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October 16, 2012

Max Scherzer


THE MODERATOR:  We will take the first question for Max Scherzer.

Q.  Max, how are you feeling today?  And what is your stamina like after not pitching as much?
MAX SCHERZER:  I feel good.  You know, it's kind of spring training, so I am building back up.  And I think I will better time this time than I was last time.
I'm looking forward to getting back out there and having the full workload.

Q.  Max, looking back when you pitch at Yankee Stadium in April, I remember there was about 119 pitches and without getting out of the fifth.  How big of a step was that for you to start getting right in terms of efficiency?  Was that kind of the point where you realized anything?
MAX SCHERZER:  I think that was the game when I walked seven guys, and that's something‑‑ that is one of my worst starts of the year considering that's something I pride myself on, limiting my walks.
So really from that start on.  It was a little bit longer after that when everything seemed to click for me, when I started getting my fastball command back.  And for me, that start doesn't really apply to how they are going to approach me this time.

Q.  Max, having been part of such a big trade a few years ago, I am wondering if you monitor all of the other guys in the trade, Granderson and Kennedy, and how well that has worked out for you, that trade.
MAX SCHERZER:  I mean, like you said, there's a lot of people in that trade, so it's hard to keep up with everybody.  Really, once I got traded over to Detroit, it has been a great home for me.
I'm so happy to be in this city and play for this team and this organization.  And to be a part of something special here is great, and hopefully we can keep going.

Q.  You probably are aware, or at least are thinking, Max, that the Yankees' approach is going to change here tonight.  Joe Girardi was alluding to that after Sunday's game.  How much strategy, how much thinking about what they're thinking, do you allow to be part of your game plan?  Because you've had an approach as a team to this team, and yet you know that they are likely to change their tactics a little bit before tonight.
MAX SCHERZER:  Yeah, anytime you catch an offense like that where they're searching for adjustments, you kind of know that's going to happen.  This happens to us, you know, as pitchers all throughout the year, so it's something new that we have to face.
It's just going to be which hitters are going to make the biggest adjustment from what they typically do.  And the only thing to do is to go out there and pitch your normal game from your standard idea of how you want to attack them and make adjustments.  So it is a cat‑and‑mouse game.

Q.  We often hear starting pitchers on your club and many others talk about feeling emboldened or fortified because they have a closer at the end of the game whose sort of a net for them.  Right now it sounds like your team isn't really sure who's going to close.  What is the impact on you?
MAX SCHERZER:  It doesn't impact me really that much.  My job is to go out there and give the team a chance to win, that's my ultimate goal, and pitching as deep into the game as I can.
I know we got quality arms that we can go to right now that are going to get the job done, but as it relates to me, it doesn't affect me.  I'm pitching the first part of the game, and I'm trying to do the best I can.

Q.  Max, how have the shoulders issues forced you or led to you at all mixing up pitches differently than maybe you were earlier in the summer?  Have you gotten more confidence in your secondary stuff at all because of what you had to go through?
MAX SCHERZER:  No, not at all.  I think the secondary stuff is independent of that.  You know, it's just a development of fine tuning all of my off‑speed pitches to be more effective.  Since they have been more effective, I found more opportunities to use them.
I think that's just, you know, a credit to working throughout the whole season with Jeff Jones on fine tuning each pitch in our bullpens so that it is more effective during the game.  So it doesn't really‑‑the shoulder issues really has no impact at all on how I am pitching.

Q.  Can you give us kind of a timeline of how your delivery changed since the Arizona days, Max?  And how that has played out?
MAX SCHERZER:  It's been just tweaked.  The major mechanical things are the same.  It's more on how my arm works and where my hands break throughout my delivery.
So for me it's really been little twists here and there to increase more time for my arm to work properly.  And, you know, just a few a tweaks here and there have allowed me to have more success.

Q.  Based on your experience when you're going against a team that's been struggling offensively, do you notice that they try to do more with things on the bases, stealing, hit‑and‑run, stuff like that?  And do you think that controlling the bases against New York is going to be important for you tomorrow?
MAX SCHERZER:  You know, anytime you catch a team that's hot or a team that's struggling, to me, it doesn't really matter.  They're going to come at you with a game plan to try to knock you out of the game.  That's simply as it is.  And they are going to come ready to attack me, so I have to be ready to attack them.
How they approach me on the bases, you know, that's something that I'm also concerned about.  Not "concerned," but always thinking about.  I want to limit, you know, certain guys from being able to steal.  Obviously they are a base‑stealing threat.
Whether a team is struggling or not, that is something that happens no matter what.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Max.

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