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October 14, 2006

Jeff Suppan


Q. In your game, was that a two-hit shutout against Milwaukee, how do you rate this game compared to that game? You were up against a much more powerful lineup, but how would you rate this?
JEFF SUPPAN: It's tough to really rate them. I try not to do that until later on to evaluate it, but it always feels good to contribute to a team win.
I think offensively, we came out strong, and you know, defensively, we were outstanding. I think, you know, Rolen's play, Eck, Preston, they were ready and I was just trying to get the ball to them, and hopefully not make too many mistakes out there.
But the Mets, they are a strong lineup, and, you know, I just went out there with the same approach I would take in any game, in any other game; that's keep the ball down, change speeds and work fast. You know, that's kind of my approach tonight.

Q. What was working well for you in terms of your pitch selection tonight and how big of a factor was it to get that big lead early?
JEFF SUPPAN: You know, anytime you're pitching, I mean, obviously we got some runs early. But I'm trying to keep my same approach regardless if we had zero runs or five runs.
But what I think what was working was location, what you said. I was able to make, you know, hit spots and when I missed, I didn't miss down the middle. You know, that's key.

Q. When you look at this game, I mean, you've been in the game now for ten, 12 years, is this the single best game that you've ever pitched when you match them all up?
JEFF SUPPAN: I can't really evaluate it right now. It's one game, and I'm glad we won today. Now let's get ready for tomorrow.
That would be a question that I would have to wait to really answer that.

Q. Do you own Steve Trachsel at the plate?
JEFF SUPPAN: Certainly not. (Laughter.)
I don't know, I swung, it ran into my bat, I don't know why that is. I try to make sure I get my bunts down and put a tough at-bat on another pitcher, but I would never say that about another pitcher.

Q. Just a couple of quick questions. The only other Major League home run you've ever hit was him, right?
JEFF SUPPAN: That's true.

Q. Did you give him a look or smile or wink when you came up to the plate?
JEFF SUPPAN: No. That's ridiculous. I actually heard somebody say that and I said no. That's just me twitching out there. (Laughter.)

Q. Also you're going to be a free agent this year, did you think this was an opportunity time to showcase your skills?
JEFF SUPPAN: No, I did not. I mean, I guess that's a fair question, but my approach has always been the same. Regardless of what else, what is out there, you know, I think any player is really focusing on helping his team win and I certainly try to do that every day. You know, tonight I was happy to contribute to a win.

Q. You talked about how now at this point in your career, you don't pitch to the score. Is that something that maybe early on in a pitcher's career, it can affect you, five runs, where you see a lot of times guys will give two or three back because they ease up? Ten years in is this one of the lessons that you do learn early on in your career?
JEFF SUPPAN: I think so. I think one of those lessons is you can never let up. There's no chance when you're out there pitching against a Major League team, any team, especially a team like the New York Mets, you never let up.
So I just try to, you know, keep my focus. I had some longer innings and really just go out there and try to keep the momentum on our side.

Q. Is it strange in the sense that sometimes it's easier pitching a 1-0 game as opposed to a 5-0, 6-1 game?
JEFF SUPPAN: I would say that would probably be true. I would say sometimes you're out there quicker, shorter innings. But, you know, I mean, what I've learned is the more I know, the less I know when I go out. So many things can happen. What I try to do is just keep my attention, my focus, my concentration on what pitch I'm going to throw and where I'm going to throw it.

Q. Can you compare this to Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS? Do you feel like you were a little bit better tonight and any similarities?
JEFF SUPPAN: I think that's a tough question to answer. I don't really, in the moment, like I said before, you know, trying to contribute to a team win. I don't really try to compare. I just try to be in the present situation that I'm in and focus on that.
I mean, it's something to look back on my career, I would probably have a better answer for you. But as of right now, I don't really have an answer to that.

Q. Which of the defensive plays was the best in your mind?
JEFF SUPPAN: I can't answer that question. I thought they were all great. (Smiling).
There's so many times in a game, there's a lot of crucial plays. Fortunately tonight we made them. I really cannot answer that question. I thought they were all fantastic. Sorry.

Q. You put your head down pretty quick on the swing, on the home run, did you think it had a shot to go out?
JEFF SUPPAN: I did not. I thought it was going to catch on the track, so I put my head down and I ran. I kind of was looking for someone to let me know if it was a home run. I still wasn't sure when I got to second. But, you know, in those situations, you see so many times, you hit a ball and it's caught on the track. So I really didn't think I hit it out. I was hoping it went out.

Q. What was the funniest comment you got in the dugout after you hit the home run?
JEFF SUPPAN: What was the funniest comment? I don't really remember to be honest with you. I don't.
You know, in those situations, I'm just trying to run around the bases as fast as I can and try to catch my breath when I get to the plate. I've only done it twice. I just, you know, I didn't really hear any comments really. Sorry.

Q. How did you feel when the crowd was pleading with you to come out of the dugout and acknowledge your home run?
JEFF SUPPAN: You know what, I didn't really hear them. I wasn't aware of that. I guess that's a good thing. I guess my focus was on my pitching performance, on where it should be, you know, especially going up against a Mets lineup like this.

End of FastScripts...

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