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October 2, 2007

Brandon Webb


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Brandon.

Q. What does it mean to play? Do you think you're better served to do it now than maybe a year ago in terms of your ability?
BRANDON WEBB: Probably so, given the experience, I think. As much experience as you can get will only help you in games like this. You know, I think I'm prepared and ready. Ready for this and excited for tomorrow.

Q. Can you just talk about this team being so young? Do you think the mentality, all the pressure they've had having such a tight race in the NL West, do you think they're so young they don't know enough to be stressed about it and let it bother them?
BRANDON WEBB: That's probably part of it. You know, being so young, I don't think that they realize how good and how hard it is to get to where you are. You know, obviously they know the work that went into it, but I think this is where we wanted to be and where we thought we would be at this time when we came in to spring training. So this is -- shouldn't be a surprise to any of them.
I think everybody is prepared for it.

Q. You always seem so low-key. You're kind of a classic Kentucky boy, I guess. Where is the intense fire inside? Are you masking a lot of the real serious competitiveness that goes on inside you?
BRANDON WEBB: I do. I think mask it a little bit. I think it's best not to show too much emotion when you're out there on the field. Obviously in big situations, if I do get a big out or something like that I give a fist pump or something like that. Other than that, I try to keep it bottled until the game is totally in our control and down with.

Q. Is it inside, though?
BRANDON WEBB: It is, yeah. I do get nervous, and a lot of people say that I don't look like I'm nervous out there. But more times than not, it usually takes me, I've said, a couple innings, one, two, innings to get that under my belt and get a couple batters and innings under my belt to kind of calm myself down.

Q. There's been some talk about your lack of postseason experience. Do you make much out of that, or do you look at it as I've been an All-Star, I've been a Cy Young winner, I've been around Randy and Curt?
BRANDON WEBB: Obviously I haven't been in any postseason, not even in minor leagues have I had this opportunity. It's something new to me as well as new to a lot of the guys in our clubhouse. But I'm going to take it just like a game that I would go out and pitch during the regular season. I'm going to go out and attack and execute regular pitches.

Q. Obviously you talk about there's no way to replicate postseason experience, but can you talk about pitching in this division, especially in the second half of the year? I think everyone could look at the standings and see how hotly contested this was, but the difficulties of that and how they may have prepared you?
BRANDON WEBB: Yeah, our division, I think, went from a couple years ago being one of the worst divisions to I think one of the best. This division was very tough pitching-wise, and all the way through everybody's line-up was pretty tough. So what we did playing in this division I think did help us in preparing for where we're going to be at tomorrow in starting this.
A lot of these one-run games we played, I think we played 30 one-run ballgames I think. It's going to help us in pressure situations where we have to find a way to win.

Q. The Cubs are a home run hitting team, in particular this last month of the season. How do you negate the power game, and in particular Soriano at the top of the order?
BRANDON WEBB: Really just locate and down. I've had a fair amount of success against him when I go up against him, so just keeping him off-balance, throwing curve balls and just trying to locate the fastball down. And getting most of them to hit the ball down on the ground is pretty much my plan with everybody, so I'm just going to use that.

Q. A follow-up to the previous question there. Can you give us your overall impressions of the Cubs' lineup without going into your game strategy?
BRANDON WEBB: You know, obviously they have a great lineup. Like you said earlier, a lot of power in that. A couple guys up top of their lineup are speed guys. If you get on you're going to have to hold them on. You're going to have to vary your holds and keep them from stealing.
And then when you get down to Lee and Ramirez and those guys, and you definitely have to execute pitches. If not you're going to get hurt, especially in a ballpark in Chicago that tends -- the ball tends to fly often if the wind is blowing out. It's going to be a tough lineup, and I think I'll be prepared for it.

Q. Just looking back, the game Friday and maybe towards the end of the scoreless streak, were those two of the most pressure situations you've felt, and how would you compare them?
BRANDON WEBB: Yeah, I'd say towards the end of that streak, you know, the game that I started here against the Brewers was the most pressure I've probably felt in my career.
I didn't feel too much pressure going into the game last Friday at the Rockies for some reason. It was just another game, and I went out there and was able to have pretty good success.
You know, I think these games should probably compare to something like the end of the streak.

Q. Would you talk a little bit about your relationship with Chris Snyder, what he's meant to you this season and to the team as a whole?
BRANDON WEBB: Yeah, Chris is -- Snydes has been a guy that I could count on to be prepared every day. He definitely does his homework, not only for me, for everybody that he coaches. He really gets in there with our scouting guys and watches video and things like that to get himself prepared.
There's very little that I have to do or to worry about to get prepared for the games. We basically just go over the line up for a couple minutes before the game and we're pretty much ready to go. But he's the best guy I've ever thrown to receiving-wise, and I don't know where I'd be without him for sure because he's helped me out a lot this year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Brandon. Appreciate it.

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