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October 22, 1997

Orel Hershiser


Q. Orel, from Game 1 to your start tomorrow, what kind of adjustments do you think you'll have to make to take care of the Marlins?

OREL HERSHISER: You know, I don't know if I'll make that many adjustments other than just try and pitch a little better game to a better location, I don't think strategy will change that much, I didn't get to expose that much because I only pitched a four and a third. It wasn't like I went around the line-up two or three times and was very, very successful that I had to now change my tactics to be looking for that. So my basic strength is a good sinking fastball and a breaking ball and change up. Hopefully I'll be able to have those and have good location and that will work a lot better.

Q. Do you see any parallels with the situation here in '95, you didn't feel you pitched as well as you could?

OREL HERSHISER: In '95 I pitched both, for I think, 6 innings, and I had the control problem in the 7th against McGriff and Justice, I walked them both. And I got taken out of the game. And they had the bunt play and scored some runs with a squeeze and sack fly. I felt the ball pretty good the other day other than that lapse in control. Emotionally, yes, maybe, you want to just come back and do well. I said something the other day, somebody said my ERA and statistics in the first game of playoffs is not as good as it is the second time around, so that's encouraging, I don't think we always perform to our resume, we're part of the human race and we continue to have to go out and do our best and we just go from there.

Q. Orel, what effect, if any, does cold weather have upon you?

OREL HERSHISER: Well, cold weather makes it hard to grip the ball. I think one of the keys in cold weather is to start off as good as you can, because it's hard to make adjustments in cold weather. But if you can get into a good basic rhythm early and don't have to make adjustments, then it can just kind of flow out of your body and you don't have to sit there and dabble or finesse. I think that -- that would be a key to really get things working in the bullpen and not really leave the bullpen, just getting loose and think you're getting in your game, but get it together in the bullpen and try to take that into the game. If you get to the mound and you're missing or having trouble with your breaking ball or change up, it gets hard to make adjustments in the cold weather because the grip and the feel, it's just strange and different.

Q. Orel, speaking about gripping the ball in cold weather, do you tend to hold the seams any differently than you would, could you speak about that?

OREL HERSHISER: You might change your grips during the game. When the ball gets slippery it's better to take more of the ball. And when it's tacky and humid like it was in Miami, you can take less of the ball and spin the ball more. We could do a little clinic on pitching, but your arm speed can either go completely into velocity of the ball or you can take a percentage of that arm speed and put it into the spin of the ball. I like to try and equate my pitches to how much of my arm speed is going into velocity and how much of it is going into spin. The smaller amount of ball I take the more of my arm speed is going into spin and taking speed off the ball, and the more ball I take it puts more velocity on the ball and less spin or less break. If I'm trying to cut the break down I take more ball, or if I can't grip it I have to take more ball. It does cut back on your movement when you have to take more ball because the ball is slippery, and it will cut down on your movement and being able to put different rotations on the ball.

Q. What impressed you about the Marlins?

OREL HERSHISER: Well, I think they come to play, like the two teams that we have beaten already, the Yankees and the Orioles, they're a very professional club. I'm impressed with how they came back, just like how our club has come back, in Game 1 our club brought the tying run to the plate the 8th and 9th inning. I thought that was a very exceptional sign of character. When their club was down 7-3 and then Eisenreich got the homerun and came back, and the way they hung in there and didn't give in, that's an exceptional character trait again on their part. I think both clubs are battlers, and I think I'm most impressed about their club that they don't give up and keep pushing.

Q. Orel, how important is it for the Indians to leave Cleveland and head back to Florida with a 3-2 series?

OREL HERSHISER: If we have to go back there and sweep them in Miami. If we have to go back and win one of two, that would be outstanding. But I don't think this club will die until it loses its fourth game, that is just the way this club plays. We've had our back against the wall with the Yankees and won two in a row. Even when we were up 3-1 with Baltimore people didn't give us a chance, they expected us still to lose. And then 3-2 they expected us to lose both games in Baltimore, and Tony hit the homerun. So I don't expect this club -- if this club ever had to show up in a locker room down 3-1 to the Marlins, I would not expect them to approach it any differently, other than it's another do-or-die game, and we're going to show up and give our best. So this is not the kind of ball club that's going to give up at all.

Q. Orel, how were the conditions during batting practice and was it anything close to unplayable?

OREL HERSHISER: I heard an announcement on the PA they're switching the 5th inning drag to a 5th inning plow. And they're thinking about bringing in salt trucks. It was snowing pretty heavily out there. And they were starting to stick in our gloves. It was sticking on the warning track but not on the grass yet. So it was not quite as cold as last night. Actual temperature was probably cold, but it wasn't as windy. So the players were saying generally it wasn't as cold as last night yet. They could tell it was colder degree-wise, but without the wind it felt okay so far.

End of FastScripts....

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