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October 3, 2007

Doug Davis


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Doug, you've had a tremendous record against the Cubs over the last five years going back to when you first came to the Brewers. What do you attribute that to? Different lineups, but you're always able to pretty much able to slow their lineup down.
DOUG DAVIS: It just seems that every time I face them, it feels like I can execute a plan that I've been working on for the week before that. It's something that I study and figure out what hitters' weaknesses are, and I try to execute my pitches and let my fielders work behind me.

Q. Could you just talk about the emotions of obviously the postseason experience? There's not many players on your whole team -- I think there's four guys on the whole team with postseason playoff experience. Can you just talk about that?
DOUG DAVIS: Yeah, I'm not one of those four guys, so it'll be a first for me, too. I think the main thing is don't let the crowd dictate your emotions out there and be able to keep a level head out there and stay at 80 percent effort and not try 110 percent and try too much.
That can get you in trouble. You fall behind hitters and things like that and then you have to come to them, and that's when they get the pitch that they can handle.

Q. You've been on a lot of teams where by the time September rolls around teams haven't necessarily been in contention. What was this experience like for you and what did you sort of get out of that?
DOUG DAVIS: This is actually the first time I've been over .500 on a team, too. I found out the year went by a lot faster, definitely. September came around a lot quicker than I had anticipated, and it feels good that we're actually going into October. I'm real excited, and hopefully I can help my team advance into the next round.

Q. You talked about this team only having a handful of guys that have postseason experience. One of them is Tony Clark, one of the veterans on this team. Can you tell us what he's meant to this team as far as being a veteran on and off the field?
DOUG DAVIS: I remember a little bit after the middle of the year we were struggling offensively hitting -- I don't remember where we were on the road, but we were hitting very well with runners in scoring position. He took it upon himself after we flew -- I think it might have been up to the Brewers, right after the Brewers, we flew home or something like that -- no, we flew somewhere else after the Brewers, maybe Chicago, or we drove down there, and he said there was a hitters' meeting.
It must have been 9:00, 10:00 at night by the time we got in there. He had everybody up to his room and he talked to these guys, and all of them are young, and tried to tell them, I guess -- I don't know exactly because I wasn't there, but he was saying, Don't change your approach with runners in scoring position, don't try to do too much, and that kind of stuff.
After that, I'm telling you, we rolled off a few games, maybe like five out of seven or seven out of ten, and we just got on a roll where we were scoring runs and our pitching was there, also.
It's a tremendous impact on having somebody that's been around and seen playoff teams and seen winning teams come along. You know, not just him also, but Eric Byrnes. You know, Eric Byrnes, the way he hustles really rubs off on a lot of the young guys. A lot of times you'll see guys not really run out the fly ball, but every time Eric Byrnes either flies out or grounds out, he's running 100 percent, and you can't find that everywhere. It's not in the game very often anymore.
You know, to see him day in, day out, bust his butt, all the time, I think it shows something to the rookies to really excel out there and not to leave anything on the table.

Q. A little follow-up from the original question. Have you studied Tom Glavine, the way he works against right-handed hitters, kind of imitate his style the way right-handed hitters sometimes try to do too much against your style of pitching?
DOUG DAVIS: Not at all. Actually when I do my research, I actually set him out, him and Moyer, out of the mix, because I don't know if -- everybody calls me, I'm a crafty lefty. I don't consider myself crafty, I consider myself more of a contact pitcher because I pitch in a lot more. I'd rather compare to myself to an Al Leiter or an Andy Pettitte, someone that pitches a lot more like that.
Those are the guys I compare myself to with the same kind of stuff, but that's about it on that part.

Q. How much does your experience pitching at Wrigley Field in the division and working that hostile crowd there, how does that work in your favor from that experience?
DOUG DAVIS: Well, like you said, every time you go there it's going to be a packed house. I don't think anything is obviously going to change when we go there for the playoffs. I can say I'm used to it, I guess you could say.
When I go down there it's always 98 percent Cub fans there, and they're loud, they're in your ear. It's just something you tune out and you find a groove, you find your zone, and you stay in there and do your job.
You know, it's just -- I guess it's kind of like pitching anywhere where they get a good fan base and they're in your ear all the time. I really don't know -- I don't know the playoff -- I don't know how it is over there in the playoffs, but I can imagine it would be more than any other regular game there since it's packed every day.

