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October 13, 2015

J.P. Howell

Flushing, New York - Pregame

THE MODERATOR: First question for J.P.

Q. Just kind of based on like the emails and Tweets I've gotten from fans, it seems like the fanbase is very despondent right now. What's kind of the mood in the clubhouse at the moment?
J.P. HOWELL: We know we could be in a better situation, but we're not, so all we have to worry about right now is the first pitch, and that's as far ahead as we should look. We're just trying to simplify things at this point, and we just want to get this thing back to LA.

Q. J.P., there's a segment of the fanbase certainly that looks at Clayton's record in the postseason and kind of wonders what's going on. What do you think has happened to get him to this point in the postseason?
J.P. HOWELL: Well, you know, he's to me been -- like last year with St. Louis, he was on three days' rest on that one point, had that one bizarre inning in Game 1, and you know -- Game 1 here, it's just we needed to -- we faced a stud, you know. The guy threw the ball real well. Nothing Clayton can do about that. If we could have scored a few runs, it would have been nice, but at the same time I don't blame the hitters either; they're facing one of the best pitchers in the game, for sure with some of the best stuff I've watched all year. So you gotta tip your cap sometimes also.

Q. I know obviously you want Clayton to pitch well today just to extend the series, but just on a personal level seeing how hard he works on a daily basis, how much would you want to see him do well just kind of for himself?
J.P. HOWELL: Definitely. I know he's putting himself in the best position to succeed. And you know, he does it every single day. Every game to him is a situation like this. During the course of the season, we lean on him several times, and it seems like a real gut-wrenching situation and he seems to handle it, and he'll turn the page. That's why we seem to have good runs and bad runs are stopped by Clayton.

Q. I know you say it a lot, but are you ever taken aback by how hard some of these guys throw on a consistent basis? I mean the Mets, 98, 99, does that ever kind of dawn on you just how extreme that is?
J.P. HOWELL: Definitely. I mean, it's like it's as good of stuff as you can have as a pitcher, and they're doing it and they're locating it. For me I sit back, feel bad for the guys facing them. I know they gotta go to work and it's a very tough task, and it is amazing to watch, and you know, you don't want to be on the receiving end, but at the same time you have to give respect and appreciate things like that.

Q. What was the atmosphere like last night? And when it gets that electric, can it almost help both teams?
J.P. HOWELL: Definitely. I mean, the crowd here, it was amazing, starting with the introductions. It was phenomenal. You can see the support. You know, it was like a freight train when I was out there, and at the point it was somewhat of a blowout, if you want to call it that, and they were still roaring.

So it's a crowd that brings it, and they don't need any help, but they definitely brought it last night.

Q. What's that like in the bullpen, because you guys are kind of exposed out there?
J.P. HOWELL: Definitely. It can get rough out there, man, but it's part of it. It's part of the fun. It's part of, you know, things I remember when I come to New York, I bring them with me. It's always like that. They always represent themselves with class out there, believe it or not. It's actually pretty clean, and it's a lot of fun out there. It does, gives you a lot of energy and you can see the support, like I always said.

Q. I imagine you must have heard the Chase Utley chants last night. Did you kind of feel bad for him a little bit as a teammate and especially with his family in the stands to hear that stuff?
J.P. HOWELL: Definitely. And there's no ill intentions on that, obviously. We all have heard about that. But he feels terrible. We all feel bad Tejada got hurt, and it's just an unfortunate play, and you see both sides of the story, you could see why they're upset, and at the same time I was happy with Utley's slide but I could see why they're unhappy as well.

Q. If this goes to a Game 5 you guys win tonight, it's Greinke and deGrom in Game 5. How good is a pitching matchup, as far as games you've seen for big games? Where would that match up, stack up?
J.P. HOWELL: For me, it would be up there, for sure. It's one of the -- you know, you got Zack, he's been doing his thing all year long, and you got this young guy coming in with electric stuff, and he knows what he's doing with it. And he's aggressive. So you better be ready to get it going, and as a pitcher, you know, we like that. We appreciate watching that.

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