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Thomson workout day quotes
10/08/2004 6:53 PM ET
Q: Have the butterflies kicked in yet?

A: Not yet. I'm still waiting on that. But I can guarantee they will tomorrow, early tomorrow morning when I get up and start getting ready for the game.

Q: Does your side feel better today?

A: Yeah, it feels a lot better than it did a couple days ago. Threw off the side yesterday, got as close to game speed as I could, and it felt fine.

I had no setbacks coming into today. Had Jeff look at it, and Dr. Chandler. So it's doing pretty good.

Q: The trainer said there was some discomfort there. Is there anything that you're not able to do, or is it something you can test before the game tomorrow?

A: Actually, yesterday off the mound there wasn't anything I couldn't do. There was a little discomfort.

But as I was talking to Jeff and Doc, they said that there was nothing I could do to hurt it any more. As far as swinging, they want me to take some dry swings today and maybe hit a little bit off a tee and see how it's going to feel. Probably no live BP today or tomorrow.

Q: Being in a different ballpark than what you've been watching the Astros hitters in the last two, is there a different approach you'll make pitching in this ballpark?

A: No. The only reason is, I played in Colorado for five years, and that's probably the worst pitcher's park to have. Then last year I was in Texas, which they say is the worst American League park to pitch in.

But watching them hit, I know they like to pull the ball a lot; it seems that way. The first couple games, they were trying to pull the ball.

So maybe try to keep it, you know, away from left field because it's such a short -- you know, try to make them hit it to center field. That's about the only thing I can see different that I would do here than maybe in Turner Field.

Q: Facing a team that's won 18 in a row in this ballpark with a good lineup, how imposing is that for you to face?

A: Well, as they say, streaks are made to be broken, right? So that's what I'm kind of looking for going into tomorrow night, going out tomorrow afternoon, 12 o'clock.

Just going out there, not worrying about what they've done in the past. Because I've heard over the last, you know, two or three days that postseason is basically a different season. So the regular season, sometimes it carries over; sometimes it doesn't. Hopefully, tomorrow it's not going to carry over for them in their home ballpark.

Q: Do you have a sense of the Atlanta Braves' tradition? They've been in the postseason every year for a dozen years. Is there any feeling that carries over with that for you?

A: Yeah, because I grew up watching the Atlanta Braves when I was a kid. To not see them in the playoffs, then starting in '91 and being in the playoffs ever since '91, it's kind of a good feeling to have the uniform on and going out there to start Game 3.

Q: Is there anything you can do to negate the edge that they've had here, other than going out and putting up a lot of runs at the start?

A: Well, just watching the way that we pitched them yesterday, try to take that into the ballgame tomorrow. That's the only thing that really you can do to negate it other than, like you said, try to score 10 runs in the first inning.

Q: Watching what Smoltz did over three innings last night, is that something that would inspire the pitching staff, or you personally?

A: Yeah, I guess so. I mean, the most he's gone this year, that I've seen, was two innings. For him to go out there and go three innings and get a hit, you know, it was ...

We got on him yesterday about getting a hit because our pitchers yesterday were 2-for-3, which was kind of good.

It also kind of gets me going a little bit to watch him go out there, knowing he's going out there, doing everything in his power to win these games and to keep moving on. So that kind of pumps me up even more to go out there and do the same thing.

Q: If the roof is closed, this ballpark is even louder than usual. Does that affect you, does it affect the way you pitch at all?

A: It will get me excited as well as probably get the Astros excited, because I've never been in this atmosphere before. So it's probably going to make me more excited than nervous, I would guess.

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