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October 10, 2006

Esteban Loaiza


Q. Could you just kind of go through the Tigers lineup and what kind of problems they pose and how you might approach them?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: Well, I think every Tigers player that we're going to be facing now for a couple days, they're a pretty strong team, swinging team, and they're pretty aggressive. I think I've just got to go out there and throw strikes, get the ball low and keep it in play and try to get a lot of ground balls and keep the team in the dugout and score some runs.

Q. Having spent some time in New York, do you have any reaction to the situation with Joe Torre today and what he's been through?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: I really don't know what's been going on. You know, I think my respect for Joe Torre and all the stuff that he's been doing there for the New York Yankees and New York. My respect is for him, especially after winning a lot of championships. And now going somewhere else, it's a totally different story.
Hopefully everything goes well for him, for his family, whatever else happens.

Q. Will you have a cup of coffee above your head in tomorrow's game (laughter)?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: That was an accident, you know (laughter). The game is going on, it's just one of the things -- there's a lot of things that could happen in the game, and that incident with getting him out at his at-bat and throwing his batting glove up in the air and hitting the coffee that I had up on top instead of the floor, because everybody was kicking it -- at least a cup of coffee every inning because it was on the floor every time I came back in.
That right there, I think I wore it. You could say I wore it (laughter). It was just one of the things that I didn't know how to react but just to stay focused and stay in my plan of going out there and not paying attention to that.
I know I had another uniform right there, changed, and I went out there and battled.

Q. Speaking again of the Tigers lineup, is there a team that they remind you of, or are they unique in the way they approach at-bats?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: They like to hit; they like to get on; they like to swing early; they like to swing late; they like to move runners over; and they like to squeeze play.
You've got to be aware of that situation in games, because it's not regular season anymore, it's playoffs. Whoever wins keeps advancing more into the World Series. You know, it's a great hitting team; it's a great fielding team. And their coaching staff -- I had them in Pittsburgh at the beginning of my career -- it's every one except Van Slyke. You've got Sluggo, Jim Leyland, Lamont, McClendon.
It's just one of the things that brings back memories looking at them now and what they've gone through in the past. Now they're all together, except I'm in a green uniform and they're in the Tigers' uniform and we're battling for one thing, and that's playing in the World Series and going into the World Series.
My respect for all of them. And whoever wins is going to the World Series, and I just wish everybody good luck.

Q. Speaking again of the coffee, did that hurt? If that happened with McDonald's you could sue them.
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: I think the coffee was sitting up there for a little bit. Me having three jerseys on, I kind of reacted pretty quick when I got it on me. I didn't want it to get to my skin. Got it off really quick and didn't really burn me at all. Just a quick reaction, go back in, take the clothes off, and put another one on and get ready for the game.

Q. The Tigers' bullpen is getting a lot of attention, and deservedly so. But tell me about your bullpen, and the fact that you've been so successful, does that help you blow it out and think, If I can get to the sixth we're going to be good?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: There's two different kinds of bullpens: Their bullpen is strong. Their starters have been strong all season long. We've gone through ups and downs through the whole season from the starting point of pitching to the relievers going back and forth.
I've got to give a lot of credit to our relievers, too, because this whole season has just been up and down with people getting hurt and being injured and getting put on the DL. Especially myself, being out for a whole month, and Saarloos and Halsey stepping up and winning those games. And with Rich, also, now he's throwing -- he pitched yesterday.
And with the Detroit Tigers, they all throw 95, 99 miles an hour, and that's seven, eight, and nine innings. Their starters always go 1 through 7 innings, but this is a different story now.

Q. There was some talk about where you were going to go, Game Two or Game Three. The fact that you will have less time off and closer to your regular routine, how beneficial is that to you?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: Well, you know, I'm starting Game 2. I'm starting tomorrow. I think it's the coaching staff and the managers' decision, who starts, who doesn't, who's in the bullpen, and who's not. I've just got to be ready for anything that happens.
You know, I've been in the past like this. Now I'm starting games, and I want to win every single one. You know, it's one of the things that I've just got to be ready for anything that happens.

Q. This is a big difference from you last year after you pitched in Washington the first year with the Nationals. How important was that season to getting you to where you are now? What was your experience like in Washington?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: Well, my experience was really good, especially being with a lot more Latin players and being the first year there, trying to do the best year possible to get in the playoffs and win first place.
The first half we ended up in first place, and at the end we ended up in third or so. But it all matters how you end up, how you finish strong. You've got to finishing strong every year. I had a good experience with Mr. Robinson, with some of the coaches there and some of the players.
Now I'm in a different situation here where I came over here and I battled over there throwing a lot of strikes, throwing a lot of innings, and it got me here to a three-year deal. I try to think as the start of the time now and go from there.

End of FastScripts...

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