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October 2, 2011

Max Scherzer


Detroit Tigers 5
New York Yankees 3

Q. Max, you had given up I think 15 home runs on the road, and I think that's why they wanted to pitch you at home, and then of course the rain changed everything around. What was your focus there today, this team and that short right-field porch and everything that goes with pitching in this ballpark against this team?
MAX SCHERZER: You really can't focus on the ballpark per se. I was more focused on the quality of their hitters. And making sure I was executing pitches throughout the whole night. Even when I was behind in the count, never giving in in a situation where it could cost me. They're a very good power-hitting ballclub. For me it was making sure whether it was a fastball or off-speed pitch that no matter the situation I had to execute it no matter what.

Q. Max, growing up in St. Louis, was there a time where you had a fantasy or a dream about pitching a game like this in the postseason?
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, I've always been a baseball fan my whole life. The postseason is what it's all about. Everything is on the line. Every game is a must-win game and you always want to be able to pitch your best in these situations. Today I was actually able to come out pretty calm and be able to settle in and throw a really good game.

Q. Can you remember any circumstance where you were a kid playing ball or anything like that where you dreamed about that?
MAX SCHERZER: I think every kid has. For me as a kid I was dreaming about hitting it. Now I'm dreaming about pitching it.

Q. You threw 27 pitches in the first inning then settled down. What changed for you between the first inning and the rest of the game?
MAX SCHERZER: For me, believe it not, I was very calm, relaxed in the first inning. I thought I was slowing down my motion, my tempo. I kind of made the adjustment of kind of getting fired back up and picking up my tempo, so I could continue to have a feel for my fastballs. Once I was able to do that, I think that's when I started executing pitches a lot better.

Q. How different does the series feel now that it's 1-1?
MAX SCHERZER: It's big. That was our No. 1 goal to come here and split. If you're able to do that, now the way the situation happened with the rain, now we're able to give Ver the ball for Game 3. For us we have to like where we're sitting.

Q. A couple of times you mentioned how calm you were. Not everybody can do that coming in here. How did you do that? How did you stay calm?
MAX SCHERZER: Because I had confidence I was going to pitch well today. From the moment I woke up, I wasn't anxious to get out to the field today. I was just very relaxed and was able to slow everything down and it allowed me to pitch my game. The only thing was when I came out that relaxed, that's not how I pitch. I pitch a little bit more amped up. Once I kind of made that adjustment of kind of in the mental level, that's when I felt like I was able to settle in.

Q. Did you realize that you had gone into the sixth inning and still hadn't let up a hit?
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, I was aware of it. I think once you get through the third inning, that's when you -- if you see the line, not yours, but the score box, you can see there's a zero in that spot. I was aware that I had it going. But that's the fun part of baseball and the fun part of pitching. Now you can continue to execute. Obviously that means you're probably pitching pretty well.
For me it was no pressure at all to keep it going.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Max.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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