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October 5, 2006

Dan Haren


Q. How much, if anything, do you take from your last start against them?
DAN HAREN: Well, I actually took home the DVD of that start yesterday. But anytime I go into a start against a team that I have faced before, I try to watch a little bit of what I have done, especially if I have had success in the past.
So I think I will try to match the energy I had for that game. I think the energy was good, and I think the location of most of my pitches were good, keeping the ball down, keeping them off balance.
You know, it's a very tough lineup, especially the middle of that lineup, so definitely going to have to attack them the same way, probably.

Q. Dan, how does it feel knowing that you have a chance to be the guy to get the team over the hump after four years?
DAN HAREN: Very exciting. Obviously, there was three ways it could have went, down 2-0 or up 2-0 or split 1-1, and I think this is the best situation for me. It takes a little bit of the pressure off, I think, too, which is nice, because it's obviously my first post-season start.
I am going to have a lot of adrenaline going into the game. So being up 2-0, I think it enables me to relax a little more than I would maybe 1-1 or down 0-2, so I think I will be able to pitch my game.
And I think I have had a couple starts earlier, I think the one against Minnesota that I just talked about was a big game for the team, we were struggling a little bit, and I was able to pick us up then, and there was a game that we could have clinched at home against the Angels where I didn't get the job done, so I have pitched some games that are kind of similar to this situation, so I am pretty excited and fired up to go into it.

Q. (Inaudible)?
DAN HAREN: It's different. Things like this, this is different. When I was on the roster for the Cardinals I was basically the 25th guy on the roster, not expecting to be used that much, and I ended up pitching in the division series and getting a win in the second game, so I got kind of thrown into the fire there.
But I think that this experience, I mean, it's something that I will remember for the rest of my life, my first post-season start up against a guy, Brad Radke, who I grew up watching and I have a tremendous amount of respect for, against just a great quality team like the Twins.
It's going to be really exciting. I am sure it will be sold out and the atmosphere is just going to be great tomorrow.

Q. What does it mean, the same energy, you mean aggressive?
DAN HAREN: Yeah. I think that game my command was really good. I don't know if I walked anybody, maybe one guy, but I think when I am going good, I throw a lot of strikes, and coming into tomorrow they have been pretty aggressive watching the first couple outings with Loaiza and Zito, they have been pretty aggressive, and they know I am going to be throwing strikes, so I got to try to use that to my advantage or try to figure out a way to get some early outs maybe.
But I got to control my energy, too. I am sure I am going to have a lot of emotion going into the game with the opportunity we have to finish it off. I am sure I am going to be really amped up, so I think controlling my emotions is going to be a big deal, and there is going to be a lot of energy in the ballpark and on my part, too.

Q. There are people who think you have Number 1 starter type of stuff. Do you think there is another level you can go to and what would it take for you to get there?
DAN HAREN: I think I have shown at times this year that I can have that Number 1 stuff. You know, when you look at number 1 starters around the league, just like Zito, he is a guy that has been doing it for now six years, and putting up the quality starts, the innings, the wins.
I think that's what a Number 1 starter does. I don't think I have been able to accomplish those things at this point in my career, but looking at a guy like that and a guy like Santana who, like I said, puts up the innings, the wins, the strikeouts, the whole package, and I think at times I have shown that I can do that, but I definitely wouldn't consider myself a Number 1 starter at this point, but it's something that I am working towards, and maybe three or four years down the line I can be one.

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