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October 12, 2002

Kevin Appier


THE MODERATOR: First question for Kevin Appier.

Q. What can you take out of Game 1 that might help you this time around?

KEVIN APPIER: Well, of course, that much more experience against them. There wasn't too many surprises in that game. They battled just like we thought they would and spit on pitches that were close. They're kind of tough from that aspect also, is that they'll be really patient on pitches that are close but as you start being too aggressive, next thing you know, they're hacking and putting all kinds of balls in play. It's definitely playing a feel-as-you-go-type thing out there.

Q. John Lackey was saying yesterday he's kind of turned to you as one of the veteran guys, when he has questions, he'll go to you first. What do you think of his progress, the way he's done so far since he got called up this year?

KEVIN APPIER: He's been awesome. First of all, he has a definite better presence than you would expect from a guy that is just coming up. He was extremely good about picking our brains and not just me, but me and Aaron and Jarrod. We've tried to help him out, but really there hasn't been all that much to help him with. He's been much further progressed than you would expect. Yeah, we still throw some stuff at him here and there.

Q. When two teams see each other as often as you guys have the last few days, who does that give the advantage to: The pitchers or the hitters?

KEVIN APPIER: I have no idea (laughing). I've seen it work both ways, so really I just say, most times it cancels it out. It definitely eliminates some of the mystery type thing, and it comes more down to who executes better. But, yeah, I don't know who's favored really. Hopefully us, in any situation (laughing).

Q. As you've been watching the last couple games, have you seen anything about the Twins' hitters that you may say, "I won't do this next time I throw against them," or, "Maybe I can get Ortiz on a certain type of pitch?"

KEVIN APPIER: Well, no matter how much you study and see, the longer you see them, you can still possibly pick up things. I've learned a couple things, but, obviously, it's not something I can tell you (laughing). But not a whole lot, but, yeah, a little additional stuff.

Q. What is a pregame routine like for you? How do you prevent yourself from getting too excited before a big game?

KEVIN APPIER: Just preparing the same exact way. I mean, you don't have to worry about, like, building adrenaline or anything because it's obviously going to be there. As far as concentrating on not getting too pumped up, that type of thing, the first time I was in the playoffs, I really had to concentrate on that, on settling myself down. This time around, I haven't had that issue. I've been at real good levels like that. But anyway, my preparation stays exactly the same. I stay with the same routine. I won't go into the whole thing, but it's identical to what I do during the season. That's one of the things, like we've been saying, it's, "Same old game." Games mean more, but you're doing everything you could during the regular season, so you shouldn't change now.

Q. Can you just expand on that routine just a little bit?

KEVIN APPIER: (Laughing) like eating and studying and stuff like that?

Q. Is that what you do?

KEVIN APPIER: Yeah, it's nothing major. But, yeah. I mean, I definitely -- like pregame meal and stuff like that, I do my stuff, studying, going in. I studied a little bit between start days, too, but on start day, I have a specific routine I do, studying tapes and stuff like that.

Q. What kind of luxury is it for your rotation to have the kind of bullpen that your team does?

KEVIN APPIER: It's incredible. Obviously, as a starter, you hope to go deep into a game, even finish a game. But in the case that you don't, you have extreme confidence in these guys coming in. I mean, if the ball is turned over, yeah, you're looking at who's coming in, they're all extremely talented and all extremely proven, except for that of Frankie, and you've seen what he's done. He's getting to that point of being rather proven incredibly quick. We're extremely fortunate to have them down there. They've just been tremendous this year.

Q. If the Angels clinch it today, tomorrow it's on your shoulders. How does it feel?

KEVIN APPIER: It's kind of putting the cart before the horse. I'm definitely aware of the different situations going into tomorrow. We'll see where we're at tomorrow, and I tell you what, if we're in a position to get it tomorrow, that would be incredible. But, obviously, today, we got to worry about today.

End of FastScripts�.

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