MODERATOR: Take a first question for Kevin Appier.
Q. Just sort of reading between the lines of what Mike had said, he sort of indicated that you were focused a lot in your last start on hitting tendencies on the other team, maybe not enough on you. Was there overanalysis in that start, on your part?
KEVIN APPIER: It may have appeared that way, you know, my preparation. Actually, it was just the same level preparation. I wasn't as familiar with them as I was other teams that I had faced during the year. So, it took a little more tape watching, scouting report stuff, to get to that same level. As it turned out, though, the game plan still wasn't great. But it wasn't mostly at fault. Most of it was just my execution on really just a few pitches that wasn't good. They did a great job of taking advantage of it.
Q. Was there anything mechanical that was off the last game? How did you prepare differently? Did you watch more tape? Did you sit back and watch the tendencies? Anything you did between starts?
KEVIN APPIER: Actually, I did have some mechanical things. It was very slight. I didn't notice at all until watching the tapes. I was just leaking out just a touch. I was a little bit quick sometimes in the stretch, and also my back step and my wind-up was throwing me off a little bit. But they were very slight. Also, in combination, I wasn't extremely flat that day, but my stuff was a little flat, not from being fatigued at all, but one of those days that just happens to pitchers. You know, I feel strong. Hopefully, my stuff has really good life and my command's a lot better.
Q. In the overall scheme of everything you do or have done as a player, how important is winning the World Series? Would you feel any less fulfilled if you don't?
KEVIN APPIER: Well, absolutely. I mean, obviously, just getting here is a huge accomplishment for us. Every player coming in here has the dream of winning at least one World Series. It's taken me a long time to even get here. Yeah, it will be disappointing, extremely disappointing, if we wind up not being able to do that. We know we're backed into a corner now. We're facing a heck of a good team. But we still have confidence that we can possibly pull it off.
Q. What did you learn about their hitters from your first start?
KEVIN APPIER: They confirmed that they're really good (laughter). You know, especially now. We knew whoever we were facing was going to be hot. A lot of what makes this team the team they are is their offense. They have obviously shown that in the series. Everybody, one to nine, one to eight, probably even their pitchers, one to nine, in this ballpark especially, can hit the ball very well and has power, not to mention they can string together a bunch of hits against you, too. The depth of their lineup has been really confirmed the most. They're disciplined, but at the same time, they're hacking if you leave the ball over the plate. They're tough to face.
Q. Does it give you a measure of confidence knowing that five teams have come back from 3-2 at home since 1985?
KEVIN APPIER: I didn't know that, but that gives us more, now that you said that (laughter). Obviously, we think that it's quite possible for us to still be able to pull it off. Yeah, maybe that adds a little bit more to it. Thank you (smiling).
Q. How do you approach an elimination game? Have you ever been in this situation before, at any other level?
KEVIN APPIER: Well, I came in relief Game 5 in post-season. That's the closest that I would come to this. I pitched four innings there. But as far as preparation, you're doing everything you can do before, so you don't change your approach. You know the situation is do or die. You know, hopefully, everything works out for us.
End of FastScripts...