Q. I was just wondering if you could talk a little bit about the job that Bob Melvin did, to take a team that was near the bottom of the League in scoring and take it to the playoffs.
DOUG DAVIS: Bob is a tremendous manager. He's always had the open-door policy where you could go over and talk to him, always positive, never knocks his players in the papers. Never knocks his players, ever. And I think that's a definite confidence booster for the young guys that are -- they make mistakes, you know, everybody knows that.
I still make them today, Tony still makes them, everybody still makes mistakes. But the way he handled this young team and not getting upset about little things, whether it was getting picked off or whether it was getting thrown out at third with no outs or making the last out, you know, stuff like that, and he doesn't show that -- obviously we know he cares.
The guys know that they did something wrong, but at the same time, he's not, If you didn't get thrown out at third base, we would have won this game. He's never negative like that. I think that's a very -- I don't even know how you say it. It's just manager-of-the-year-like thing for him to do.

Q. Do you have any preference, roof open, roof closed, when you pitch?
DOUG DAVIS: My first year being here, I haven't really noticed any difference. I don't really have a preference. Either way is fine with me. I think it'll be louder with the roof closed and might help us a little bit more being the home team advantage at all.
But it really doesn't matter to me, pitching-wise.

Q. There probably isn't any starting pitchers throughout baseball that go an entire season without making some sort of adjustments, some maybe more so than others. Anything specifically change for you stuff-wise, mechanic-wise, in the second half?
DOUG DAVIS: I think the second half I just came -- obviously I was more efficient with my pitches and I wasn't walking nearly as many people. It might have been something a little bit with my mechanics. BP (Bryan Price) and I, we worked on it constantly between each start, and if it wasn't one little thing, it was always another little thing that I always had to correct in my mechanics-wise.
I just think -- it's weird because I think I go through it every year. It seems like I go through that four or five games where I'll go three out of four non-quality starts and not do my job, and then all of a sudden I'll go through eight straight or nine straight of having quality starts and giving my team a chance to win.
It's just a small adjustment maybe in my mechanics that I pick up, and I'm able to repeat it every time, instead of fighting myself out there on the mound and figuring out what the heck I'm doing wrong. I think I'm beating myself more than the team is beating me.

Q. 2001 was a good year for the Diamondbacks, won the World Series here. Do you have any memories of that, and where were you in '01?
DOUG DAVIS: AAA (laughing). I believe I was with Texas at the time. Obviously our season was over and I was watching it on TV. You know, I can't really recollect much of what went on because I'm not a Yankee lover. I'm not a Yankee guy, so I was out of it. That's just the way I felt about it.

Q. Tomorrow leading off you have Soriano, a big slugger, and then you have Theriot, kind of a pesky little guy. It's kind of 1 and 1A as far as lead-off men go. How important is your approach to these two as far as setting the tone for the game?
DOUG DAVIS: Well, like you said, Soriano, he's got a lot of power, but the main thing is just keep them off bases. With the solo home runs ain't going to lose a ballgame for you. You keep them off and then you can worry about Aramis (Ramirez) and you can worry about Derrek Lee with nobody on.
Rather than giving up two or three home runs you can give up a home run to Soriano. I guess it's just challenge the guys and don't walk them, don't fall behind on them. And Theriot is one of those guys that will fight you every single pitch, has a great eye, and he'll give you a battle until the very last pitch and at-bat.
He ends up hitting the ball pretty hard on every play. So keeping him off the bases for Aramis and Derrek Lee, and that way I can challenge those guys and not have to worry about the big change of the game, you know.

Q. You talked about that '01 team here in Arizona. Could you just tell us the difference between that team and this team when you look at the big names from back in '01, like Curt Schilling, Luis Gonzalez, Mark Grace and so on? And not that many big names on this team.
DOUG DAVIS: Yeah, you're right. Going into spring training you don't notice any of their names. You know who they are, you've played against them. When I came into spring training I didn't even know who was going to be on the 25-man roster at the time.
But the difference between the two teams are obviously enormous. I dressed up 17 rookies this year, and I don't know how many they did that year, but I guarantee it wasn't that many. The experience they had in pitching in '01 with Schilling and Randy, and I don't know who else was starting because it seems like they were in the World Series, they did pitch every other day it seemed like.
Obviously they had the one-two punch dominating, and they were hard to score off of. This year, Webby and I, we are going to give up some runs but we're going to keep the game close, also. Along with Livan we're going to keep the game close. We're just going to fight for the lead and have our bullpen come in with the lead and shut them down like they have all year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Doug.

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