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October 6, 2011

Roy Halladay


Q. Roy, last year when you came here, you talked about one of the reasons you wanted to come here was the opportunity to pitch in the post-season. Now you're getting the opportunity to pitch in the ultimate post-season game. Just talk about your thoughts, feelings on that going into tomorrow night.
ROY HALLADAY: Well, it's another post-season game, really. I don't think you can get too caught up in what game it is, what game and what it means. It's obviously -- you get to this point in the season, they're all going to mean a lot. So yeah, definitely to come here and pitch in the playoffs is the reason you come to a team like this. I'm obviously looking forward to it, but you know, I think you can't put too much on what the game means. You've got to go out and play it -- like Charlie said, you've got to go out and play loose and play the way you know how to play. I think if you go out thinking, wow, this is everything all in one, I think it can make too much out of it. So I think it's important to -- we realize it's an important game, and I'm looking forward to that. But at the same time, they're all important right now.

Q. At this point there's really no secrets between these two teams anymore, given how much you guys have faced each other. You've already pitched in this series. But can you kind of talk a little bit about the depth and maybe the balance 1 through 8 with that lineup over there, especially what you've seen the last few days?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah. I mean, they're obviously very aggressive. They have some veteran guys that have been in these situations before and very good players, and then they have some young guys that have stepped up for them big. We knew coming in they were playing good. You know, I don't think we've been surprised by anything in the series. You know, we knew they were a good team. We said it all along.
But by the same token, I think it's important for us to realize what we have on our side, too. You know, we feel like we have a team that can go out and win games when we need to win games, and I think that's important for us to keep in mind.
Obviously we've seen what they've done. We know how good they are, and I don't think that surprised us. But it's a balanced team. They do a lot of everything, and they've pitched us pretty tough the last few games. It's a well-rounded, I think, lineup, and pitching, too, has been very good for them.

Q. Tony LaRussa mentioned before one of the games that Halladay versus Carpenter would be the pitching match-up of a lifetime. Are you able to appreciate that at all or maybe that'll come after?
ROY HALLADAY: No, I mean, you definitely look forward to it. Not only is Chris a good pitcher but obviously a good friend. You know, we've talked about this scenario. I think it's something we're both looking forward to. It's going to be a challenge. Going in, you know what you're up against, you know how good they are. You know how good Chris is. And I think everybody expects that he's going to obviously be a lot better than his last time out. We have our work cut out for us, but yeah, I'm looking forward to it, and I know Chris is, also. You know, it's fun. We haven't got a chance to pitch against each other, and if you're going to do it for the first time, might as well be now.

Q. In a Game 5 like this, how important is it for you to kind of get off to a good start? In the first game, you gave up three runs and the guys bailed you out, but how important will it be in this situation to get off to a good start?
ROY HALLADAY: It's just important to make pitches, really. I can't worry about -- I'm not going to change the way I pitch in the first few innings just to try and change the game like that. I think it's important to go out and stick with your plan. You know, last time my plan was the same. You can't go out and try and guard against something. You know, you have to go out and be aggressive.
I felt like that's what we did last time, and I made a mistake and it cost me three runs early. Obviously that's not ideal, it's not what you want to do as a starting pitcher, but you can't ever go out and pitch to try and avoid something. You have to go out and be aggressive and pitch with your game plan. I think that's important.
I'm not going to try and do anything more early in the game than I would do later. I'm going to try and stick with my plan and try and make good pitches the whole game. But you know, you can't -- I think you have to avoid trying to be too perfect, especially early on.

Q. Do you find it ironic that the first time you and Chris go against each other so much is at stake in a game like this?
ROY HALLADAY: No, I mean, that's just the way it happens. We've played each other a couple times; we've just never matched up against each other. You know, it's -- we had a lot of fun playing together, and I think watching each other pitch on opposing teams is -- it's different because you're trying not to root for them, but by the same token they're good friends of yours.
You know, like I said before, I'm looking forward to it. I know he is, too, and you know, it's just the way things played out. You know, it's going to be a great challenge for both of us.

Q. Chris told a story the other day about the nights that you and he would sit up in a hotel room talking about ways to get better as pitchers, become mentally stronger. What do you remember about those meetings with Chris Carpenter?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, yeah, I really felt like we grew together. You know, the last year or two I know -- coming up we both kind of struggled with -- we were supposed to come in and lead this team and be these great pitchers right out of the gate, and I think it was tough for both of us not really knowing how to go about that.
But I really did feel like we kind of learned together, more mentally how to approach the game and how to play the game, and it was a lot of fun. I remember a couple times going to dinner and talking about how we were on a roll at the time, and we really felt like that we had kind of both turned the corner. You know, it was a great experience for me going through that with a guy that was in a similar situation. We really felt like we kind of came up together and learned together, and you know, to be able to do that with another guy, I think, helps you not only learn from him but you see things that he goes through, and you pick up on that. It was just a great experience to go through that together, to learn together, to get better together, and ultimately coming out of there feeling like the time that we spent had really benefitted both of us.

