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October 3, 2011

A.J. Burnett


Q. A.J., when you were here in May, you pitched against these guys, and I think you had no hits for the first five, six innings or something like that. Is there anything you remember about that start that -- I realize they're somewhat of a different lineup now, but is there anything you can take into tomorrow night?
A.J. BURNETT: I'll watch that. I'll watch both games. I faced them at home earlier in the year. That also was earlier in the year. A good-hitting team over there. I'll have to look back and see how I attacked them and see how I went at it.
I'm still going to have to go after these guys no matter how I pitched before against them.

Q. A.J., you made a start last year in the playoffs with a lot of rest and the schedule recently has been somewhat different for you, too. How do you handle that this time? Did you learn anything from last time? Is there anything specific you're doing to try to make sure you're ready based off the different schedule?
A.J. BURNETT: Last year I threw a couple of live BPs in between. I actually was able to throw a bullpen the other day. The day I was in the 'pen, obviously, I didn't. The next day when they told me when I was throwing, I went out and got some work in. That was very important when I got on the mound. A normal bullpen, a normal session. I got my work in to get ready for tomorrow.

Q. A.J., how much, if any, does your mindset change going into tomorrow's night game based on what happens tonight?
A.J. BURNETT: It's important either way, the way I look at it. Obviously, the outcome will make it even more important. It's going to be important no matter what. To go at it, getting an opportunity to throw, pitch for these guys, who had my support all year, my teammates, my staff. I'm looking forward to it.
It will change a little bit, I'm sure. But it's important no matter what happens today.

Q. A.J., when you were traded from the Mets to the Marlins in 1998, Leyland was the manager of that team. I know you didn't go straight to the Majors at that point, but did you meet him at all at that point? Do you have any kind of experience with him?
A.J. BURNETT: No, I didn't get a chance to meet him. I think I was traded before that. The winter before I got called up. No, I've run across him a couple of times on the field and said "hey," but as far as in the past with the Marlins, no, never got a chance.

Q. There are a lot of fans worried about you starting this game. Are you motivated at all to prove people wrong?
A.J. BURNETT: I've been proving people wrong my whole career, it seems like. People are entitled to their opinion. Obviously I give them reasons here and there to doubt. The bottom line is I have confidence in myself. My teammates have confidence in me, my staff. To go out and -- I'm not going to go out and try to prove anything. I'm going to go out and try to win a ballgame.

Q. A.J., is it odd to you at all the way this whole thing unwound with the rain-out and the schedule and rotation? Does that affect you at all? Is it odd at all in your mind?
A.J. BURNETT: We've been dealing with rain all year. It did affect the possibility of me getting a start. So I'm going to take it and run with it. Had it not rained and I had been in the bullpen, waiting for a call, waiting to help out any way I can. The only thing that's changed is I have a chance tomorrow to help out.

Q. Have you watched that World Series game that you pitched in 2009? Is that something you've used to motivate yourself?
A.J. BURNETT: I haven't watched it in a while. I will be playing it, yes.

Q. Tonight?
A.J. BURNETT: More than likely. I do have it on the computer. I haven't watched it in a while, probably not since last year. I watch a lot of video. (Indiscernible). We have a lot of videos. That would be definitely be a good one to watch, for sure.

Q. A.J., do you look at the postseason as a chance at all to make up for the regular season?
A.J. BURNETT: I look -- who asked that? I look at it as a chance to get my team a win tomorrow, a very big one. I had good games, bad games during the season. You can say the same thing about the postseason, but you can't count me out. I'm going to bring everything I've got. And just let A.J. loose out there.
Like I said, it's an important game. It's going to be more important depending on the outcome, but I can't do anything to change the season. But I can help my team to win. I'm going to do that the best I can.

Q. A.J., what's your confidence level like after the couple of starts you had in September that went very well?
A.J. BURNETT: Believe it or not, I have pretty good confidence every start. I try to go out and believe I can throw a no-hitter. Even last year when I couldn't get out of the first inning, I took the mound the next start with belief. And I did so this year. If I don't do that, then I don't make it where I'm at now. I don't have that few good starts towards the end if I don't stay that way.
So confidence has never been a problem. Not at all. I'm confident on any given day I can go out and do what I'm supposed to do.

Q. A.J., how do you approach the Tigers lineup, especially with Cabrera?
A.J. BURNETT: Obviously, he's the guy you don't want to let hurt you. I had the pleasure to play with him a while back. He's a treat. He's fun to be around and a great hitter. So like I mentioned earlier, I'm going to look at how I faced them both games this year, and I'm just going to attack him. If I go into defense mode, then they got me. I have to stay on my toes and attack, whether it's Jackson or Cabrera or anyone else out there. I have to look at it as the same hitter.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, A.J.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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