Q. Just curious, with all that David Ortiz has done through five games, win or lose this series, do you think he's the MVP? Is that clear?
JOHN FARRELL: He's having a great series. The one thing we won't do is get too far ahead of ourselves, whether that's what we achieve collectively or what any individual's performance suggests. But he's in a really good place, obviously.
Q. Can you talk about the obvious question, what it means to be one game away from winning the World Series?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, provided we win one more. The fact is we're going home. Going back to a place that our guys love to play in, in front of our fans. This atmosphere here, these three games has been phenomenal. We know it's going to be equal to that, if not better. And we're excited about going home in the position we are.
Q. Given the pivotal nature of this game, the fact you're on the road, is this as big a game Lester has ever pitched?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, he was pretty good in Game 4 back in 2007. But given the stage, given how strong he's been throughout the course of this year, and particularly the second half and what he's doing in his own right career‑wise in the postseason, yeah, this was a big game. For him to go out and pitch like he did against a top‑flight starter in Wainwright, himself.
We talked before the game, we felt this was going to be a classic pitcher's duel; it was shaping up that way. Fortunately we were able to break through in the seventh inning. Jon Lester was fantastic tonight.
Q. Did both Lester and Ortiz injure themselves?
JOHN FARRELL: No, David ‑‑ he's been running the bases a lot, thankfully. But, no, we wanted to get him off his feet after that inning. We sent him back out for the 8th in Ortiz, just so we could double‑switch with Uehara coming in there. But he's fine.
Jon, you know what, end of the season, he's battled a little bit of back tightness, and that started to gradually come on a little bit more. You could see his reaction after he'd throw a pitch. There was a little bit of gathering after each pitch. Great job by him tonight.
Q. How hard a season has it been for David Ross, the concussion, the time he missed and trying to stay sharp with not a whole lot of at‑bats and playing time?
JOHN FARRELL: He missed two full months or more. And it took him probably 25 at‑bats once he was activated to finally get his timing. And once he's gotten it, he's swung the bat through the month of September and in the postseason better than anytime in the year.
He came up big tonight. He does such a great job of running the game. The key double in that seventh inning for the go ahead run. We've talked a lot about how he and Jon have worked well in the last six or seven times they've paired up. But he was big for us tonight.
Q. Can you talk about Uehara, please?
JOHN FARRELL: As we've said, every time he walks to the mound, it's one of the most calm innings that we'll watch, regardless of the stage, regardless of the importance of the game. He gets a quick strikeout of Adams, which kind of helps conserve the number of pitches he's got to throw overall. And on the third consecutive day, we felt like four outs was probably the max for him. Still he's been outstanding.
Q. Piggybacking off the previous question, can you talk a little about how Ross has complemented Lester? And also he's been your starting catcher in the three wins. What has he meant to the club overall?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, as we talked about offensively, he's given us a little bit of a spark in there. He can do some things: He'll draw the third baseman in with an attempted bunt. He's come up with some big hits in this series and against Detroit. But more importantly the rapport that he and Jon have continued to refine as we've gone through this postseason, you know, is the reason why we've won the games in which he started and they've worked great together.
Q. Did you see any clues either before the game or early in the game that Lester was going to throw as well as he did?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, the clues have been every time he's walked out in the postseason. That's the clue we look at. And he's been on a great run, particularly this entire second half. And he's maintained his strength. That's probably the biggest thing. He's done such a great job at his work in between starts to maintain the durability and strength overall. And it was evident here tonight.
Q. In your half of the seventh, any circumstances in which you would have pinch‑hit for Lester?
JOHN FARRELL: No. No. Even if that game was tied. Where his pitch count was, as effective he was, we were looking for at least one more inning. We were able to do that. Fortunately, again, David Ross comes through big for the go‑ahead run.
And didn't think about bunting him to try to safety squeeze. We saw what the bunt attempt was in the previous at‑bat. Jacoby comes up big with the insurance run there.
Q. Not so much as a manager but as a former pitcher, you talked about a classic pitcher's duel. What do you think about the job they both were able to do on this stage?
JOHN FARRELL: You know, if you're a purist of the game, you watch how they execute. When you consider the two tandems, Yadi and Wainwright, obviously they've had tremendous success. And to see them attack our hitters with different sequences, much like David and Jon did on our side, you really take a lot of, I think, gratification in watching two guys really at the peak of their game pitch as effectively and consistently given the circumstances. Just an outstanding game on their part, as well.
Q. In this postseason by anyone's measure, you've now beaten several of the top pitchers in baseball, despite not really hitting like you have during the season. What do you attribute that to?
JOHN FARRELL: The character of our team. The one thing that we've seen repeatedly throughout the course of this year is the awareness inside the game, the will to succeed, the desire to compete have been present with this team from day one. And we went through a stretch where left‑handed starters gave us trouble, and then we got Price and Moore and continue on down the list. They find a way. The one thing that we tried to establish in Spring Training, the most important thing is the game tonight and how we put together a game plan to win. And I think we're seeing that against top‑flight pitching throughout the season.
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