Q. The friendship that you have with Chris, are you guys the type of guys that talk in the off-season, maybe send him a text message today or anything like that?
ROY HALLADAY: We've talked a little bit during the series, but you know, I think you get down to this point, we're both -- that stuff kind of goes on the back burner. I think that the priorities are obviously with our team. There's going to be -- it's going to be competitive. Once you get to this point, you're going out trying to help your team win.
We have talked back and forth throughout the series, but I think we both -- we get to this point, and it's down to business. The friendships kind of go by the wayside, I think, after this point.

Q. And how was the flight home last night and the mood in the clubhouse today?
ROY HALLADAY: Normal. You know, I think that we're in an even series coming home to play the final game. Like I said, we feel confident with the guys that we have in our clubhouse, and we get to play the deciding game in front of our fans. You know, I think that we all feel like this is something we can accomplish, and we know it's going to be a challenge, but I think we're all looking forward to it.

Q. In a situation like this, will you concentrate on what he's doing on the mound, or will you kind of go into your own zone and block it out?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I won't worry about what he's doing, obviously, until I'm up there hitting. But no, you can't pitch based on what he's doing, and obviously it's important for me to really stick to my plan and focus on that. I think that when you start doing those other things, they become distractions. I'm not going to worry about what he's doing. It's important for me to focus on what I need to do to help our team win.

Q. You pitched in an elimination game last year in San Francisco. Is there anything you can kind of draw off that to help you going into this start, or is it just like any other start for you?
ROY HALLADAY: You know, I think -- and I talked a little bit about it before the first game, but I think the biggest thing is just having really a healthy perspective on the whole thing. I think if you go in thinking about the consequences and what could happen, you know, it's distracting. So I think that's the one thing I learned last year was to not worry about that, to go out and pitch and have fun with it, enjoy it, and look at it as a challenge, the challenge that it is, and not worry about what happens if we don't do it. I think those are things that only get in the way.
I think that's the biggest thing I learned last year. And talking with some people who had been around the game before that experience last year, that was the biggest thing I came away with. It was having a perspective on it. One way or the other, it's a baseball game, and it's a game that you love to play, and you can't forget that.

Q. I'm wondering, do you remember where you were, what your reaction was when you found out that Carp was no longer going to be with the Blue Jays? And the second part, which one of you is a better fisherman?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I do remember. He actually -- we had both been going pretty good there in the last year he was there, and he had some shoulder issues and ended up having surgery. And I remember him talking to me and saying that he had been offered a pretty good deal by St. Louis.
You know, really at that point -- you hate to see a guy like that go, but you realize that it's a great opportunity for him in his career to go. Yeah, I definitely remember it. I wish he would have been there a lot longer, but he went off and won a World Series and Cy Young, did some good things. I was happy for him.
As far as a better fisherman, I don't know. It's a toss-up. I think I've been practicing more lately than he has.

Q. When you're on the mound, you give a very kind of business like approach. You talked about a lot of the work you put into each start. Is there any nervousness or anxiety that goes into a start? And does it take you a little bit to settle into a game, a few pitches, a batter or two?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, I think it's more -- I think there's more anticipation than anxiety. I think that's -- you know, any time -- as a starting pitcher, I think the hardest part is the anticipation before the game actually starts, you know, leading up to it. I think once you get into the game, if you've -- for me, once I get in the bullpen and I start throwing, all that goes away.
You know, I think the first couple pitches of the game, really by that point it becomes a regular start, but I think the hardest part for any pitcher is that anticipation beforehand. You wish it would start sooner than later. It seems like it takes forever to get there, and I think the waiting and the thinking about it, you know, that's the toughest part for a starter. Once it gets going, I think it becomes normal quickly.

Q. I was wondering if you recall the situation and the circumstances when you first met Carp and what your impression of him was, and also, Tony speaks very glowingly about Pat Hankin, and I wondered what role he may have had in both of your developments?
ROY HALLADAY: You know, I can't remember exactly the first time I met him. My guess is it was probably Spring Training somewhere, but it was definitely because of Pat Hankin. Yeah, I know he was huge for both of us. He was for me probably the biggest influence on probably my career as a player coming from another player. I've had other influences as far as coaches, and the Harvey Dorfmans and guys like that. But as far as a player, I think Pat influenced me the most, and I know for sure Chris would say the same thing. Obviously a true professional, taught us how to do things the right way, was always friendly to us, always taught us, and he was -- couldn't come up with a better guy, and I think Chris would say the same thing. We definitely learned a lot from him, and we both stuck to him pretty closely.

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