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October 7, 2002

Joe Mays


THE MODERATOR: First question for Joe.

Q. You had the short series, you were a hurt a lot of the time. You go out, get knocked around in Game 2. How is your confidence going into Game 1, being the starter?

JOE MAYS: My confidence is pretty good. I know I just didn't execute my pitches. I got the ball up. Against that team, you get the ball up, the ball flies. You know, I made a bad pitch to Chavez, made some good pitches, they hit them. Made some bad pitches, they hit them also. Got to take the good with the bad, got to take the positive out of everything. I knew I let the ball up. If I get back to throwing the way I usually do, keeping the sinker down, changing speeds by getting ahead of guys, I'm going to have a little bit of success.

Q. After Game 2, you said you were confident you were going to get another chance. Did you believe that?

JOE MAYS: Absolutely. I say what I mean. I knew we were gonna get another chance, just a matter of when. I knew if it came down to Game 5 and getting Brad back out there, that's the matchup that we wanted. He's a big-time pitcher. He has a lot of heart. He went out there and showed it yesterday. You have to give the guy credit. I know our team never gives up no matter what, if we're up or down. We continue playing the entire game, and that's what we did.

Q. Did you think you were a little too over-amped maybe in Game 2? If so, would you take any steps to avoid that in Game 1 in this series?

JOE MAYS: You know, I love throwing at The Dome. This is where I wanted to get back, get an opportunity to throw here in front of the home crowd. Back to the familiar territory. I love going out there, I feel at home out there, even though, you know, it's turf and I throw a lot of ground balls. I know the ball gets through there quick, but I have a lot more confidence out there in The Dome. You know, that Oakland team, they had a lot of guys that had upper-cut swings. I didn't match up very well with them. I went out there and tried to do my best and my best just wasn't good enough that day. Tomorrow, gonna start over. This is a whole new series. We'll see what happens.

Q. Can you talk about the Angels' line-up and what your concerns are facing them?

JOE MAYS: Obviously, Garret Anderson, he's been lifting that team quite a bit. From what I understand, this team, they have, like, different heroes every day. I mean, Spiezio, towards the bottom of the line-up, Kennedy batting at the bottom of the line-up. He swings the bat pretty well. Eckstein, he's just a pain. That's what he does, hits and runs, he bunts, puts the ball in play. He'll take one in the arm or ribs, doesn't matter. He gets on base, that's the type of guy he is. He's one of those scrappy players. You have to try to throw the ball over the plate and make them put the ball on the ground, hopefully, we can get him out. He's quick. Obviously, you look at, you know, going up and down their line-up, they got the guys that put the ball in play. They're not going strike out a whole lot of times. You don't want Glaus or Anderson to hurt you, but then again, you got to be aggressive. You can't put the guys on in front of them where they can hit the two- or three-run homer that's going to abuse you. If you go up and give up a solo, keep your chin up and get the next guy. That's basically all you can do.

Q. Would the idea be to analyze less and trust your ability, throw it a little more?

JOE MAYS: Yeah, I mean, the thing is you get out there and the noodle starts rolling and you start overthinking, you're trying to, you know, think two or three pitches ahead, whereas you just go out there and think of throwing the ball over the plate and trusting what you got. Gardy talked to me on the plane last night about going out there, trusting the stuff I have and believing in what I'm trying to do, execute the pitches instead of overthinking, trying to analyze every mistake I make. I'm trying to throw down and away, the ball starts rolling over the plate. My mind starts rolling, "What do I have to do to make the adjustment." Instead of saying, "I missed my spot. Next one's down and away." We got a great defense. We just got to utilize that.

Q. You go through an entire season as a team believing you have a good team, thinking you can win. Now having actually won a playoff series, is there any sense of, "Okay, it's true." Is there any relief to that?

JOE MAYS: No, we've always known we can go out there and win. It's just a matter of putting the team out there that we have faith in. You know, like I said, we had a great matchup yesterday with Radke going out there in Game 5. Huge game. He handled the pressure great. I never seen him throw a bigger game than what he did yesterday. Understanding that what we had to do, you know, put some runs up against Mulder and try and make him throw a lot of pitches and allow us to get into the bullpen, that's where we're going to get our damages. That's where we're going to put some damage up on the board. The faith part, we've had that all the way from spring training. Last year, we had a taste of what it felt like. This year, we knew what we had to do, stay focused for the entire season; whereas last year, we started falling off in the second half. We didn't want that to happen. We knew we had a good lead going at the All-Star break and had to continue, we had to put the dagger into everybody's back and understand what we had to do to continue the success we had, going out and playing Minnesota Twins baseball. Basically, that won us the difference.

End of FastScripts...

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