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October 28, 2009

A.J. Burnett


Q. Your first World Series start, do you have to convince yourself that this is somehow just another game?
A.J. BURNETT: No, I want it to be my first World Series start. I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited. I mean, I'm going to prepare, yeah, maybe, as another game, but deep down I know what it's about. I know how real it is, and I don't want to change it. I want to go out there knowing it's my first World Series start.

Q. How much do you remember about your start against them earlier in year? And did you look back at that at all in preparation for tomorrow night?
A.J. BURNETT: No, it's on the schedule today, and I haven't got there yet, but I will.
I don't remember a lot. I know first hit homer, I believe, but that's a long time ago, and I'll go look at the tape and make the adjustments that I need to make.

Q. I'm wondering, what have you taken away from playing alongside CC all year that you didn't know about him before, and what sort of stands out to you about him?
A.J. BURNETT: Well, I always watched him. I knew he was a competitor, I knew what he brought. I never realized how complete of a pitcher he was. He knew he threw hard, I knew he had a good slider, but his change-up and he uses all his pitches all the time. That's the thing that caught me off guard. Watching him this year, that's really opened my eyes, maybe given me something to work for this winter, work on some other things.
I knew he was about, but to see him work and to see him be as complete as he was, was more impressive.

Q. How about the idea of a three-man rotation and working on short rest? Is that like a message to you guys, that hey, we have a lot of confidence in you, you in particular?
A.J. BURNETT: Yeah, I think it says that, that they have confidence in us three. But either way, I mean, I'm up for it. If it's brought to us and we need to do it, then I'm all for it.

Q. You had obviously a tough start last time and then put it back together over the next five innings. Have you looked at that start since then? And what do you think happened? And what do you have to do to make sure that doesn't happen again tomorrow night?
A.J. BURNETT: Maybe be a little more fine from the get-go. I think they made an adjustment on me last time. When I first faced them they were pretty patient from the first inning on, and they came out attacking from the get-go. And I'm a guy that needs to get ahead with strike one, so I'm not really trying to be too fine, strike one. But maybe after that start I realized maybe early on I might be a little finer as opposing to just get ahead.
I won't change anything as far as my plan or my attack, just maybe not be so careless from the get-go, just throwing balls over the middle to get strike one.

Q. What about the opportunity to pitch against Pedro here in the World Series?
A.J. BURNETT: I knew it (smiling). I'm looking forward to it, man. He's done a tremendous thing. He's come back, and what he's accomplished this year is great. As a fellow starting pitcher you can respect that. I'm looking forward to going up against him. I know what he's all about. I've seen him pitch, and he's going to bring a lot of excitement here tomorrow night, and I think everybody in the world knows what he can do in the post-season this year or in the past or whenever he takes the ball. It's going to be something I'll remember for a long time.

Q. How do you pitch to Ryan Howard?
A.J. BURNETT: Try to get ahead and strike him out, I guess. He can leave it on all parts of the field, I guess. He's a home run threat. I think you've seen him do more this post-season than hit home runs. He's hit the ball pretty much everywhere. I'm going to probably pitch him the same as -- I pitch all lefties pretty much the same, just try to get ahead and put them away as quick as I can, and not leave anything over the plate or in his hot spot when the game is on the line.

Q. Do you know Cliff Lee at all? I know you guys are roughly from the same part of the country, share an agent.
A.J. BURNETT: I know Cliff well, yeah. He does a lot of stuff in Little Rock with me in the off-season because he's from Little Rock as well as I am, and we're represented by Darek Braunecker, the same agent. I've gotten to know Cliff really well the past couple years. We work the American League Foundation in Little Rock with the handicapped children.

Q. Have you talked to him about this World Series or texted or anything?
A.J. BURNETT: I have not. I have not. We'll wait until afterwards to talk about it. I don't want to give him too much to -- I'm not a talker, you know, and so if I run by him, I wish him luck, but we'll do all the talking when we get back up in Little Rock.

End of FastScripts

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