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October 25, 2006

Justin Verlander

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: Game Four (Postponed)

Q. Weather like tonight, is it tougher for pitchers or for hitters?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I don't know. It's probably tough both ways. For a pitcher it's kind of tough to feel the ball, your hands are cold, the ball is hard and slick, and if your fingers jam one time, they won't forget about it.

Q. There was some concern last start about your velocity, how have you felt in the bullpen and has it picked up?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I actually feel great. I went out and threw the day after my start and I felt fantastic. Actually I felt better than I did a couple of days -- on seven, eight days' rest. I felt good. Since then I felt good and I'm ready to go.

Q. A similar velocity question: It seemed like your velocity got better as the game went on. Are there any adjustments so that you can get your velocity up earlier in the innings?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I don't think so, I think that was just how I felt that day. Obviously I didn't want to be down, but me and Chuck worked on it a little bit. We might have thought my mechanics had a little bit of an effect on it. I wasn't really driving with my legs as much as I had been earlier in the year. We worked on that a little bit. I think it was just a mix of maybe my mechanics and how my arm felt that day.

Q. It's the same subject, but again, it's unusual for you to be that far down on your speed. And it's taken you a while and a couple of starts to get up to 96 or 97. Is it possible that your arm is frankly semi-dead right now?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: No, I don't think so. A week ago I might have said maybe, but after my last start, coming back, my arm felt great. I don't know why, but it felt better than it did before the last one. Whether that has an effect on my velocity or not, I don't know, but I know from the last few days to today it's been feeling great.

Q. Surely during the season there were times when you were pitching without your best stuff. I wondered how often was it that you didn't have your best fastball this year?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Well, as far as not having my best fastball, sometimes the velocity was there, but I didn't have control of it. I wouldn't consider that not having my best fastball.
I heard a stat five starts of the year a pitcher has good stuff, his best stuff, and that really holds true. Something is always not working. If I have a good fastball, sometimes I don't have as good control of it, and vice versa.

Q. Other than a few bats in your lineup not hitting that well in these three games, what are the main things you think you guys have not done as successfully in the series that you did earlier in the year when you were having more success?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Well, there's been a couple of situations where we haven't been able to get out of some jams, the pitchers, that we've been able to do that a lot, but that's baseball, it's going to happen.
And there's been times we haven't got the type of hits we got earlier in the year or earlier in this postseason. We fully expect to turn that around, though. We'll see what happens the next few games.

Q. Is it difficult knowing that or not knowing whether you're pitching the next game, it could be because the weather, it could be Friday? Is it difficult to focus knowing that it's the World Series?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Not really, I don't think so. Coming back for a pitcher, I wouldn't mind a couple of days of rest. So at least today if we get rained out today, I know I'm not going tomorrow, or I know if we play today I've got to start mentally preparing because I'm pitching tomorrow, because it's raining. I can't focus on that.

Q. It was written this morning that you and some of the other guys were a little suspicious when you saw the radar gun readings on Zumaya last night. How quickly did it take you to think there was something funny there?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I don't know if it was something funny with the radar guns outside or not. I just knew Joel was a little down, he was coming off tendinitis with his arm and forearm. I just came up to check the TV guns to make sure he wasn't hurt. I went up and inquired if he was throwing like he normally does and the TV gun said yes. I don't know if there was an issue there or not.

Q. As a follow-up, how much effect can it have especially when a young pitcher is used to every once in a while checking on those readings?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: You know, a guy like Joel, everybody knows he checks the gun in every stadium he's in. He says in every stadium he knows where the radar guns are and he checks them. If he thinks the radar guns are low, and it gets in his head, there might be something to it, but I don't think that really matters to Joel that much. He likes to just check to see where he's at. In the end he's still got to pitch. Big League hitters should hit a bullet down the middle. Whether it's 96 or a hundred, you've still got to make the pitches.

End of FastScripts...

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