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October 12, 2011

Kyle Lohse


Q. How would you characterize your season this year, one of your best ones?
KYLE LOHSE: Probably close, close between this one and 2008. I think coming back from what I've gone through the last two years with the arm injury, I probably give the edge to this year being I didn't know how I was going to recover from that, and you know, just kind of the way the whole season went, started off hot and kind of had a little scuffle there in the middle, and then finished up pretty good. So I was pretty proud of that.

Q. It's not a new thing, but with this extended break between starts, can you just share a little bit about what you're doing and how you're keeping sharp and staying ready?
KYLE LOHSE: Yeah I've been able to deal with it pretty well. During the second half, I had a couple of layoffs like that where actually I think right before my last start against Milwaukee, I had about 11 or 12 days off. This time was a little different. I didn't have time to do two sides or anything, because I was available in the bullpen during that Philadelphia series and never threw.
But I've just tried to stay sharp, throwing flat grounds. I had my regular bullpen session the other day, felt good. Maybe threw a little bit more than I normally would have, just kind of get a little of the extra energy or whatever you call it out, and just try to stay sharp. I'm doing everything I can to keep myself mentally prepared and that's about all you can do.

Q. How do you attribute your late success, is it just a matter of being back on the mound and getting more in the routine after what you went through earlier?
KYLE LOHSE: I think, I don't know exactly what -- I had a couple finger issues there starting off the second half trying to -- certain pitches kind of were tough for me to throw without pain, and given the extra rest that I was given, I feel that I was able to get stronger, and towards the whole last month of September, I felt pretty good about where I was health-wise and kind of got back in the routine of being every four or five days or every five or six days, whatever it was.
I think that really helped out, and you know, I don't think -- I don't think the extra rest this time is going to hurt.

Q. I hope this was not already asked, I got here late. Not just in terms of preparation, but is it a challenge mentally, when you've been a regular part of the rotation all year long, and you're a big part of what takes place, and then you get to the post-season, you're on the roster, but you don't participate through so many games. I mean, is that a tough thing to deal with?
KYLE LOHSE: You know, luckily, we were talking during the second half, I had a couple of extended layoffs between starts. So I think, like I said, one of my starts against Milwaukee, I had about 11 or 12 days off and came in and did pretty well. So mentally I know I can refocus myself, and it just takes a matter of getting out there in the first inning, getting all of those juices going again and kind of get back in that groove.
I don't really see it being too big of a problem since I was able to do it successfully during the second half. You know, I would have liked to have been out there before, but the way it worked out, I'll take the extra rest and I'll be ready.

Q. Given all kinds of differing circumstances, can you kind of compare the experience of this post-season to 2009?
KYLE LOHSE: Again, how so? What do you mean?

Q. Just for you personally. You're coming off a strong year and just all of that, the difference in the experience.
KYLE LOHSE: 2009 was kind of a down year for me. So I don't see a whole lot of similarities between the years. 2009 I was dealing with trying to figure out what was wrong with my arm, was the first thing, trying to diagnose that. That was tough. Going out there and throwing and trying to figure out why after about 50 or 60 pitches my hand basically wouldn't work.
Going through that helped me a lot mentally. I think it helped me focus more. Once I got healthy this year, I think going through that definitely has gotten me to where I am now, because now I've got my health and I can go out there and compete fairly it feels like, and I think it definitely -- it definitely helped.

Q. From your standpoint, what's the difference in pitching against the Brewers as pitching against the Phillies?
KYLE LOHSE: They are pretty similar. They are -- both clubs are really deep. With these guys, you've got to be really careful of trying to keep guys off the bases in front of Braun and Fielder. It's no secret you do your best to face them without guys in scoring position, or kind of pick your poison between the two.
The Phillies had that same kind of deal where you had Howard, obviously he hurt me in that last series, and just trying to keep those guys out of there. It's not really a secret; you have to keep the ball on the ground, because they can put it out if you leave it up.

Q. What things do you do to keep yourself mentally prepared over stretches like this?
KYLE LOHSE: Just try to stay focused in the game, watching what the other pitchers are doing against them, what's working, what's not working; a lot of video watching. Just try to -- every day when I go out to play catch before the game, just try to work on my stuff and do the best I can to stay sharp.
There's not a whole lot I can do because I was available out of the bullpen so I didn't want to wear myself out in case something bad happened and I had to end up pitching that game.
So I just did as much flat ground work and just trying to stay physically active and not let myself relax too much.

Q. Mentally?
KYLE LOHSE: Mentally, I don't know how else to put it other than just staying focused on what the other guys are doing and thinking about what you would throw in those situations and stuff like that.

Q. Bad weather could be in the area tonight which obviously could either interrupt or delay the game. I'm wondering from a starting pitcher's point of view, how you kind of prepare for a game that could be stopped in the middle of the first, second, third inning and if once the game is delayed, if there is a point of no return, and why that is for a starting pitcher.
KYLE LOHSE: That's one thing that I've dealt with over the last couple of years; it seems to always rain on my day, so I was kind of surprised that it would rain on Carp's day instead of mine.
So I'll be -- as a starting pitcher, you cannot really worry yourself about that kind of stuff and you just wait until it happens, if it does happen, because if you worry about it and it doesn't happen, you're going to lose your focus. A lot of times when it does happen, what I would do is go down in the cage and try to stay warm, throwing against the wall and just doing anything you can to stay ready in case you do get to go back out there.
Other than that, you just can't really do much about the weather. You just have to stay focused and not let yourself get distracted if it starts to get wet out there or any other things happen.

Q. What is your point of no return?
KYLE LOHSE: I think it varies. I've experienced games, I remember back in 2008, I stayed in an hour and 45-minute long delay by throwing down in the cage. Other times, you get taken out after about 30 minutes depending on your pitch count where you're at and how things are going. It's one of those things that's really up to Tony and Dunc how they want to handle it.
If you ask any of our starters, we'd love to try to stay in there and it's up to them to determine what's best for the team.

Q. When you're throwing in the cage against the wall, is that similar to throw and catch? How do you balance not wearing yourself out?
KYLE LOHSE: What I've done when those things happen, you handle it like an inning. You sit and rest for a while and get up to throw what you would between innings and maybe a couple extra pitches and sit down and rest a little bit again. Try to simulate an inning without wearing yourself out too much. Pretty much all you can do besides sit there and wait for the rain to stop.

Q. Sorry if I'm asking this again, but tell me about last year on the road back and how meaningful this year is now.
KYLE LOHSE: Yeah, it was tough to deal with the last couple of years. You know, coming off in 2008, probably my best year up until this year, and I got hit by a ball and messed up my forearm, and trying to figure what kind of things we could do to fix it; and then finally having the surgery last year and coming back, and maybe I pushed it a little too much, because I wanted to get out there and compete. And things didn't work out the way I wanted it to.
But it meant a lot to me to be able to come back and be healthy this year and probably have my best year of my career. I think a lot of it is due to what I went through the past two years, mentally struggling with not being 100% out there, and all of the stuff that I had dealt with going through the rehab, not knowing when I would be back to full strength, going through a surgery that no one else has had in baseball, that was a little scary when you don't know how your arm is going to recover.
I don't have the same zip on my fastball, but I've learned how to control it, how to move it around a little better and I think a lot of that is due to the recovery process and the mentality that I had to take out thereafter the surgery.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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