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October 7, 2019

Justin Verlander

Houston, Texas - postgame 3

Tampa Bay - 10, Houston - 3

Q. Justin, AJ just announced you'll start game 4. Have you been in a situation like that before, in the last few years? And obviously you've been in just about every situation, but what's the thought process on short rest?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I haven't. Closest we came was out of the bullpen a couple years ago in Boston. I mean, the thought process is five-game series are pretty crazy and we've got to win. Never know what can happen. You can't put all your eggs in one basket and say, If we lose tomorrow, we've got Justin and Gerrit on game 5. It's a crazy game.

The last couple days, I've felt pretty good. AJ and I have been discussing it. He made the call.

Q. Justin, AJ was asked why you in game 4. He said you're one of the best pitchers in the world. It's a little more complicated than that. Thoughts about that?

Q. You're one of the best pitchers in the world and it's no more complicated than that when you're going to game 4.
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I mean, thank you. That doesn't have much of a bearing on tomorrow. So just looking forward to getting a good night's sleep tonight, going tomorrow and going into my routine.

Q. Regarding that routine, is it difficult not knowing the game time with much advance notice for tomorrow?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Is the game not at 4:00 tomorrow?

Q. It could be at 7:00. If the other series goes.
JUSTIN VERLANDER: No, doesn't change anything. As long as it's not going to be at 1:00. 1:00 to 7:00 spread, not knowing what time to wake up. No, not difficult at all.

Q. Justin, obviously, a very good Rays team. You had some issues with them early in the season. What makes them so unique or challenging, whether it's how they handle their bullpen, just the type of ball they play that you guys have seen in the series?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I mean, there's a lot of different ways to answer that. I think their lineup is scrappy and can find more than one way to beat you. Their rotation is tough. And then their bullpen can match up with just about anybody's weaknesses. So put that all together, and it makes it difficult on the opposing team.

Q. Justin, what you saw today different from what you saw from the Rays in the last two games?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: They scored a lot more runs.

Q. Justin, you've seen Charlie pitch plenty of times. I mean, were you not surprised at him today, kind of the bulldogish-ness there?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Not surprised at all. Charlie showed all of the Astros what he can do, and I think there's no surprise. He's been tremendous in some games when it's all on the line, and so I don't think anybody was surprised that he came out with great stuff today and picked those guys up.

Q. Justin, we've asked you these kinds of questions before, how special is it to get the ball in a situation where you can close it out for your team?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I mean, it's a special opportunity. That guarantees nothing, though. So, I mean, I think you approach it like you would any other playoff start. Kind of knowing what to expect. See what you got from there.

I think it's nice to know that if everything doesn't go well, we also have Gerrit Cole the following game. So I mean, that's a pretty great luxury to have.

I'm going to approach it just like the first game and a lot like any other playoff game I've ever pitched, which is kind of in my gut. It feels like a win-or-go-home game.

Q. Justin, what stands out to you about your history in this ballpark and what do you think about pitching here?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I don't know a ton about my history here. I think I've had some good ones and some bad ones, just about like everywhere else. I remember going up against David Price in '12 and we were both competing for the Cy Young. That was fun.

Some flukey games. The first batter I faced this year, Meadows, I gave up a home run to. Pitched pretty well after that. Flukey things happen here sometimes. A little bit difficult with the enclosed roof and the way it's structured. When it comes down to it, the pitching mound is 60 feet 6 inches away.

On the road, it's just a different crowd, different atmosphere, but I'll be prepared. I've done both before.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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