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October 12, 2006

Tom Glavine


Q. There were guys on your team who say, we have to win the games Glavine pitches. Would you please address that.
TOM GLAVINE: Yeah, I guess. You know --

Q. You know why they are saying it.
TOM GLAVINE: I know why they are saying it. I guess from my standpoint, I understand the importance of when I pitch now. But at the same time, I'm trying my best to mentally play games with myself and dismiss that.
I don't want to go out there with any added pressure on myself when there already is, and, you know, so the best thing for me to do is to understand that, you know, when I pitch, it's an important game. But it's an important game where everybody pitches. You know, just want to do my best to give us a chance to win, and so far in this post-season, I've been able to do that.

Q. Can you talk specifically about your game plan with Albert tonight?
TOM GLAVINE: Well, the first part I executed real well, which is facing him with nobody on base. That was the first part.
But you know, when he's up there, it's just a situation where you have to -- if you're going to try and get him out, you have to be aggressive and you have to try to mix your speeds and mix your locations. He's a great hitter -- to say he's a great hitter is an understatement and he's the best hitter in baseball right now and he's the guy you don't want to beat you and you can't control that all the time. But when he's in the box and you have to face him, you have to face him like you do every other day, you have to be aggressive and attack him. And you can't go in the same speed and same location very often because if you do, he's going to catch you and make you pay for it.

Q. A couple of questions. No. 1, John Maine was in here yesterday saying he was a little nervous. Do you think your game and the fact you go up 1-0 takes a little pressure off of him?
TOM GLAVINE: Yeah, I know for me personally that whenever I'm pitching, I always want to take the mound with my team ahead in the series. So there's always a relaxing factor to the fact that when you're out there pitching, you know that your team has a little bit of a cushion, and that certainly is helpful.
You know, from that standpoint, I know John is going to be nervous. I've been doing this for a long time, and I still get nervous and he has every right to get nervous. But certainly, we feel he's going to go out there and do what's done all year long which is channel that and give us a chance to win.

Q. For you, the low pitch count tonight, that you're going to be on three days' rest, perhaps, if the series goes that long the next time around, does that give you a little bit of leeway?
TOM GLAVINE: Well, there's no question I feel better about coming back on three days' rest with a small pitch count like I had tonight versus, you know, getting over the 100 mark.
You know, I mean, tonight was just one of those things where you know, they seemed to be real aggressive early in the count and put some balls in play, and it kept my pitch count down. Certainly, you know, in that situation where I came out of the game, it's an opportunity to save me some pitches, give me a chance to be a little bit stronger if I do have to come back on three days' rest, and you know, any time you can hand the ball over to our bullpen late in the game with the lead, it's a good thing, because those guys have been fantastic all year.

Q. Looking back on your career, has there ever been an October like this for you when you have not looked over your shoulder and seen a guy like Maddux or Smoltz and does that change your approach at all?
TOM GLAVINE: No. I've never had a post-season where I haven't been surrounded with a pitching staff that you have three or four guys that could be your No. 1 starters.
In terms of how it changes or does it, I don't think it changes anything. Like I said before, I understand the feeling that the guys have when I take the mound now. I understand that. But that doesn't mean I go out there and try to do anything different from what I'm capable of doing. Like I've said so many times in this post-season is that's when you start getting in trouble when you start trying to do things or assume roles that you shouldn't. My game is my game and that doesn't change because I do or don't have Pedro or Orlando or Maddux or Smoltz or anybody else behind me. I need to do the things I need to do well to pitch. In the back of my mind, I understand the importance of my role when I go out there, but the bottom line is giving our team a chance to win.

Q. A question about all the days off for both teams between games. Is that to the advantage of pitchers, do hitters go a little bit flat or stale?
TOM GLAVINE: I don't know. At this time of year, I don't know that it's an advantage to anybody really.
I guess, you know, the biggest change obviously is the guys that are dinged up a little bit, it gives them the opportunity to get a little bit healthier. But it's funny, we talked about -- some of the guys were talking about that in the clubhouse before the game; it seems like it's been two weeks since we've played a game.
I think so much of the post-season has to do with the adrenaline and once you get around game time, you forget the fact that you haven't played in a while or that it's been a while since you've been in the batter's box or on the mound. The situation seems to take over and I think it's much -- it's much less of an impact now than it would have during the regular season.

Q. Do you believe you're pitching better now than you did during the latter part of the regular season, and is there anything at all that you've changed approach-wise or anything right now in October?
TOM GLAVINE: I feel like I'm pitching as well as I have at any point during the year. Last part of the season for me, you know, two out of my last three starts were real good. I felt good about them. I carried that over and obviously into the post-season.
You know, I guess I've made a couple of adjustments in my last three starts; because of the fact that we clinched early, I was able to work on and go out and try to utilize without the fear or worry of having to lose a game or anything like that. You know, some things that I've worked on have clicked for me and they have become a bigger part of my game.
But, you know, I think more than anything else, like I've said before, it's the confidence factor of feeling good when I throw the ball and carrying that with me every time I take the mound.

Q. Chávez makes an outstanding play for and you also have two double plays that seem like they are crucial. Can you talk about the defense tonight?
TOM GLAVINE: Defense was great and obviously I needed it to be great. I'm relying on those guys a lot. They know that. And I think they accept that.
You know, as far as the double plays were concerned, I got the big one with Eckstein lining out to David, which was huge. Certainly the other one where Carlos made the nice play. I don't know what happened with Albert. He obviously didn't get a good read on that ball for some reason, but you know, Carlos made a nice play and made a great throw on the run.
As a pitcher, any time you can make a double play and get out of an inning, it's a great thing, especially when it's not your routine, ground ball variety. It's a big boost for me.
As far as Endy is concerned, he's been unbelievable all year long. He's certainly been one of, if not our unsung hero all year long. It just seems like every time that guy gets in the game, he's doing something to help us win, whether it's a big hit or a big play defensively, and tonight he made another great play defensively to help us.

Q. When you're pitching this well, is there a point in the game where you feel as though you're on; is that immediate or does something like that never come?
TOM GLAVINE: No, I think there's times when you feel better about what you're doing than others. For me any time I get through the first inning unscathed it's usually a good thing. That's my concern is getting out there and getting comfortable and getting into a rhythm. Obviously each inning that goes by and you haven't given up a run, your confidence swells a little bit more and you feel a little bit better about yourself.
I've been in this game long enough to know that things can change in a hurry. I don't take what I feel or how I feel for granted. I try to approach each inning as a new challenge and try to get through it as quickly as I can. In a game like tonight where Weaver was pitching so well, you know, we have to try to match what he's doing and just hope for that one crack in the armor. We got it with Paul getting the big two-out base hit to start the inning, and then Carlos hitting the big two-run home run on him. As a starting pitcher, that's all you're trying to do is get to the point to get your team an opportunity to take the lead, and tonight we did that.

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