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October 9, 2004

Jeff Suppan


KATY FEENEY: We'll take questions for Jeff Suppan.

Q. Lot of family and friends on hand or will they wait till tomorrow?

JEFF SUPPAN: Actually, everyone's coming tonight, and they'll be here tomorrow also. They're very excited. They're actually just trying to leave me alone. You know, no phone calls or anything. But it's very exciting for them and myself, you know, growing up here in LA, San Fernando Valley, getting an opportunity like this to pitch.

Q. Is it a case where you would almost prefer there not be a game tomorrow and they not see you pitch?

JEFF SUPPAN: I definitely want to win this game. I think that's important. And, you know, I'm preparing as though I'm pitching tomorrow. You know, we're going out trying to win this game, absolutely.

Q. How has the layoff been for you heading into tomorrow? If you don't pitch tomorrow, how difficult will it be leading into the NLCS?

JEFF SUPPAN: The layoff right now has been fine. I've been able to throw a little simulated game, throwing three bullpens. I feel good. My legs feel good. My arm feels good. If I don't pitch tomorrow, then we'll see. I mean, it's unchartered territory for me. You know, I'm sure I'll go back and throw some more, simulated situation again. You never know what could happen. But mentally, I feel strong. I think that's part of the key, is being focused. Physically, you've gone through a whole season, you feel fine, you feel strong. Mentally, I think with a layoff, you really have to keep your focus sharp on what you have to do out there.

Q. What is your assessment of the Dodger lineup? It's been a resilient team, they've had a lot of comeback wins.

JEFF SUPPAN: They're definitely a very strong lineup. I haven't faced them this year personally, but I have in the past. And they're the type of lineup where they're capable of doing a lot of things. You know, getting on, they have some tough hitters, Izturis and Cora will batter you. They also have power and good situational hitters. It's definitely a lineup that is tough to go through. You know, like you said, they do have a lot of comeback wins. That shows a lot, you know, about them, always getting those good at-bats.

Q. Would you talk about how everything has worked out for you this season, especially the anomaly with your road record?

JEFF SUPPAN: You know, it's worked out great. It's been a great situation for me to be in, you know, with the offense. The defense, the bullpen that we have, it's really been a blessing as a starting pitcher, you know, to go out there and keep the team in the game. You come out with some wins. As far as the road record goes, it is tough to explain for me. I'm not really trying to explain it. I just went with it and it just seemed to happen. You know, I've had years where it's been the opposite. So it's a situation where, you know, maybe at the end of the season, whenever that is, our maybe in spring training, Dunc and I will sit down and talk about the situation as far as the road record. But as far as right now, it's just one of those things.

Q. Being a routine guy and never having pitched in the post-season, how difficult has this been for you?

JEFF SUPPAN: It really hasn't been difficult at all. I mean -- well, I'll take that back. The waiting is definitely always the hardest part. The excitement, you can't wait to get out there. I mean, that's how I feel. But as far as being a routine guy, I mean, I think this is where your routine is crucial. I mean, this is where you believe in your routine more than you ever have before, whether it's mental preparation or, you know, physical with bullpens and things of that nature. But, I mean, my focus has been very strong. You know, it's a situation where there's going to be a lot of excitement out there for me. Falling back on my routine, my pregame routine, I think that's going to help because it's -- I've done it before. It's my same routine I've had for a number of years. Sticking with that should help, or I hope it helps me get back to feeling like, "Hey, you know what, the excitement is over, I'm out here, pitching. What do I need to work on?"

Q. Did Tony give you any idea if you win tonight when you might be slated to pitch in the NLCS?

JEFF SUPPAN: No, he hasn't.

Q. If you get a start tomorrow, do you view it as a chance to staple down a slot in the NLCS? If you don't, how do you view that?

JEFF SUPPAN: Well, I mean, if I get that start, then, I don't know. I don't know how Tony's going to view it. If I get out there, I'm going to try to do the same things I've always done, you know, keep us in the game, try to stay in the bottom part of the strike zone. You know, hopefully help the team get that win. If I don't pitch, I don't know where that leaves me as far as the next. But anything can happen in a seven-game series. But obviously the focus is on winning tonight.

KATY FEENEY: Thank you.

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