their minds, is it a motivational tool?
BILL MUELLER: Well, first of all, I'm not them. And second of all, I've never really been in that situation because when I was a free agent, I wasn't in a series like this.
So, I don't know, I don't know what they could be -- what could be on their minds at all. I believe that this game is very important to them and that that's all they are thinking about is winning today's game. I think that's what it takes is all of us as we have done all year long is believe in ourselves and focus on winning.
Q. You touched on this just briefly, about you becoming a one-game-at-a-time person, but what are your theories on momentum? You guys have been on a good roll for the last 60 games; was it easier coming to the park today than it was yesterday?
BILL MUELLER: Well, you have to remember, this game is built on failure, so you build on positives. So last night was a positive, so you build on it. Through the last two months of the season, I think with the things we're doing right, you just keep building on that, whether it was our offense, our pitching, our bullpen, our defense, and you just try to keep getting better at those things and any time you have success, it helps your confidence and you just keep trying to build in all of those areas. And that's the way I look at it.
Q. When you're in a situation like last night with Roberts on first in a steal situation, can you tell us what it's like to separate everything, the batting against Rivera, were you thinking about how you may in any way help get him to second base?
BILL MUELLER: Sure, any time you can, first of all, knowing a guy like that is on first base is a plus. Because you know they have to worry about him at first and now he's obviously having to worry about the person at the plate. And he -- to steal that base, I think he stole it with, it was probably about 94 up, and to be able to steal that base with that pitch was incredible. And I didn't even swerve around to bunt or distract or make any movement. I saw him leave and I was just saying to myself, "We need to get him over to second."
So for him to make it on that pitch was amazing, and then once he gets to second base, you know, my job is to get him over. Then, you know, it's a bonus if you get him in. So I was very fortunate to do both.
Q. How nerve-wracking is it when you don't have a margin for error as this team does not have right now, and conversely how much of an uplift is it when you get a win like you had last night?
BILL MUELLER: Well, you know, it's not a situation that you want to be in, believe me. So you try and be as perfect as you can, and there really is -- that's why you don't want to get in this situation because the margin for error is so small. For last night, having a victory, that's positive and emotional, and you want it to carry over and you want it to help your team today. You want all of the positives today. You want to take every advantage that you can. It's a difficult situation, but by no means that it can't be done.
Q. Stuff-wise, in Pedro's two post-season starts, have you seen him pitch any differently, has he been a little bit more amped, as they say, and what are you expecting from him today?
BILL MUELLER: You know, I expect -- any time a type of player like Pedro is on the mound, I have a ton of confidence in Pedro because he's a special pitcher.
So any time you can have a guy like that go up there and pitch, I'm very confident. And you know, I haven't seen anything different. That guy competes as hard as anybody, and, you know, I'm very fortunate to be able to play behind him because I know playing against him was very difficult, and I like my situation where I'm behind him and supporting him than facing him, believe me. He's an excellent pitcher.
Q. A lot of the statistical experts claim there's no data to support the theory that there's such a thing as a clutch hitter. Do you think David Ortiz disproves that theory?
BILL MUELLER: Well, I would hate to just put him in one category, too. I think he's an excellent hitter, a great player. And yeah, he's a clutch hitter. There's a lot of things David does right or does very good, so he's just one of those special guys that you want on your team and know that him being in the four slot, he's going to do more things right than he does wrong.
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