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October 18, 2016

John Lackey

Los Angeles, California - Pregame 3

Q. I think you were 24, you had just turned 24 when you started Game 7 in '02. With that in mind, how do you think -- what's going through the mind of Julio Urias who just turned 21 and is going to make his first postseason start tomorrow?
JOHN LACKEY: Sometimes it can be good to be young. You don't know what you're getting into. You can just go out there and let your talent take over. And, obviously, he has a lot of that. It's a new situation for him. Back then I was just worried about, you know, not messing it up for the older guys more than anything.

Q. Can you talk about how your mindset has changed over the years about postseason games from back with the Angels to today?
JOHN LACKEY: I mean, I've been in several of them, but I had a long break in between World Series, so you realize how special they are and how hard it is to get there and how meaningful those games are for sure. They're tough to get to, and they're tough to win.

Q. I don't think you pitched against the Dodgers this year, but had success against them last year in a playoff game with the Cardinals the year before. Kind of different lineups or does having pitched against them fairly recently help you at all?
JOHN LACKEY: Not really. It's going to be a new challenge. It's going to be a new game. Obviously we're playing here. I think I pitched against them in St. Louis a couple years ago in the playoffs. But you've still got to execute pitches. One game doesn't really affect the other.

Q. Will you talk about the difference in the ballpark that you remembered from pitching in daylight and nighttime, or did you not have enough experience to know any of the difference in the two here?
JOHN LACKEY: It's real similar to Anaheim. The ball definitely travels better during the daytime, especially the warmer it gets. But a really good place to pitch usually at night here. So, obviously I've pitched here several times. I feel pretty comfortable here. You've really got to fight through tough weather out here. It's a really rough one (smiling). So it will be nice.

Q. Joe mentioned yesterday that you might still be getting stronger and sharper since coming back from your injury. Do you feel like that's been the case the last several weeks for you? And how has that process been to build back the arm strength?
JOHN LACKEY: I feel like physically might be getting stronger, but as far as pitching once every two weeks the last couple times is not ideal sometimes. But it is what it is. I'm going to go out there, get after it, and try to execute some pitches.

Q. Is there any sort of unique challenge to pitching to a lineup that is so completely stacked with left-handed batters?
JOHN LACKEY: You can look at it two different ways. You can approach them all the same way. You're executing the same pitches quite a bit because they're having to go back and forth from left to right, left to right. But you've also got to mix things up because you don't want the guy -- how you face the guy in front of the guy on deck, he'll obviously be watching that. So you've got to change up sequences and that sort of thing.

Q. You don't strike me like a guy that's on the analytic websites all the time. But they say your slider is much better this year than previous years. Did you change anything with how you've thrown it? Has it felt more effective to you?
JOHN LACKEY: There probably wasn't analytics early on when it was pretty good too (laughter). But, no, I have no idea about any of that. I don't. Yeah, honestly, I don't even know any numbers behind it.

Q. Is there a guy in their lineup that you pay particularly close attention to, maybe a guy that you really don't want to beat you?
JOHN LACKEY: Usually, I mean, that's pretty much every start. You pick a guy that's hot recently, usually, and if a situation comes up, you might pick the guy on deck. Might pitch around some people. Especially here in the National League when you've got a pitcher sitting down there, things are a little bit different, for sure.

Q. Do you still go back to that '02 World Series experience too much or do you have too many other things have happened since then that you've kind of put it away?
JOHN LACKEY: No, I haven't thought about that in years. At this point in my career, you've got to put in the work, you've got to put in the time. I don't got time to think that far ahead. I'm thinking ahead, and those are things maybe I'll check out a video when I retire in a few years.

Q. You said sometimes it may be better to be young. But how does experience help and how does that manifest itself in a game like this? Is it just being able to stay calm having been through it? How does the experience help you on the mound?
JOHN LACKEY: Probably with the stuff outside the game, there's a lot of like doing this kind of stuff the day before your start that you don't have to do in the regular season. There might be -- if you're pitching on a day where there are flyovers and the extra time in between innings, just knowing how to handle those sort of things and kind of slowing the moment down a little bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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