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10/07/05 9:30 PM ET

Hernandez postgame interview

Reliever talks about advancing to League Championship

Where does this game rank with some of the other things you've done in the post season?

ORLANDO HERNANDEZ: I have had great games, post season and regular season. People just -- the post season is just highlighted more than the regular season. I would put this one with the rest of them, no different.

You performed as though you have been pitching in the bullpen your entire life. Was it tough making this transition from starting to the bullpen?

HERNANDEZ: I have been in the bullpen before with the Yankees in post season and as long as I get enough time to warm up, I'll be fine. It's a matter of warming up. If I get enough innings, I'll get ready to start the game.

Talk about this team and the guys that don't have a lot of experience and how they've done in the ALDS and moving on.

HERNANDEZ: We went out there and we had to play hard because we have a lot of respect for the Boston Red Sox. They are the defending team. The team, though, it's young, they're ready on game time. They're not that young, but when you have young players, there's no difference. I don't think they've gotten the respect the team deserves, but we've earned that respect little by little, and hopefully we will go all the way.

Everyone on the team has done everything they've got to do, defense, offense, pitching. I would have loved to be a starter in one of the opening games, but I didn't deserve it in the past or this time. As long as we keep concentrating on what our goal is and keep trying hard, we'll do well in the series.

You've pitched so many post-season games. Did that experience come into your mind and how much do you think playing in games like that helped you tonight?

HERNANDEZ: You never get used to it no matter how many games you pitch in whatever situation, you never get used to it. You have to concentrate pitch by pitch and try not to make the wrong one. The second you don't concentrate, that's when you get hurt. Every day is a different day.

Also the circumstances are what the game is in, who's on base, who's hitting, what they have been doing during that game. If people think just because you've done it in the past, you're going to do it again. The most important thing is to have a little bit of good luck.

El Duque, you come in there bases loaded, no outs, are you thinking if I get out of here and minimize the damage I've done my job or I'm shutting them down and giving them nothing, what's your mentality there?

HERNANDEZ: When I walked outside I saw the situation and the first thing was the key out. Once I got Varitek out, I knew I had a chance with the next batter.

Graffanino had a great at bat. He battled, and I have to resort to my experience, and it's kind of a gutsy call. I called for that pitch inside, and I called it. My catcher was surprised but I thought that's the only way I could get them out.

Is there a feeling that your manager, Ozzie Guillen, is also on a roll, like your team is, making the decisions and putting the guys in the right spots?

HERNANDEZ: No one believes this, but the success we have had is a lot due to Ozzie. When he makes a move, none of us complain. We stay happy, and if he brings one guy out, we don't complain. We've got to do what we've got to do. It's our job. I think the manager is respected, and that's it. I was very anxious to be pitching for him a long time ago.

El Duque, did you have the sense the game had changed when you get Damon out in the 6th? And what kind of cigar is that?

HERNANDEZ: It says "Congratulations, Chicago White Sox." He doesn't know what type it is. God willing, hopefully I'll be in the next press conference next round.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.