October 8, 2003
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Game One
Q. Do you expect to be throwing any relief this series?
DEREK LOWE: No. I think my relief days are over. It was just a crazy situation in Oakland, where they asked if I could pitch in Game 1, and in Game 5 and I said yeah. But strictly starting this series.
Q. In terms of your schedule that you would normally follow before a start, how does the relief appearance that you made in Oakland affect things; was that your regular workday?
DEREK LOWE: Yeah, that would be a regular day that you throw on the side. That's the way that you have to approach it. Obviously, game time is much better than throwing on the side. It's the same. Yesterday we came in here, worked out like it was just a regular day; did some running, did some throwing. Tomorrow night is going to be completely different. It's going to be a situation where you're going to be pitching on adrenaline more than anything, and being a ground ball pitcher and being a fastball pitcher, your arm will bounce back, and I'm just really looking forward to the challenge.
Q. You say it's strictly starting this time. Is that your choice; there's no situation that you can envision where you might be?
DEREK LOWE: No. Because you look at the way this series is set up, you pitch Game 2 and then you'll come back and pitch Game 6. And so you're not going to relieve in between games and you're not going to be able to come back on one day's rest. It's the bullpen's job and they are looking forward to the challenge.
Q. How different is it, intensity level, facing this ballclub in the regular season, as compared to in a Championship Series?
DEREK LOWE: I have never started against them, so I won't know until tomorrow night. But there's so much more on the line. Normally when we play in the regular season, it's for first place, and we all know where you go if you win this series. Historically, especially this year, the road record has not been the best. But you have to put all that behind you. They are a very tough lineup to pitch against, especially being a right-hander because you know they are going to have at least six, maybe seven left-handers. Like most teams, try to keep the top two guys off base so the middle of the lineup -- it can get hectic out there if too many guys get on base, especially against this middle lineup.
Q. Do you fall into that category of sinker-ballers? It's easier to keep the ball down when your arm is tired; and does that play to your advantage after the long series you just had?
DEREK LOWE: I don't buy that for one second. Even though you are a ground-ball pitcher you still need to feel strong. If the ball is dropping too much, it's not going to be for a strike and they will sit there and take it all day long. I like to feel strong, and I will feel strong. So good, bad or indifferent, tomorrow night, the workload I did against Oakland won't have any effect.
Q. How much did all of that work against Oakland really help you prepare for this, mentally as well as physically?
DEREK LOWE: I think Game 1 helped because I had not pitched in a long time and then the crazy thing is, people forgot that I did start at some point during Oakland. I did pitch Game 3. Game 5, I think the biggest thing that helped, it showed that you can get out of a big jam, which at some point in tomorrow night's game, you're going to have to do, hopefully not too many times. But you've proven to yourself and your teammates that you can get out of them.
Q. The pitch that you got the strikeout on, how long have you had that pitch, where did you learn it? Can you give us a little history on the pitch that you got the strikeout to end the game?
DEREK LOWE: I've been throwing it basically ever since I've started. If you watch over the course of a game, I do throw it quite often. It's just, you know, I think the magnitude of the situation, it got a lot of -- people are talking about it more than maybe they should. Because if you watch tomorrow, it's a pitch that I need to be effective being a starter. You can't just consistently throw balls away, and so that pitch running in to a left-hander is effective. I would say over the last two years, it's gotten better. The more you throw it, it gets better. Again, it's a pitch that I have thrown often as a starter.
Q. What kind of adjustments can you make to pitch better on the road?
DEREK LOWE: Just the biggest thing I think is you've got to settle down your emotions early in the game. I think that the hardest thing about pitching on the road is you can get caught up in the game. Obviously the crowd is against you. Again, I'm going to try to lean on these last weeks as much as I can to get me through tomorrow.
Q. I'm just wondering mentally, how different is it for a pitcher in the post-season where it's not unusual to have the offense tail off; do you have to bring a different approach to the game?
DEREK LOWE: Well, you know going into the game that it's going to be a low-scoring game. You don't see too many 10-9 games in the post-season, especially against this lineup and who I'll be facing in Andy Pettitte. He did win 21 games; that's not by accident. So you go into the game with the mindset that you have to grind out every pitch. That's basically what it comes down to. No matter what the situation is or if they score one, try not to let them score two. Try to keep their offense excited and wanting to score runs.
Q. What do you think will be the Yankee philosophy when they face you?
DEREK LOWE: As always, I think they are a very patient team. They are always -- they always make the pitcher throw numerous pitches. If you look over -- you're going to look up in the sixth inning, you're going to have 110, and you're not going to know where but you will have them. A low pitch count, that's important against any team, especially against the left-handers in the lineup that they are going to have. Overall it's going to be a tough challenge. I'm looking forward to it.
End of FastScripts...