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October 2, 2011

Justin Verlander


Q. Justin, can you talk about the whole aspect of coming back two days after throwing one very exciting and loud inning there Friday night? What do you think that's all going to be like?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Just try to keep it the same. Hopefully I'm able to keep it like my routine, I guess. Kind of treat that as a pretty intense bullpen session and go about my business as normal, since that day, to prepare for Monday.

Q. Justin, did you feel like you were able to channel your adrenaline well the other night? Is having two days to sort of regather and pitch hopefully a normal start going to be helpful?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: It might be beneficial. Obviously I would have liked to have continued on in Game 1 and establish a rhythm and get into the feel of the game. That wasn't the case, obviously. So just reset and go from here.
I got a feeling of what it's like, and there was some adrenaline. Anybody who says there's not is full of it. It's being able to channel it and use it the right way. I felt pretty calm and collected early on, especially to Jeter. But I felt like I had to go to a little bit extra there before I would have liked. Once a couple of guys got on base, I hadn't really established my rhythm yet. For the most part, felt pretty good.

Q. Justin, what were the extent of your conversations with Jim about possibly pitching today?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: It went along the lines of, "Hey, Skip, I can go on Sunday." "No, you're going on Monday." "Okay." (Laughter).

Q. Justin, when you talk about the adrenaline, can you describe the process of you're used to having it channel out over the course of four days in between. Can you describe the process of getting up so high for a playoff game, having to come back down, forced by the weather, and then having to ramp it back up again so quickly?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: No, I really can't. I haven't had my start yet. I can't really explain to you how it's going to be. I would think it might be a little bit easier than you might expect, having kind of gone through it already, gone through the motions, knowing what to expect, how my body is going to react. So I think this time around it will almost be like I've already had one start, even though I haven't, obviously. I got one inning. But I got to do all the preparation and realize what it's going to feel like going out there.

Q. Obviously pitching Game 1 in Yankee Stadium against CC Sabathia is going to be as hyped up as it gets. Have you begun to think now about that Game 3 is going to be a swing game and you're at home again against Sabathia, and maybe the differences in that type of matchup?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Well, you know, I think it's going to be a big game no matter what, whether it's Game 1 at Yankee Stadium or Game 3 in Detroit. Obviously there will probably be a little bit more publicity now for Game 3 because of what occurred and all the news that encompassed it with me and CC facing off again. Either way you look at it, it's going to be a swing game. Hopefully it's a swing game and the series is tied up at 1-1. Hopefully it doesn't have to be a must-win situation for us. Either way it's going to be an exciting game.

Q. Separating yourself as much as you can from the question, how do you feel at 250 innings this year plus about pitch counts and about wear and tear on a particular pitcher's arm? How that ceiling has been established through the years and how it might apply, in your own view about pitchers and injuries? And I have a follow-up.
JUSTIN VERLANDER: You say separate myself from that question? I really can't. I can only answer it about myself and how I feel. I feel fantastic, really. I talked to you all year long. This is why I work so hard before Spring Training and during Spring Training is for this time now.
Every individual I think needs to be treated differently, and in my case, I feel strong and I've prepared myself to throw that many innings and to still be able to throw strong in October. This is what it's all about. I think pitch counts is a non-issue.

Q. With Jim giving you six days' rest or five days' rest a few times, do you think that had any beneficial effect?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Maybe. It might have. But I feel pretty good either way. But I know that was his game plan. He wanted to give me two games of five days of rest to really make sure I got nice and strong for my one inning of work.

Q. What do you think of the success of any sports team in Detroit does for the people of the city of Detroit?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I think it's fantastic. One, the more you win, the more fans come. Bringing people to Downtown Detroit helps the economy tremendously. The Lions doing well, us in the playoffs and the Red Wings are such a historic franchise located Downtown. If everybody is doing well, it means a lot to the city of Detroit. Being a boost to their economy, especially Downtown, because it seems like a lot of times people shy away from the Downtown area. When things are going well with the sporting teams, obviously, people tend to migrate there much more often.

Q. Specifically, how do you feel today compared to the way you would feel the day before a start normally? How much did that take out of you the other night?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I can't answer that question. I haven't played catch yet. I would assume I feel pretty good. Felt pretty good yesterday, so hopefully if it progresses as normal, I'll feel pretty daggone strong today.

Q. Jim was in here earlier and said Robinson Cano is one of the best players he's ever seen in the sport. You've seen what he's done all year. You saw, you had a firsthand spot last night what he did. Do you see any holes in that swing? And when he does stuff like that, do you think, how do I try to figure out a guy that has no weaknesses, essentially?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: If I did see holes, I wouldn't tell you (Laughter).
Obviously, looking at him, he's a great player, great hitter. Probably the best second baseman in the league. The numbers are always in our favor. No matter how good a hitter is, he's not hitting over .500 the last I checked. I don't think anybody ever has. So the numbers are always in our favor as a pitcher. You always have that to your advantage. And have it in the back of your mind as to not give in to anybody.

Q. After you threw the no-hitter in Toronto and took some no-hit bids into late innings after that, it seemed like every start, in Detroit especially, became an event. Did you feed off the crowd at Comerica Park any differently this year, especially as kind of the hype and attention build-up compared with previous years? What do you think they'll be like tomorrow?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I would say I did feed off the crowd quite a bit this year. I think they were tremendous, not only for my starts, but on the whole as the season. But specifically, for me, when I was out there, it seemed a little extra exciting, I guess. Specifically, the couple of games at home I took into the later innings, the no-hitter, it was pretty exciting. And I definitely felt the encouragement and the excitement around me. That was really fun.
You know it's going to be electric tomorrow. The fans in Detroit have been waiting anxiously for this day since 2006. Hopefully we don't disappoint them and hopefully we have a lot more home games.

Q. Jim said probably unlikely that you would pitch even in relief in Game 5, just looking ahead. I'm wondering how you would feel about that and what you'll say to him about it. And No. 2, do you feel cheated at all that you didn't get the two full starts you probably would have had in this series if it went the distance?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: I haven't really had a chance to think about it. Obviously, I only want one start. We don't want to go to a Game 5 even if that were the case. If that needed to go, I would have liked to have been the guy to have two, but we're a team. We have been all year. We got four other starters here with us. You just have to look forward; you can't look back. You have to do whatever we can to win here today so we go back home with an even series like we did in 2006.

Q. If it comes to pass what would you say to Jim about your availability?
JUSTIN VERLANDER: Game 5 relief appearance? I might not say anything. Maybe I'll just go down to the bullpen. I know he won't let me. I've tried too many times before. He always says no and gets mad at me. If I go down there and maybe if he sees me warming up, maybe he'll think differently.

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