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October 2, 2017

Ervin Santana

New York, New York

Q. Ervin, this is a one-game series. How will you handle that, and how will you do in the game? It is a one-game series, and it is an important game.
ERVIN SANTANA: We're just going to go out there and play as good as we can to move on.

Q. (No microphone)?
ERVIN SANTANA: I think it was the second inning Bartolo got hurt, and I was in the bullpen, and they called me up to pitch against a good team, against the Yankees. I throw, I think it was five innings, and now I'm in there opening the game. That was what I remember about it.

Q. (No microphone)?
ERVIN SANTANA: Yeah, they were good. But no nerves at all. Just trying to not think about it. Just pitch one pitch at a time, one inning at a time. Don't try to do too much.

Q. Ervin, what does it mean to you to have the honor of starting this game?
ERVIN SANTANA: It means a lot. It means a lot. It means our coaches, our team trust me to be in the big spot again tomorrow. Like I said, just going to take it like another game.

Q. Ervin, I've got two for you. Your numbers in Yankee Stadium have not always been good. What do you think about your struggles? And Luis Severino said that you and he spoke at the All-Star Game. What do you remember about that conversation?
ERVIN SANTANA: It was a good conversation.

I know how many games do I pitch here. Do you know?

Q. (No microphone.)
ERVIN SANTANA: And how many wins? So tomorrow is going to be one.

Q. Ervin, your statistics have been very consistent throughout your career. What really seemed to change this year was you gave up a lot fewer hits and fewer hits per nine innings. Can you put your finger on why that was this year?
ERVIN SANTANA: I don't know. From the beginning to now, having a good year. I can't explain it. It just goes. Not even think about that, you know. Not trying to distract everybody out. Just trying to get the ground ball.

Q. Ervin, you have a great career. Again, how well can you do in this game, and how much more did you solidify your name?
ERVIN SANTANA: Anything can happen. It's two Dominicans going at it. It's a one-game Playoff, and anything can happen.

Q. Ervin, you had a tweet this morning. Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles is not a realist with a Miracle on Ice clip. I want to ask you about that. Where did you find that quote and that clip? And also, what's the whole smell baseball thing about? Can you explain that? If you hash tagged that with smell baseball, as you do everything.
ERVIN SANTANA: Smell baseball is like the passion for the game, the game that I love since I was little. It means a lot. That tweet is, you know, just trying to be positive. Just trying to be positive and just create good things for me and for our team. So I have to look it up.

Q. Ervin, given that Jose's Playoff debut might be quite a lot like yours, coming in as relief for the ace of the staff, have you given him any advice how to approach becoming a reliever after starting his entire career, and handling a Playoff game?
ERVIN SANTANA: He was in the bullpen the other day, and he throw like an inning and a third. He did good. I told him don't try to do too much, don't try to rush. Just pitch like a normal game.

Q. Both starting pitchers are Dominican. What will you tell the Dominican people who are going to be watching the game?
ERVIN SANTANA: It's going to be fun. I know the fans are going to be split, but hopefully we both have good games.

Q. I know the Yankees have a lot of assets and great offensive players, but Aaron Judge, in particular, what challenges does he present, and how much do you appreciate a good challenge like that?
ERVIN SANTANA: The guy is huge. The guy is tall. Like he covered the whole home plate. So just have to be careful with him. Don't try to leave any cookies right there. That's what he loves. Just try to make him earn what he's going to do.

Q. Ervin, you pitched in the WBC, and that was an important game. Is this game as important?
ERVIN SANTANA: Yeah, I mean, all games are important. It doesn't matter. The WBC probably is not as important anymore because it already passed. All games are important. This game is probably just as important as any other game.

Q. In 2015, I think (no microphone) hit a home run, and you said it was a joke hitting it here. This stadium, what problems does it present? And also, the Yankees a couple years ago when you were a free agent expressed interest. Was there anything to that or any talks or anything?
ERVIN SANTANA: The ballparks are small. Balls carry here. You can see that any flyball is going to be a home run or off the wall. There's nothing you can do about it. They're not going to change it anyway. Anything I say or not say, they're not going to change it. So just have to deal with it.

Q. (No microphone)?
ERVIN SANTANA: No, nothing at all.

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