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October 14, 2010

C.C. Sabathia


Q. How much were you affected by the long layoff and what will you do differently to combat that?
CC SABATHIA: The last time I think I had a week or six days, and only threw one bullpen. This time I threw two bullpens twice and flat ground twice and I'll do another flat ground today and last time I was a little too strong and tend to get out of whack and it's tough for me to throw strikes.

Q. What is the biggest challenge about having so many days between starts?
CC SABATHIA: Just making sure I'm throwing enough and like I said, I think I did this time, throwing two bullpens and two flat grounds and you know, like I said, I'll throw another one today and that's just the toughest thing is making sure that my mechanics stay good and I'm standing tall and throwing downhill.

Q. Can you talk about your relationship with Cliff Lee and any disappointment and are you glad to not be facing him?
CC SABATHIA: I really don't care. I'm not hitting off of him so I could care less. Me and Cliff have been friends for a long time. We was in the Cleveland organization together. He came up probably my third or fourth year and we hit it off right off the bat, so it's just been one of those relationships where we always keep in touch, always talk to each other, our families are pretty close and just one of those friends that I probably have even when I'm done playing baseball.

Q. Right now they have you scheduled for games 1 and 5, if they had decided to throw you on short rest for Game 4, is there anything you need to do to prepare?
CC SABATHIA: If they tell me that, I just go for it. The only thing is he would have to tell me before I throw a bullpen, because if I've thrown one on three days, I normally don't throw a bullpen and just do two flat grounds and be ready to go.

Q. How do the Rangers compare to other teams --
CC SABATHIA: I think they are far above. You see what they did to Tampa. For me, I try to hold the ball, I have no problem slicing it up, and hopefully I can just keep those guys off the bases and be able to concentrate on the middle of that lineup.

Q. Having been a teammate with Cliff Lee, after you were traded from Cleveland, how can you track his development as a pitcher? What have you thought, he's different now than he was when you guys were teammates?
CC SABATHIA: Honestly I don't think he was -- I think 2006, I think he won 18 games. I think 2007, he had a tough year, he was hurt and he was hurt in Spring Training and tried to rush back and didn't really give himself a chance to heal and ended up getting sent down. He's always been good. He's always had good control. I think him throwing the sinker now, his changeups gotten a lot better and that's the thing, he's had a good curveball and a good cutter, just the changeup is the biggest development I've seen.

Q. You have great captain, could you tell me your opinion for how reliable he is for you?
CC SABATHIA: Oh, he's huge. You know, to watch what he's done, you know, year-in, year-out, especially in the playoffs, he's leading pretty much in every offensive category and just gives you the confidence to go out and do what you need to do and you know those guys are behind you.
They are going to play hard and usually play well.

Q. Last year you got started every series as home; what are the challenges of starting a series like this on the road?
CC SABATHIA: I don't know, I mean, I don't feel any different. We're a veteran ballclub, and we knew what the situation we got into getting the Wild Card and we knew that we had to win games on the road to win in the series.
For me, I don't pitch any different in any other park and it seems not to have affected us up to this point.

Q. You all have a lot more post-season experience, coming off winning a first series, maybe they are happy to be here, that sort of thing; is that even more important to jump on them early, to get a strong start in this series?
CC SABATHIA: I think it is important, in any series, to get off to a good start and try to jump on a team early. I don't think they are just happy to be here. I think they believe in themselves and that they are a good team and can play with anybody.
We need to come out and play well and play good defense and be good pitching and just play the way we have been playing all year.

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