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October 8, 2016

Aaron Sanchez

Toronto, Ontario - Workout Day, Canada

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with Aaron Sanchez.

Q. You last faced Texas on that Sunday game back in May down in Texas. Anything that you can remember from that game or draw from that game you could possibly apply to help you tomorrow?
AARON SANCHEZ: I mean, I looked at video, but at the end of the day it's just going out there going and competing. Staying in the moment, having fun with it, understanding what type of game it is. But just go out there and have fun with it. That's pretty much it.

Q. Are you ready to finish this thing off?

Q. How are you feeling ahead of your first start of the Postseason?
AARON SANCHEZ: What's that?

Q. How are you feeling ahead of your first start of the Postseason?
AARON SANCHEZ: I'm excited. This is why you work so hard for moments like these, opportunities like these. And I couldn't be more prepared to come out here and try to lock this thing up for us.

Q. What did you learn about yourself in last year's Postseason performance that you can apply to tomorrow night?
AARON SANCHEZ: Yeah, I think that's huge, being able to get my feet wet in Postseason last year out of the pen was huge; just understanding that atmosphere, that it's still the same game, even though it does say Postseason on everybody's patch.

But just going out there and, like I said, staying in the moment and having fun with it. I prepared all season for moments like these and I'm excited for what's ahead.

Q. There's a lot of talk this year about all the work you did in the offseason to make yourself stronger and more durable and to carry the workload of a starter. Back then, were you thinking about a game like this, a chance to pitch in the Postseason in a pivotal game?
AARON SANCHEZ: Yeah, absolutely. And I knew what type of team we had. And going back to the trade deadline, when there was speculation about me going to the pen, that's why I was so adamant about wanting to stay in the rotation.

I knew we had something special with this club, and I wanted to be a part of it in the way that I've come up through the Minor Leagues, what I've done for the first four and a half months for this season, and I'm just happy that we're in this position to do that.

Q. We were talking to Darwin in the clubhouse just now. He said generally you guys want to get on a plane, get out of town as quick as possible. But everybody was waiting to wait last night for Francisco to get there. How good did it feel as a teammate to have him come on the flight, be able to join you guys coming home?
AARON SANCHEZ: Anytime you're out there on the field and see something like that, it's not a healthy sight. It was scary for everybody in there. We're just happy that he's okay and he made the flight with us. No problems staying.

Q. You're obviously a guy who gets a lot of ground balls. Do you think that you guys as a team are underrated defensively just because it's something that maybe is not known as part of your identity but going back to last year, when Tulo arrived, you've been one of the better defensive teams in baseball?
AARON SANCHEZ: I haven't heard that. But I wouldn't doubt our team. I think the guys we have behind me, you've got Donaldson and Tulo and Travis, who is unbelievable, and even Goins can come in, be one of the best defenders in the game. So if that's being said, it's okay. I mean, we know what we're capable of doing and we know what type of team we have.

Q. You were pretty clear in Spring Training what you wanted to do. Obviously there's been so much talk about your role throughout this season as it's gone on. Based on what you thought might happen, how does it feel to be here now knowing that you're starting a potentially series-clinching game in the playoff?
AARON SANCHEZ: Like Gibby said, it seems like it's the perfect scenario. Everything kind of laid out to the plan that we sat down and talked about. And, like I said, to be here to pitch in a game like this, I'm just blessed with the opportunity to go out there and compete.

Q. You mentioned, and John mentioned as well, that there were conversations and you were involved in those conversations about whether you were going to start or whether you were going to go to the bullpen. How much did that mean to you that the management and the front office were willing to listen to what you had to say and give you a say in the matter?
AARON SANCHEZ: That's huge. I mean, I've told these guys from the beginning: Nobody knows their selves like your own self. And for them to allow me to give input on the situation and them actually taking it in and processing it, it was huge.

At the same time I've talked about them bringing the situation up and having me talk is a good thing, because if they didn't they wouldn't care. So just even to have the talks and have me be involved was first class of this organization for that.

Q. Obviously the topic of innings limits has been a running theme all season. How do you feel physically right now, and is there any kind of Postseason limit on your innings?
AARON SANCHEZ: As far as I'm feeling, I've bounced back tremendously almost after every start this entire year. So that's been really good.

As far as innings in the Postseason, I have no idea. That's not up to me. Like I said, I've done everything that I've been told to do all year.

I've kept my body in shape to be able to do those things in case my name is called upon. And wherever this Postseason takes us, whatever they have in mind, I'm willing to do whatever it takes.

Q. This is obviously a huge game, but given that you're coming into this 2-0, is there any less pressure that you feel because of that fact?
AARON SANCHEZ: I mean, I don't want to take any game in the Postseason as pressure. It's still baseball. It's still 60 feet, six inches. You've still got to get 27 outs.

Maybe the stakes are a little higher, but you try not to put any more pressure on yourself than -- this game is crazy. And I'm sure everybody knows that. And you just try to go out there and find your state as fast as you can and try to get locked in.


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