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October 7, 2021

Framber Valdez

Houston, Texas, USA

Minute Maid Park

Houston Astros

Pregame 1 Press Conference

Q. Framber, what have you thought of the effectiveness of your change-up in your last few starts?

FRAMBER VALDEZ: I feel really good about my change-up right now. I get really good results with it. I got a lot of strikeouts IN the last few games. So I feel good about where my change-up is right now.

Q. They have so many right-handed hitters in their lineup. How do you approach a lineup like this, and what do you remember about facing them the two times you faced them earlier this season?

FRAMBER VALDEZ: I guess I still feel comfortable. I feel comfortable throwing all my different pitch selections against them. The last time out, I felt good. I felt comfortable going against that lineup. They executed on a few pitches, but I feel like I just need to make a couple little adjustments, and I'll be ready to have success against them.

Q. How crazy is it to think about how far you've come? Back in the spring, you broke a finger, and now here you're starting Game 2 of the ALDS.

FRAMBER VALDEZ: Yeah, it's kind of incredible. A lot of people would think how is that possible he goes from breaking his finger to being available for the first series of the playoffs, but it's something that I just set my mind on. I wanted to make sure that I could get back as quickly as possible to be ready to help this team out in any way I could.

That's what I've been able to do to after breaking my finger and to be the starter in the first series. Anything is possible if you believe it.

Q. You talked a lot last year about how sports psychologists helped you out in the DR last winter. Did you keep in touch with them this past off-season, and how much did you lean on them when you did break your finger and you didn't know whether you'd come back or not?

FRAMBER VALDEZ: Yeah, I stayed in contact all last year and this year as well with my psychologist, Andy Nunez, in the Dominican, and he really helped me, especially in that time when I first broke my finger because I myself had that uncertainty of maybe I'm not going to be able to pitch this year. He helped me keep my mind positive and helped keep me focused on getting better and be able to come back and be able to help this team and pitch in the playoffs this year.

Q. How does having one of the better defenses in the game affect your approach? Do you have any defensive plays from your teammates that might stand out this season so far?

FRAMBER VALDEZ: Yeah. As a pitcher, it makes you feel a lot more comfortable on the mound to have a defense like that behind you, just knowing they're going to take care of what they need to behind you, and you can focus on your plan of attack.

To have guys like Correa that's made some plays, some great plays behind me, Altuve's made great plays, Diaz, when he's at third sometimes, Gio. They've made really difficult plays, and it makes it easier on a pitcher to go out there and know that your defense has your back like that.

Q. What's your favorite thing about playing for

Dusty Baker?

FRAMBER VALDEZ: Just the positive energy that transmits to you and the confidence he instills in you and the understanding of his players, myself as a Latino as well, and just helping you understand that sometimes you're going to achieve things in the game. Sometimes you're going to fail, but he doesn't let you get too up or too down, and he transmits that positive energy at all times just to keep you focused on the task at hand.

Q. (In Spanish)

FRAMBER VALDEZ: I don't think about changing my plan of attack too much. That's where things can start going wrong for you if you start changing what's working for you. So I'm going to keep doing the same thing I have been doing this whole year, which is attacking hitters, trying to get ahead of guys, stay aggressive in the zone and throw all my pitches with intensity, but I'm not planning on changing any play of attack.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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