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October 30, 2016

Jake Arrieta

Chicago, Illinois - Pregame 5

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jake Arrieta.

Q. Joe was saying there are no magical speeches or anything like that before a game like this. Just amongst yourselves as players, do you guys all kind of just think to yourself about things or do you kind of get together in a group? How do you kind of go about a game like this?
JAKE ARRIETA: Well, we don't put much thought into it. We know if we lose, we go home. We've won three in a row many times this year, even more than that.

So we've got Jon on the hill tonight. I get to go Tuesday, and then Kyle will finish it off for us. So we like the way it lines up. We just obviously have to get through today before we can start thinking about anything else.

Jon's capable of beating anybody at any moment in time. He's prepared for this. And, just have to fight to win today before we can even move forward. But we know we've got a challenge on our hands, but this isn't a time of year where anything's going to come easy. We're going to have to earn it.

Q. Provided that you do have a game on Tuesday, do you approach them the same way as you did in that first outing? And how did you like pitching in that ballpark as well?
JAKE ARRIETA: I liked it fine. Obviously the conditions, it's going to be cold, probably, again like it was when we were out there last time. Yeah, I'm not really going to expose everything or the way I'm really going to attack those guys. I just want to execute with quality in and out of the strike zone, and try to get ahead in the count as early and as often as I can to open up some more options for myself.

But you know, it's just like any other game where you feel comfortable with the game plan and you go out there to do your best to follow through on the execution. So that's really the only thing that I'll be thinking about as Tuesday approaches, is just trying to be efficient. Trying to be as good as I can about moving the ball in and out, up and down and changing speeds and trying to keep those guys off balance.

Q. I know you guys are creatures of habit when it comes to preparation, but is it odd to prepare not knowing whether you're going to pitch in a couple of days? Or does that even enter your mind? How do you kind of handle that?
JAKE ARRIETA: Yeah, I mean, I'm preparing to pitch on Tuesday, and that's really it. Get the body ready. I feel great. I've recovered. I don't play catch very often right now this time of year. I'll do some stuff tomorrow, assuming we win today. Before we leave tomorrow, I'll get off the mound for 10, 15, maybe 20 pitches just to have a nice touch and feel going into Tuesday.

So you prepare as if you're going to play three more games and go from there.

Q. I know as a pitcher you have tunnel vision, you're worried about what you do, but how hard is it to do what you do when you guys maybe are struggling at the plate, when you feel like maybe you take a little more on your shoulders to try to compensate for that?
JAKE ARRIETA: Well, I don't necessarily know if we have that mindset. Like you said, we go out there and we focus on executing and trying to limit the opponent to as few runs as possible, regardless of how many we score. That's the intent. That's the mindset there is I have to take care of my end of the bargain to the best of my ability, and I know that our offense is doing the exact same thing.

Obviously, facing Kluber a couple times in this series has made it tough on us. He's been great, and on short rest he threw the ball tremendous last night. Kind of made it difficult for us to get offense going in bunches. We were able to get on the board early, but that was really the extent of it. So I think we just have to allow those guys to continue to go through their routine and prepare for games the way they have all year. Because we know that works over the long haul, and I know those guys are going to be ready tonight and on into the last couple games of the series.

Q. Last week Alex Cora, GM of Team Puerto Rico for World Baseball Classic. He told me he would love to have you on the team. Is that something that you're looking forward to doing or are you not decided if you're going to participate in the World Baseball Classic?
JAKE ARRIETA: Well, it's an honor to be asked to be a part of that. Obviously I've had some conversations with a lot of people who were looking forward to me being a part of that. But at this point in time I haven't put a ton of thought into it. I'm not certain if that's going to be something that I'll be involved in, primarily due to the extended season, obviously, playing deep into October and into the early part of November. Then the preparation it takes to get yourself ready to be pitching games, when we would typically be in Spring Training going through bullpens.

So it requires about a month more of preparation, a month earlier than typically guys are used to. So that's something that I'll have to discuss with several people, and decide if that's something I'm comfortable with doing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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