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October 2, 2006

Nate Robertson


Q. Nate, I know you are excited individually being in this position, starting this game. Are you also surprised?
NATHAN ROBERTSON: I am not surprised. There's a couple of scenarios that we're going to play out, obviously, with our results this past weekend, and this being one of them, coming in here starting Game 1, if we were in this situation, and that's the situation we're in. The other one was maybe going Game 3 against Oakland, if we had gone that route.

Q. What do you think is the biggest difference in you between the start of the season and right now?
NATHAN ROBERTSON: Well, the biggest difference is that we're in the Playoffs now; we weren't then. And there was the expectations. I think we felt as a team, not just myself, that we had the talent to get into this position. But the duration and the structure that we have gotten from Leland in bringing it all together, just kind have come to fruition, and now it's time to enjoy it.

Q. When you faced the Yankees earlier this year they had a couple of guys missing from time to time. Everybody is back. What goes through your mind when you see the lineup you have to face tomorrow night?
NATHAN ROBERTSON: It's real tough choices over there in that line-up, when you are replacing guys that can hit the ball out of the park with guys that already do. I have faced all of them at one point, so it's having an idea of what I want to do, and going out there with a game plan. Ultimately it's the execution, what I am trying to do, and I don't know exactly what lineup is going to be out there, but you know, it's respecting the guys that you got to play against, but going in there with an attitude of "I can get this job done."

Q. How difficult is it to turn off one season and start a season like you have never played before?
NATHAN ROBERTSON: Well, you know, for guys that have been in this position before it's probably a little bit easier just because with the experience you learn, and this is the first time not just for me but for a lot of the other guys in that clubhouse, that and being in the situation that we were in four days ago and the results being a little bit different than what we expected and then having to gear up again, it's a challenge, but every day is a challenge in this league. It's not easy, as we saw this weekend. You are facing a team in Kansas City that struggled from a good portion of the season then they come in and put it two, three days in a row and change our plans a little bit. But that's where you mature, as a player, is dealing with those kinds of things and moving on. I mean, unfortunately there's going to be and I am in the clubhouse, this isn't going to be a problem, but unfortunately there's going to be those that dwell on this past weekend. We have moved on. That was yesterday, and you know, it was kind of a quiet bus ride to the airport, but the bus ride to the park today was a lot different.

Q. The difficulty of taking the emotions from the weekend and putting them in a closet and locking them up --
NATHAN ROBERTSON: Baseball is so interesting in so many -- it's such a long season. You hear it all the time, and you really have to take what you did in the season as a whole, and what we did is we got into a position to make a run for a world championship, and if that's what you dwell in, if that's what you focus on, then there's excitement. Now, if you dwell in what we didn't achieve which is taking a division title this weekend, then you know, that's obviously a mindset that won't get you anywhere.
So with us, like he said, many could go on that bus ride today, it's hey, we're in the Playoffs. This is exciting. We're here and we have earned that. Can't take that from us.

Q. Along those lines, the run for October in New York is sort of taken for granted. Can you give us a sense, those of us who haven't covered you all year, a sense of what the team's reaction is to the Detroit, Michigan community and their reactions to you?
NATHAN ROBERTSON: Well, you know, it's a baseball town in Detroit. Fans are great. They have been very supportive just in this past weekend -- even with Fan Appreciation Weekend, and you know, you obviously want -- it was the storybook, the storyline just seemed to kind of be like, here, we're going to have a chance to clinch the division here at home, and they were all out there in full support and the thing was is that we feel that the support is still there and you know, it's been exciting run, just in the fact that we have seen a revival in Detroit. Not only in Detroit but all over the country.
People that said that they had a tough time wearing their Old English "D" hat walking around and people would be like, that's kind of an embarrassment to -- but it's not embarrassing anymore. There's some pride restored here. We are proud of that. Again it's not just getting here; it's doing something beyond that.

Q. Considering the history of the Tigers and the Yankees in the postseason you guys have never met in the Playoffs. Does that surprise you at all?
NATHAN ROBERTSON: Yeah. Very much so. I mean, it should surprise everybody, two organizations that have been around for 100 years, plus, and so you know, whether or not it's happened, it's happening now, so that's what we're going to do here.

Q. You pitched here before and you pitched well here before. Any extra butterflies that it's Game 1 of a Division Series at Yankee Stadium or is it like any other game?
NATHAN ROBERTSON: I mean, pitching -- baseball, it's as simple as throwing the ball, catching the ball, hitting the ball. Then it's as tough as throwing the ball, catching the ball and hitting the ball. That's just the game.
There's nothing extra that I can do, you know, I am not going to develop a split finger in two days. I go out there with what I got. I prepare with what I got. And go have fun with it. It's going out there with your head held high and coming off that field with your head held high.

Q. You said that the bus ride today was different. What specifically have you seen from your teammates that makes you confident they are going to be behind you and not suffering from any sort of hangover?
NATHAN ROBERTSON: Well, you know, when guys get on the bus and they start ragging each other you know we're right where we need to be. We keep it loose and that's one way we do it. Guys are having a little fun on the bus and, you know, it's a mindset and, you know, that I am not worried whatsoever about us not showing up tomorrow.

End of FastScripts...

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