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October 19, 2015

Jacob deGrom

Chicago, Illinois - Workout Day

Q. Obviously the two starts against the Dodgers were very different. Can you kind of contrast what you had in this game? I think Jason asked Terry, was the second one more impressive in some ways than the first one?
JACOB deGROM: Yeah, I think so. The first game I felt really good out there. I felt like I had control of all my pitches and was willing to throw them at any time.

The second game, that one was tough. Didn't have any fastball command, and I think my curveball was my best pitch. So the second game was definitely a battle. I feel like it was more impressive just because it wasn't easy. When you have your best stuff, it's a lot easier to pitch.

Q. What are the unique challenges of pitching at Wrigley Field?
JACOB deGROM: I don't know. It's windy here. The ball carries pretty well. So I think going into this, my game plan's going to be try to get a lot of ground ball outs.

Q. You pitched in two huge games in the last series, another big one tomorrow night. I'm just wondering, how much fun is it to pitch in games of this magnitude when everybody's watching?
JACOB deGROM: It's a lot of fun. That's what we play for. We play to get this chance, and you never know how many times you're going to get it. So when you get this chance you want to make the best of it.

Q. How accustomed are you to the infielders shifting behind you, depending on the batter and the count, and how much do you think that helps your final results?
JACOB deGROM: Yeah, I mean, that helps. You've got a guy who pulls the ball a lot, and there is no reason to leave the guys on the other side of the infield, move them over there and hopefully it fits into that shift.

Q. Do you think it's easier for you, as a younger pitcher, that you've grown up in the Major Leagues?
JACOB deGROM: Yeah, I think so. They were doing it last year and stuff, so I think being more used to it versus if you weren't used to it, and they do get a hit the other way, then you're kind of a little upset about it. But I think having that done last year and this year, I'm fine with it.

Q. You guys have all kind of pitched more than you're used to in your career to get to this point. Is there some way to battle that fatigue? Do you feel fatigue more this time of year or do you feel it less because of the adrenaline and stuff?
JACOB deGROM: I felt fine the whole time. The adrenaline definitely helps. This is the most I've thrown in a year. It's tough to say if I had this many innings in the regular season how I'd feel. But I think playoff time, the adrenaline definitely kicks in.

Q. Do you let yourself embrace that adrenaline? Like your last start, when you don't have your best start, how much does just that buzz getting through knowing it's a big spot?
JACOB deGROM: Yeah, I think that helps out a lot. It's easier to stay out there and keep fighting whenever you have that much adrenaline.

Q. Is this a place that you're excited to see for the first time? What was your first impression of Wrigley Field?
JACOB deGROM: Yeah, I was definitely excited to see it. Last year was my first time here, and it's definitely a cool place to play.

Q. Obviously you talked about your two starts in the NLDS and how you had to fight through that second one. Does that outing give you a little more confidence heading into this one, knowing that you might not have your best stuff, but you can soldier through it?
JACOB deGROM: Yeah, it definitely gives you some confidence, knowing that I was able to pitch without my best stuff.

Hopefully tomorrow I have my best stuff, but if not, I think I'll be able to keep us in the ballgame.

Q. You've faced these guys twice earlier this year. What were the takeaways you took from those games? What are the things you've looked back on?
JACOB deGROM: I haven't looked back at it too much. I know they weren't very good starts. I'm going to flush that and I know this is the playoffs, so it's going to be a good start for me.

Q. Is that normal for you to usually not look back?
JACOB deGROM: Normally when I look at stuff, I try to look at the good things. When I watch video, I try to watch the good starts so I can see how my mechanics are in those. Every once in a while I'll look at video starts that I struggled, and sometimes in those there is no mechanical problems, it's just didn't have good stuff that day.

Q. Can you share some areas or ways in which your pitching coach, Dan, has had the biggest impact in your career thus far?
JACOB deGROM: Even in the second start against the Dodgers, I think the fifth and sixth innings are when I felt the best. He noticed I was leaning a little bit and kind of rushing towards the plate, things like that during the game, insights. He notices the smallest things and helps you adjust kind of on the fly.

Q. Back to what Matt was just talking about a second ago, especially that first start against the Cubs this year, it was right before you went on that really fantastic tear and made some mechanical adjustments. So when you think back on that start, was it more you were a little bit out of whack than anything else?
JACOB deGROM: I honestly don't know. I just feel like I probably left some balls in the middle of the plate that got hit pretty hard.

Q. Going back to that though, there was a period where you were kind of struggling and you made some adjustments at that time, correct? What is the difference between then and now for you mechanically?
JACOB deGROM: I think I'm a little bit -- I can repeat my delivery a little bit better now than I was earlier on in the year. We made some adjustments to where that front shoulder was leaning down instead of staying level over the rubber. So I think in those starts I was getting beside the ball and it was staying flat in the zone instead of on top of it with good down movement?

Q. You didn't want to be skipped at the end of the season, but do you think that helps you?
JACOB deGROM: I don't think it hurt me, but who knows. I would have liked to have stayed pitching, but that's over with.

Q. 2-0 series lead, chance to go 3-0. How confident is that clubhouse right now? Are you guys a little weary because you know how good the Cubs are or are you just confident in your stuff?
JACOB deGROM: I think we have a lot of confidence going into this game. We matched up well against two great pitchers and we got a chance to take a 3-0 lead tomorrow. The guys are putting up runs for us, and our job is just to keep it close and let them do what they've been doing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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