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October 8, 2010

Brian Duensing


THE MODERATOR: Let's get started. Questions for Brian Duensing.

Q. In the situation for the Twins, how much pressure are you feeling? How much weight do you feel to save the season?
BRIAN DUENSING: I mean, there's pressure. We have to try to get to Sunday. We have to win. Must-win situation. But we can't try and do too much. We have to go out there and play well. The Yankees are a good team. Everyone knows that. If we go out there and try to do too much, we're going to put ourselves into a bigger hole than we're already in. We have to find a way to dig ourselves out and play the best we can.

Q. Brian, how much does the experience you had here in the playoffs last year, how much has that helped you going into this game? Or does it?
BRIAN DUENSING: Yes, there's -- it's going to help. I know what the atmosphere is going to be like. Getting the start last year just -- it's going to take a little bit of the edge off. There's going to be nerves. I'll be anxious. Playoffs, postseason. That's always going to be there. But knowing what the atmosphere is like is going to take a little of that pressure off.

Q. Brian, a lot of guys in different situations in other sports want to be in that situation. How much do you more or less want the ball tomorrow night?
BRIAN DUENSING: I mean, any time you go out to give your team a chance to win is a good situation. And if you didn't want the ball there's something wrong with you. Especially this time of year. But I want to go out there, I want to throw. I want to win. I feel like we've been playing some pretty good baseball against these guys. We just can't quite get the job done when we need it in the key situation.
It's fun, exciting. I want to go out there and be able to do well and give the team a chance to win.

Q. Brian, you've pitched in some big games in your career; college, World Series, Olympics. Have you ever pitched in an elimination game and what are the emotions that go along with that specifically?
BRIAN DUENSING: I pitched in the elimination game in the College World Series.
But that was -- that was a start. I started. It's fun. It's exciting. Anytime you can go out when the pressure on the line, it's going to make it more fun. It's going to make it intense. That's what you thrive for. That's why you play the game. This is Major League Baseball. We're here for a reason. The way we've been playing throughout the season is what got us here. So I feel like we played in some big pressure situations already. Chicago in Chicago late in the year. We can get it done to if we play well. It's fun.

Q. You alluded to this and everybody has that you said that you've played really well against the Yankees. They always seem to find a way to come out on top. How do you explain that? And what do you do to address that?
BRIAN DUENSING: I don't know. We just got to -- I know it's a big cliche, but we have to keep plugging away. That's the only thing we can do. It's not like we're going out there and giving up or laying down. We're playing all nine innings as hard as we can. Sometimes it takes some luck to get some wins and hopefully we can kind of switch that around.

Q. This is a really patient lineup and last couple of starts you were concerned about the number of walks that you were issuing. What have you done to address that or what have you been working on? What did you notice in video?
BRIAN DUENSING: I did look at a lot of video. My mechanics are the same as they've been all year. I don't know, I haven't been very efficient. So the last couple of bullpens we've thrown we've worked on trying to throw in the middle of the plate and let the ball move on its own instead of doing too much. I think I was kind of gripping the ball a little too tight the last couple of outings. We really have been working on loosening the grip a little bit.
Other than that, I didn't want to change much. It's too late to do that now. We have to go out there and try to be aggressive and make pitches.

Q. You talked about last year and the game in the playoffs, the emotions and the environment. Did anything take you by surprise in that game and how you dealt with it or was it more than you thought it would be that maybe you can deal with better this time?
BRIAN DUENSING: You know, to be honest, I was pretty anxious. I didn't feel like I was very nervous. When I went out to warmup in the bullpen, the fans started getting on me pretty good. But at the same time it's the same stuff I heard all year. To be honest, that kind of calmed me down just a little bit knowing that it's the same game. It's the same thing I've been doing all year, just a little bit bigger stage. I think that helped a lot to kind of calm me down and go out there without too much adrenaline.

Q. Brian, curious to know which of your teammates have been the most vocal about keeping spirits up and keeping the club believing they have a shot in this thing?
BRIAN DUENSING: After last night, Joe Mauer was pretty vocal. Kept telling us no time to quit now, we're down two games. But we have to win anyway. Keep our heads up and we'll keep playing hard.
There's not really much that needs to be said. We all know where we're at. We know what needs to be done. We know what we can do. As long as we stick together, good things can happen. We have to try and keep together.

Q. Brian, you had some troubles with the Yankees in recent years. Would you say the team is frustrated or angry or neither?
BRIAN DUENSING: I think we're a little frustrated. We don't like to get beat that often. No one does. No one likes to lose, especially to the same team. Like I said earlier, we've been playing well. We had the lead a couple of times and put pressure on them and they did a good job of not buckling and they made some good plays when they needed to, got some big hits when they needed to. Late in the game we had some times we weren't able to capitalize on. If we start doing that, we're right there with them.

Q. Did you bring your family with you this trip? Is there any way you try to relax this time in New York versus last time?
BRIAN DUENSING: My family is here. I got both parents and my in-laws. But they are here to support -- I told them not to wear any Duensing shirts. I don't want them getting mobbed out there or anything like that.
This is exciting for them just as much as it is for me. You want to go out there and do well. But at the same time they know that I'm not going to just go out there and quit or not give my best. It's standard family talk. They love you either way.
They are always happy for you no matter what, which is nice. When you lose -- I'm not planning on losing -- if you lose, they always give you that lovey-dovey talk. It's kind of frustrating. They try to give you the moral support.

Q. Brian, when you guys came here last year, I imagine it was kind of a whirlwind having to go to the tie breaker and then come here basically overnight. You have had a lot more time to prepare for this one. Does that make a difference for you? And is there a balance in being able to scout the opponent without over-scouting?
BRIAN DUENSING: Definitely, I think it's a little better situation than last year. When I was told I was starting Game 1 if we got there, I didn't realize, that's what they told me. This year knowing what situation we're in, I have had some time to watch the first couple of games. Watch the Yankees' approaches towards both Liriano and Pavano. It helps just because it kind of takes the edge off me personally, kind of knowing how the game has been going. At the same time, it's giving me time to look at the lineups.
I don't like to overdo it. If I overdo it and I try to pitch to their weaknesses instead of my strengths, that can get me in trouble. I've been trying to kind of take it easy with the scouting and just have to go out there and do what I can.

Q. When you said you didn't really understand what they meant last year, can you explain that a little bit?
BRIAN DUENSING: The last home series was against Kansas City. I threw a couple of innings -- I think one inning in relief. Afterwards, Rick Anderson came to me and said we want to get you some work. Your going to start on Wednesday. I said all right. I didn't think much about it. I told Kevin Slowey what he said in the dugout. He said you're starting Game 1. I was like oh, I guess I am. I didn't know. I wasn't really paying attention or focused enough on it.
So I didn't know exactly what I was getting myself into until a couple of days later.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Brian.

End of FastScripts

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