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October 4, 2013

John Lackey


Q.  When you and the staff are going over the Tampa Bay lineup and you're looking at it, what's the first thing that strikes you about that lineup?
JOHN LACKEY:  Actually we've got that meeting after you guys get out of here.  (Laughter).

Q.  Talk about your season and how much work did you put in to get where you are now?
JOHN LACKEY:¬† With the surgery and that kind of stuff, coming back from that, it was a lot of work this off‑season.¬† But I was able to throw quite a few innings this year, coming off the surgery, so I feel pretty good about it overall.

Q.  Could you describe your relationship with Joe Maddon from your Angels' days.  He spoke of that as a formative time in your career.
JOHN LACKEY:¬†¬† He was great over there.¬† He was a guy as a bench coach that you could kind of go to and get a feel what Sosh (Scioscia) was thinking, kind of a go‑between the players and Sosh.

Q.  Obviously a long road back to you, but to be back pitching in the postseason, what does that mean for you?
JOHN LACKEY:   I'm excited about it.  It's been a few years since I've been in the postseason, but this is why you play the game.  This time of year is what we're all here for.

Q.  Can you talk about your numbers at home are so much better than on the road.  Is there any reason for that?
JOHN LACKEY:   I'm not really sure, honestly.  I don't know what that is, because really this place probably isn't one of best places to pitch.  It should be the other way around.
We've got a great fan base, and it's a fun place, good atmosphere, so who knows?  If I knew, I'd pitch better on the road, I guess.

Q.  You've been on a lot of playoff teams, and this team has a significant amount of playoff experience, how much can that help a team when you've got a lot of guys that have been there before?
JOHN LACKEY:   It can help for sure.  You kind of know what to expect.  As a starter you know you've got this to do, the day before you pitch.  And we can kind of help some of the younger guys that haven't been in the postseason.  There's going to be ceremonies before the game, and how to prepare yourself to get ready for the game and try to block out some of the stuff around the game and still just play baseball.

Q.¬† When you watch some of their pitchers perform, what are some of the things that stick out to you as far as how they're able ‑‑ their approach to be so consistently successful?
JOHN LACKEY:   They've got some good pitchers, for sure.  They're really aggressive, throw a lot of strikes.  They've got guys with young, quality arms that are pretty fresh still.

Q.  Is it tough to keep your emotions under control and be calm pitching in a tough game?
JOHN LACKEY:   No, I'm going to be emotional.  I'm going to be fired up.  It's part of the way it is.  That's part of the reason I'm still pitching.

Q.  In the middle of the season you talked about building up your arm strength and getting it back to where it was.  Has that carried on since you've got back?  Do you feel it's as strong as it has been?
JOHN LACKEY:¬†¬† I got a little break here the last couple of weeks because we were in a pretty good position as far as playoffs.¬† John kind of gave me a little breather.¬† I think that definitely could help me as far as rejuvenating me a little bit, I guess.¬† For the most part I felt pretty good all season.¬† Got to give a lot to doctors and trainers, a lot of credit for that, a lot of help in the off‑season.¬† And during last season with the rehab, for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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