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Sheffield Q&A: ALCS Game 710/21/2004 2:48 AM ET
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Gary Sheffield's first season as a member of the Yankees ended in shocking fashion on Wednesday, as the Boston Red Sox defeated New York, 10-3, to capture the American League pennant and a trip to the World Series.
Sheffield went 0-for-4 in Game 7, bringing his ALCS average down to .333. Sheffield homered once and drove in five runs in the ALCS, helping the Yankees gain a 3-0 lead before the Red Sox stormed back to take the final four contests.
After the game, Sheffield spoke with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand about the stunning loss, the pitching performances of both teams, as well as what lies ahead for his Yankees.
MLB.com: What are your thoughts on the way the series ended?
Sheffield: It's very disappointing. When you think you're going to win the World Series, you don't think about the possibility of losing. We always feel like we're going to win, so that was the attitude we took. Even when we were up, 3-0, we knew it was going to be tough. They got one game, which we let slip away, then we let another game slip away. This was the result of that.
MLB.com: You've known Kevin Brown for a long time and called him a big-game pitcher many times. How surprised were you by his performance?
Sheffield: It's surprising, but that's a tough ballclub to get out. He made his pitches and guys were hitting them. In games like this, anything can happen.
MLB.com: Javier Vazquez comes in and gives up the grand slam on his first pitch. What are you thinking then?
Sheffield: We've scored six runs before. The ballgame wasn't over. It was still a long way to go, so we were just going to have to come back again.
MLB.com: How good was Derek Lowe, pitching on two days' rest?
Sheffield: He made his pitches. He kept guys off base, and when you do that, you can pitch backwards. That's what he did. Normally, he uses his sinker a lot, but he stayed away from it tonight, went with the slider. He did an outstanding job.
MLB.com: When you're down, 6-0, then 8-1, is it a feeling of stunned disbelief?
Sheffield: At first, you're stunned when you're down by that much, that early. You never thought it would be like that, especially in our home ballpark. You have to tip your cap to those guys.
MLB.com: How big was David Ortiz for them in this series?
Sheffield: He's humongous. That guy just showed what he's all about. He did everything he could possibly do in this series. When his team needed him the most, he came through.
MLB.com: Johnny Damon was having a bad series until Game 7, when he hit two homers. Was it surprising that he was their big bat in this game?
Sheffield: We knew that he's dangerous. When you can keep him off base, it deflates their offense and slows it down. Ortiz picked them up until Damon was able to come around.
MLB.com: What are your thoughts on the series as a whole?
Sheffield: It really hasn't hit me yet. The fact that we're not going to the World Series is what sticks out in my mind right now. I'm not thinking about would've or could've. I don't think like that.
MLB.com: Do you feel that the better team won?
Sheffield: No. They just outplayed us for the last four days.
MLB.com: Does this make you itch a little to get back here next year?
Sheffield: Absolutely. This is what we play for. This is why we put in the work we do all season. I'll be back, ready to go here next year.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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