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October 3, 2011

Jaime Garcia


Q. Obviously you pitched a very big game a week ago today in Houston. How does that experience or will that experience help you tomorrow? And if it does help you, in what way?
JAIME GARCIA: Well, we've been pitching in very big games for five weeks; for us it's been playoffs the last month and a half.
So I think that I've been physically feeling really good, mentally, and I'm real excited to be here. I'm ready to go. Just going to try to go out there and have some fun tomorrow.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about, you have a recent history with the Phillies, and I don't know if that's good, bad or indifferent, having faced them less than three weeks ago, but sort of the pitfalls and challenges of facing that lineup?
JAIME GARCIA: Yeah, obviously they have a really good lineup. I think it was the best team in baseball this year, the most wins in baseball, so they've got a really good team, really good lineup. But what's in the past is in the past. I'm going to take what I can from those games when I faced them before. But I'm going to -- I'm just going to try to get ready physically and mentally for tomorrow and see what happens, try to give us a chance to win.

Q. Your stats home and away are drastically different. Could you talk about that, maybe the comfort level of pitching here in St. Louis?
JAIME GARCIA: You know, this year has been a little -- it's only my second full year in the Big Leagues. Obviously I like pitching at home because the crowd or whatever you want to say. I don't know. I don't really see any big difference personally. But I feel like -- I've said this before, that this year the bad games -- I had a lot of not very good games on the road, it happened to happen on the road. But I just -- the way I see it is that it doesn't matter if I pitch at home or on the road, I've just got to get ready for that, and that's all I can basically think about.

Q. You've been really good against lefties, and then you had that small stretch where you struggled against lefties and then you sort of went back to normal. How big is that going to be with all the lefties that they have, that you have kind of figured out whatever was going on there?
JAIME GARCIA: Well, obviously every time I'm pitching, I try to get everybody out, lefties or righties. That's my job, starting pitcher. But like I said, they've got a really good lineup, really tough lefties, but I feel really good about myself, too, where I am right now physically, and I'm just going to go out there and figure out whatever I need to do to give us a better chance to win the ballgame.

Q. What's the carryover from last night's win for the team, do you think? What was the plane ride like? And what do you take from a game like that where you're down early against one of the game's real good pitchers and you just keep chipping away and the bullpen does what it does?
JAIME GARCIA: Yeah, it was really surprising for us because, you said it, one of the best pitchers in the game right now. But that's something that we've been doing for the last five, six weeks. We've been battling every single game, and we never give up. We never stop trying and giving 100 percent, and that's the great thing about those guys, my teammates. They're awesome, and I'm so grateful to be around those guys, and I know they're going to try to do the same thing tomorrow. They're going to go out there and try to do their job the best they can, and I'm going to try to do my job, too. But it was definitely really exciting to get that win last night, and to be home with that even series is going to be -- gives you that extra excitement.

Q. Mentally how does that change things for you going in with the series even as opposed to being down 2-0 coming back here?
JAIME GARCIA: You know what, I try not to think about those things. All I try to focus is on getting ready for the game, don't matter if we're down or up or even. But obviously having a chance instead of being 0-2 down in the series, then even, gives you a little breather. But for me personally, it's the same thing. I'm going to go out there and just do what I've been doing all year and just concentrate on what I can control, and that's it, try not to leave any other things in my head and just focus on my thing.

Q. What does this start mean to you given all that you've come through, through the minors, from high school? And also, Tony said earlier that you're a guy that probably cares too much, and I was going to see if you could shed some light on that.
JAIME GARCIA: Yeah, it's really exciting because like you said, I've been through a lot of stuff. But it's just helped me to get a little tougher, stronger mentally. I really care about my job, and I try to prepare myself as best I can physically, mentally, and try to do -- every time I get a chance to pitch and go out there, just try to do my best. But it's a learning process. Sometimes -- this is only my second year, like I said, second full season in the Big Leagues, and I'm learning a lot of things this year. You learn your body and stuff that works for you and don't. But I get paid to do this, and this is the thing that I love to do, and I'm going to keep doing it with trying to give 100 percent as long as I get a chance to play this game.

Q. With the Cardinals' lineup, how confident are you that you'll get run support, and what do you expect going in?
JAIME GARCIA: Oh, yeah, we've been doing a great job hitting lately. But like I said before, I'm going to go out there and just focus on my thing. I know we're going to score some runs because we've got a great lineup for us, but I've still got to go out there and do my job. If we score some runs and I don't do my job, it's going to be hard. I've got to try to go as deep as I can and keep us in the ballgame and try not to worry about any other distractions.

Q. What's the impact of going a week without having a week between your starts here? Is there something you sort of have to be conscious of or weary of after having so much time off?
JAIME GARCIA: You know what, I battled in the past during the season, and it's something like -- I always answer that question the same thing, just worry about tomorrow, and what's in the past is in the past. I've just got to get ready for tomorrow and try to get all the distractions out of my head, and that's the way I see it, and I'm going to think that way tomorrow.

Q. You talked about kind of being already in playoff mode just because of the way you guys had to fight over the last month, but taking them out of your post-season start after being around them for the first couple games, do you feel like you know what to expect when you head out there tomorrow?
JAIME GARCIA: Yeah, because it's the same ballgame, nothing changes. It's the same baseball. To me it's the same hitters, a little more -- I want to say a little more exciting because obviously it's the playoffs. But to me it's the same thing, same preparation, same stuff I've got to do to go out there and worry about the things I've been worrying about the whole year.
One of the biggest things I've learned in this game is you've got to keep it as simple as possible as you can, so that's what I'm going to try to do tomorrow.

Q. Understanding that every season has ebbs and flows, especially when you make as many starts as you do or any starting pitcher does, what happened in August? And more importantly, maybe how did you sort of right that and get dialed in again for September?
JAIME GARCIA: What happened is it's baseball. They get paid to hit, too. We pitch; they hit. So sometimes it goes our way; sometimes it goes their way. But the way I see it is that you always learn from the mistakes, from the bad outings, too. I feel you learn more from those games than the good ones. I never stopped caring, and I've always kept working really hard and trying to bounce back. I feel like I pitched a couple good games when we really needed them to keep us in there. But basically to answer your question, it's part of baseball, and like I said before, it's only my second year in the Big Leagues.

Q. Any advantage to having faced this Phillies' lineup so recently, just having gone up against them a couple weeks ago?
JAIME GARCIA: Advantage? Not really. I don't see it that way. Like I said before, they've got a really good lineup, a lot of really good hitters, a lot of experience, and I don't see any advantage or disadvantage. To me it's just go out there and try to do my job.

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