Red Sox Understand Challenges Bruins, Canadiens Face In Decisive Game 7

John Farrell, David OrtizThe Boston Red Sox were never pushed to the brink of elimination during their 2013 World Series run. Even so, several players on the Red Sox have been involved in decisive Game 7’s, meaning the club totally understands what the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are going through Wednesday at TD Garden.

The Bruins and Canadiens are wrapping up their intense NHL playoff series with a do-or-die showdown in Boston. The winner will earn a trip to the Eastern Conference finals, and the loser will go home to begin the offseason. The stakes don’t get much higher, and’s Rob Bradford caught up with some Red Sox players before their game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday at Target Field to get their two cents on what playing in a Game 7 is all about.

Below is what some Red Sox players said about playing in a winner-take-all Game 7, according to Bradford’s excellent piece.

Mike Napoli
“I know exactly what they’re going through.”

“You’re anxious because this is it. You just played every single game possible and the year is coming down to this last game. It’s cool, but I think going up to the game, you’re anxious and nervous more than any other time.”

“You’re anxious. You’re nervous. But it’s a good nervous, not a scared nervous. You just want to get it going and get there already. Building up to this time, these days, is taking so long.”

John Lackey
“There’s definitely a different feeling. Pregame, you just kind of feel it in the air. It’s a little different.”

Jonny Gomes
“It’s pretty intense. It really is. I think it’s extremely valuable to have that early in your career to see the magnitude of an error. The magnitude of an 0-2 walk. The magnitude of the game within the game and the little things within the game that help the result of the game at the end.”

David Ross
“I woke up the morning of Game 6 (of the 2013 World Series in St. Louis), knew I was catching and couldn’t each lunch. I went to Firehouse Subs, had only about three bites because of nerves and my stomach going crazy. I remember thinking I don’t know if I could take a Game 7. I wanted no part of a Game 7. Once I got on the field, I was fine, but all the pregame stuff mentally gets to you. One game, and everybody can have a good or a bad night. I don’t know if I could have taken it.”

David Ortiz
“For some reason I was too excited (before Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees). I ended up playing well, but I was worn out. My energy wasn’t there because I started thinking about it since the day before. I couldn’t sleep. There’s a lot of pressure, but you still have to go out the way you normally do and not try to overdo things. When you try and overdo things, you end up watching the game at home the next day.”

“You can hit the panic button very easy, which is something you definitely don’t want to do. It can get crazy.”

Click for Bradford’s full article >>

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