October 5, 2004
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Game One
Q. Brad, when you signed with the team in the middle of the season in 2000, would you go over your thought process, was there any question in your mind you were not going to be signing with this team and did you ever fully realize the impact it would have on the organization?
BRAD RADKE: At that time I really didn't know what I was going to do. You know, the Twins came up with a pretty good offer, and that wasn't everything that I wanted it to be, I wanted it to be the whole package. We had a lot of good guys growing up, a lot of young talent, and you know it's just one of those things. I really didn't want to leave Minnesota. The family liked it there, I liked it there. Nice people, nice city. There was no reason to. You know, it turned out for the best.
Q. What's the team doing to help support Jacque during this difficult time?
BRAD RADKE: You know, yeah, it is a very difficult time for Jacque right now. This is what the team is for, we're there for him, it's not just all about baseball. We do have some off-the-field problems, and, you know, he definitely has our support, and I know it's tough for him. You know, I think he'll end up dedicating his at-bats for the games to his father.
Q. Can you just talk about the feeling of just pitching in a big game, just getting the ball in a big-game situation?
BRAD RADKE: I'm just happy to be a part of this team right now. You know, especially over the last couple of years, we've done a lot. You know, just being out there in a playoff atmosphere and a playoff game, it's unbelievable and it's going to be a lot of fun.
Q. Could you have imagined as well as you've pitched this year that you would only have 11 wins?
BRAD RADKE: It's baseball. You know, as well as I've pitched, I expected some more wins, but it's just not an individual sport. It's a team sport and as long as the team wins the game while I'm out there, it's just as good as me getting the win myself.
Q. After being the team's ace for several years, have you felt any difference now that Santana has emerged in being kind of the number two guy, is there any less pressure or anything like that on you?
BRAD RADKE: Not really. Shoot, the way Johan has been pitching this year, it's been fun to watch. I'm glad he's stepped up and has become the ace. He's unbelievable. Everybody in this room knows that, too. I mean, he's a typical ace. He throws hard, strikes out a lot of guys, and that's what an ace does.
Q. You've faced these guys twice this year and shut them down pretty well both times. I'm wondering whether you think that that can carry you over to a start like tomorrow, or whether you view the post-season as completely different from any regular season games that you might have had against them.
BRAD RADKE: It's a little different. The adrenaline is flowing a lot more. You know, the key to my success is just taking easy. Try not to get too hyped about the game. Just go out there and pitch my game. I faced him twice during the regular season. Just last week, I faced him. No, the approach will be a little different, I think, than what it was last week.
Q. After Tom Kelly being the manager for so long, was there any apprehension switching, after one guy for so long?
BRAD RADKE: I don't think so. When T.K. was around, he was a great manager for the young guys. Once Gardy took over the team, the guys were a little older and they knew what to expect of themselves. You know, we just put it all together and Gardy has done a great job for us.
Q. When you pitched against the Yankees last week, given that you did not need to win, did you hold anything back so that they couldn't study you and do anything to prepare for this time?
BRAD RADKE: A little bit here and there. You know, a pitcher goes out and pitches to his strengths. You know, as the game goes along, you might need to change a few things. You know, I kind of went after the guys pretty much the same. Some at-bats and then different some at-bats. I didn't want to give them a look, you know, to where I wanted them to think it would be the same. It's probably not going to be the same. It will probably be a little different.
Q. You've said twice that the approach might be different. How do you change your approach when you throw certain pitches; so what would be the difference in the approach? Not that I'm asking you to reveal how you're going to do it, but generally, how do you change an approach?
BRAD RADKE: Counts. Just throw a different pitch here, different counts. It just might change a little bit. But for the most part it probably won't change that much. You know, guys on base, it just depends on how the game is going and how the game is going. I'm just going to take each hitter, how he is and look at his weakness and go with some of my strengths.
Q. Pitching in so many low-scoring games, especially down the stretch, does that do anything to help prepare you for playoff events, knowing the chances are, when you go out there, it's going to be a game where every pitch counts?
BRAD RADKE: Yeah, for sure. I think early in my career, pitching with this club really helped me become a better pitcher because I knew we were not going to score a lot of runs. I had to go out there and pretty much shut the opponent down. I think that was a big part of my career, and especially this year, we can score some runs. It was tough this year and I think it will help me out going down the stretch.
End of FastScripts...