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AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: TIGERS v RED SOX


October 15, 2013


Jake Peavy


DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game Three

JAKE PEAVY:  Before we start, I just wanted to say on the record how deeply saddened everybody in our community obviously is with the passing of Wally Bell, and our thoughts and prayers are certainly with his family.  Wally was a tremendous, tremendous umpire, but a tremendous person, as well.  We're here today, I think everybody, man for man in that clubhouse, I know I speak for our guys, we're devastated by the news last night and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Q.  You pitched against the Tigers many times, what's tough pitching against the Tigers and what will be your game plan Wednesday night?
JAKE PEAVY:  I can't tell you my game plan publically.  You come talk to me afterward and I'll tell you how I plan to keep them out.
The Tigers create such a problem for most starting pitchers, you've got to keep the first couple guys off base.  Miguel, obviously, I think proved my point in the first two games.  You can't just throw this guy away and think he's got no power, he can't hit it the other way.  Miguel Cabrera is Miguel Cabrera, the best player in baseball over the last few years.  And you've got to pitch him as tough as ever and try to keep him in the ballpark.
And we all know what Prince can do and Victor Martinez is swinging the bat as good as anybody, as good as anybody in baseball.  As well as Jhonny Peralta is hot.
It creates a tough challenge, but it comes down to executing pitches and I hope to do that tomorrow night and expect to do that.

Q.  When you got traded even though there were two months left in the regular season, to what degree were you thinking about games like this, the chance to pitch in big games in October with a lot on the line?
JAKE PEAVY:  That was the exciting part about getting traded.  It was obviously hard to leave a place I loved and had so many friendships and relationships with in Chicago.
But when you get traded you know you're going to a contender and this is what, as a competitor, as a baseball player, playing at the highest level, you dream of being able to do, pitch in games that mean the world to your teammates, to yourself, to your coaching staff and your fan base.
I promise you this, every part of me will be ready to go tomorrow and I'll be mentally prepared and rested.  I'll be physically ready and rested.  It comes down to go out and executing pitches and staying under control.  I can't tell you how excited I am for tomorrow.  But at the same time, all that excitement and adrenaline will be channeled in the right direction as it was four or five days ago in Tampa.

Q.  You probably know the Tigers as well as anybody in your clubhouse.  Without giving away your game plan, will your approach change with the Red Sox as compared to your time pitching against them with the White Sox?
JAKE PEAVY:  Innings, yeah.  Your approach changes a little bit game to game when you face somebody, just depending on who's hot and the situation of the game kind of dictates your approach and what that's going to be.  You certainly go in with a pretty hard game plan and what you're going to do in certain situations.
And the game kind of dictates when you go to what you feel like is your strength against their weakness and when do you kind of tip your hand in how you're going to get guys out.  Certainly it's dictated by the score, the inning, and what the situation you're in at that given time.
So I do know those guys well.  We had a lot of matchups, some of them went well, some of them didn't go so well.  That's all out the window.  All I heard was the playoff starts, all of that stuff is out the window.  It comes down to tomorrow night, executing the game plan that we think we're going to go with and get those guys out.  It's a huge challenge with the way they swing the bat.
One inning you go out and give these guys some momentum, and swing the bats, one through nine they can do some damage.  Watch the way Lack goes about it today and what he's going to try to do and assess his start and kind of put our final game plan together tomorrow with Salty and the coaching staff and go from there.

Q.  Your intensity out there is very apparent.  I'm wondering if you can explain how you thrive off that, and if there are times during the games you might feel yourself teetering and how you dial it back?
JAKE PEAVY:¬† Yeah, I'm an emotional guy, and I think that ‑‑ obviously that's pretty obvious watching me pitch.¬† Emotion is a part of who I am.¬† It's something that needs to come out.¬† I can't sit out there and bottle it all up.¬† It just does me well to get it out.¬† You're going to know how the game is going really by the look on my face and my reactions out there.
That being said, I think sometimes in my emotion it gets lost that I am thinking through what's happening in the game.  I'm processing everything that's being said, everything that's being done.  I will be under control.
When you pitch on the road, too, if you watched me pitch in Tampa, I tried to reel in my emotions, especially when the team has a ton of momentum.¬† And the other night Tampa had all the momentum coming into the game because of the walk‑off the day before.¬† And then we just seemingly couldn't catch any breaks early and it was a nothing‑nothing game.¬† I had to do all I could do to try to keep their momentum at bay and keep the crowd out of it.¬† Because the crowd starts getting going.
And I think if you watch this Tiger team play, they're a momentum‑driven team.¬† Everybody needs momentum, but they seem to really feed off each other.¬† You watch the big inning that they had the other night, when they start swinging the bats it's almost like the next guy can't wait to get up and do his part and do some damage.¬† I'll really try tomorrow night to slow that down.¬† I like to work fast, but I think in these situations you've really got to slow things down, find the right pitch throw and think about executing it and making that happen.

