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October 5, 2017

Justin Verlander

Houston, Texas - postgame 1

Houston - 8, Boston - 2

THE MODERATOR: Question, please.

Q. Congrats on the win. You talked yesterday about how it doesn't matter how many times you do this, it doesn't take the nerves away, it doesn't take the anticipation away. What was it like getting out there and really getting this one going?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: It was nerve-wracking. I think once you kind of get into your routine and you're out there warming up, that part everything kind of subsides a little bit. Then right before first pitch your emotions kind of peak. Then once you make that first pitch it's kind of, Okay, let's go. I wouldn't say it subsides. It's still ever present, but you're still playing a game that you played since you were five years old. But overall, a little rusty early on, started getting a little better as the game went on. But the nerves, it doesn't matter how long you've been in this game or how many postseason starts you've had, it's going to be there.

Q. Two parts here. If you don't mind. Was it fastball command early on that you were struggling with in the first few innings and then B what was critical in the fifth and sixth innings what was key in your mind to kind of get through those so easily?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: It was fast ball control, I made some really good pitches and then just kind of was just missing as it was kind of in and out a little bit. And then which inning did Benintendi? The fifth? That one, I got to give a lot of credit to McCann, we have been working really hard on my changeup and was able to execute a good one there and get a double play. I turn around and I'm pretty fired up and I see Mac jumping up-and-down too he was just as fired up as I was. So it's nice to see your catcher be as excited as you are as a pitcher to gets out of a big inning. So I think just the fifth and sixth in general as well fastball control became better.

Q. Two parts, number one what was it like to watch Jose Altuve go to work out there and number two, what did you think of the environment in the building?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I'll starts with the environment. Just incredible. The fans here were, I mean from the moment I walked out on the field it seemed like it was just electric. Honestly to the point where I'm like, okay, just you know let's focus on what you got to do. Which is a great thing. It's a great feeling. The first inning getting out of the first, with no runs, it was the way you love to play the game of baseball. Everything mattered, it's postseason baseball they're on their feet from start to finish they're chanting, MVP, for the guy I'm about to talk about before he hits his third home run, it's exciting and it's great to be a part of a town that has embraced us this much. As far as Jose, I told him the last time I've seen three home runs in a game was Pablo Sandoval and I gave up two of them, so I'm glad there's somebody new that's done it. But the guy, Jose, he's an incredible baseball player. Against one of the toughest pitchers in all of baseball he just finds away to barrel base balls and I don't think, he's not necessarily thinking hit home runs, but he finds away to hit the ball hard and against a guy like Sale and then later in the game it's just, I had the pleasure of playing with Miguel Cabrera for a long time and it never failed how great he was, people, when we got new teammates, after a couple weeks, it never failed somebody would be like, wow, playing against him I knew how great he was but playing with him he's even better. And that's like the ultimate compliment and that's the compliment I can give to Altuve, because since I've been here, man, it's been a lot of fun to watch and he's a very special ball player.

Q. How would you pitch him?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I have. I told him -- so after he clinched the batting title or after he won it, after the last game of the season, we did a little toast to him for winning the batting title and I told him, congratulations, and, you're welcome. Because I gave a couple of those hits to him. So I feel like that was just my small part in donating to his batting title.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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