Q.  I know Verlander obviously is on the other side, but from a fellow pitcher's perspective and as a contemporary of his, what is the most impressive thing about how he does what he does?
JAKE PEAVY:  Yeah, Justin is one of the best at our craft, if not the best, and has been over the last few years.  The most impressive thing about Justin to me is just the way he can save his arm and his strength and really go get it when he needs it.  That's an amazing characteristic or trait to have, to have 4 or 5 more mile an hour in the tank than what you pitch at.  That doesn't seem fair that you can pitch 92 to 95 and then if you need to get a hundred miles an hour, it's there for you to go get.  That would certainly be nice for a lot of us to have.
If you watch John Lackey or you watched Buch the other night, we kind of all sit around what we have.  Every now and then you can dial it up.  To do that late in the game like Justin is able to do is impressive and I think it's something that we all wish that we could do.
And Justin's pitch ability, he can really, really pitch.  That gets lost.  He's got great stuff.  But when you watch the way he goes about executing pitches, the way he pitched up in the zone in a big ballpark at night in Oakland to a great fastball hitting team I thought was impressive.  Everything about Justin is impressive.  He's fun to watch, but I can tell you this, there's 25 guys in there who believe we're going to find a way to get it done today against him.

Q.  Would you do the same assessment on Lackey, mentally how does he handle himself in the clubhouse?
JAKE PEAVY:  Johnny's a stud, John Lackey is a stud.  And it's been funny for me to watch all the coverage of the game coming in.  I have heard John Lackey's name mentioned three or four times.  Almost like we didn't have a starter going today.  Our starter is pretty good, too.  Anybody as a rookie that wins Game 7 of the World Series, you can't get any bigger of a stage.  And for him to go out there at 22, 23 years old, however old he was, shows you what this guy is made of.  Everybody in that clubhouse loves John, loves his demeanor, makeup, he's got that old school Texan makeup that we all love, Nolan Ryan kind of attitude.
John is a gamer.  John is going to go out, and I promise you this, just like I said, we understand what kind of challenge we have going against Justin Verlander, it's no secret.  Justin is probably the best in the game right now.  But at that same time, there ain't any part of John Lackey that doesn't think he's going to win today and will do anything he can possibly do to make that happen.  It's fun to go to battle when you have guys who care and you know are going to give the kind of effort that John Lackey is going to give today.

Q.  I know last start you kind of showed that rust wasn't the issue.  What's been your routine this past week to stay sharp?
JAKE PEAVY:  Yeah, you know, you do what you can do.  You like to pitch every five days.  We're creatures of habit and we like to do that.  You're used to keeping your craft sharp by keeping out there and being able to throw your bullpens on certain days.  You make adjustments and you just get on the mound when you feel like you need to, when you feel like you're losing a little bit.  I've been on the mound just once, because I did feel pretty sharp.
I was worried a little bit about that, I told most of you that followed us the last few months, I did change my arm angle just a little bit.  And you saw command was a little bit of an issue there a little bit.  But the other night I think showed that that's kind of reeled in and I do feel comfortable.  There will be no excuses tomorrow night for not being sharp.  And I don't think that's going to be the case.

Q.  What was it like for you the other night when David hit that home run and you guys came back as you did, as somebody who likes baseball?
JAKE PEAVY:  We're fans.  I'm a huge fan of the game, like you said.  We watched the game last night.  I love the game of baseball.  To be so emotionally attached to a team as I have been my whole career, and for something that special to happen on the stage it happened on to your team, it's exciting as it could possibly get.
For us to be really behind the 8‑ball with losing Game 1, and behind 4 runs in the eighth, it doesn't look pretty.¬† To go through that 15‑20 minute swing of emotion that the game's tied and you really feel like that we're going to win it at that point in time, was as much fun as I've ever had on a baseball field.¬† And like I said, hopefully it sparks this team.
I think the biggest thing is it relaxes the team.  If we would have lost that game it would be hard to come in here and been relaxed as we should be today facing Justin Verlander.  If you face him being tight and having had what happened to us there with Scherzer and Sanchez, probably could have gotten ugly.  But it's David Ortiz, what can you say?  They just inducted him in the Hall of Fame.  I thought we should have an induction ceremony yesterday after that, that just solidifies this guy's legacy.  He's a stud and has a flare for the dramatic, and wants to be in that situation.  Hopefully we'll look back, if we find a way to win this series, and go that was a turning point.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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