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Jason Marquis, workout day quotes10/06/2004 7:20 PM ET
Q: Could you take us back to your last appearance against the Dodgers when you had a new baby? What were the circumstances there?
A: Well, the previous night around -- I'd say it was around 12:30 in the morning, my wife and I were on the phone all night. I knew she was going to have the baby sometime that night, and I wasn't able to make it home, but you know, I wound up staying and making my start and flying out the next night. It was definitely an exciting time. It was also tough not being there for the birth of my child and to be there with my wife, but it was a lot of emotion going on. Obviously that could have changed what happened during the game. I just didn't execute pitches during that game. I was overly aggressive. My mechanics weren't where I wanted them to be. That's the reason that happened.
Q: When you've pitched well this year, what are the keys for you in those games?
A: I just think I'm down in the strike zone, using more of the plate early in the count, expanding from the middle of the plate out instead of trying to nitpick early on. I think that's why I get in trouble sometimes when I try to expand the plate a little too early, and I fall behind counts. Now that's what these players get paid to do is hit pitches where they're supposed to. We just go back to the basic game plan, and the success is to stay down or whether it's middle, down, in, don't matter. As long as the ball's down early on, I'll expand from that.
Q: Tony said he wanted to start you in this game because it would be with four days rest and he felt it was better -- you pitched better with four days rest. Do you agree with that?
A: Well, obviously I don't look into the numbers. I know a lot of managers are big on statistics, and people always say, you know, I wouldn't say how tired you are but it helps, you know, your sinker. I think when you're a little fresher, you may be a little overly aggressive, tend to overthrow, and I think that takes away from what you're trying to do with your sinker. Obviously the numbers speak for themselves. I'm not going to think about whether I'm five days or six days and just pitch according to how I feel.
Q: What kind of advantage is it for you as starter in game 2 with the team already up by one game?
A: I think that it allows for a little more ease. Definitely if you lose, the pressure is more on the team that happened to lose that game 1. Now the Dodgers have to come out and they're the ones behind so the pressure is more on them than us. Especially being a first time experience with our first start, I think it will take a little of the pressure off. Obviously I'm not going doing out there with a lackadaisical attitude because every game is important as the next, but Woody set the tone for the series. I'll follow his lead and go from there.
Q: How much did it mean to you to win the hitting competition among your pitching staff, and how much do you work on your hitting?
A: I mean, that's definitely secondary to pitching but it's definitely fun, that competition. I always try to pride myself on anything that will win a ball game from hitting to bunting to field. I had a coach over in Atlanta, Bobby Dews, and Bobby always stressed when we were in the minor leagues, you know, hitting to bunting to fielding can help you win from two to five extra ball games a year. I try to put myself in a position to where I think it did help me out a couple times this year, you know. They preach hitting and bunting and fielding a lot over here, and we work on it every day whether it's on the field or in the cage, but the competition is a friendly but very competitive, you know, competition, so we definitely have fun with it, you know, and I'm obviously glad that I won that.
Q: Can you talk about how the trade was mutually beneficial for both teams, you coming over here?
A: Well, any time you make a trade, you never know how it's going to turn out. Teams are trying to make trades to benefit both teams, and in this situation obviously Atlanta got what they wanted. J.D. stayed healthy all year, you know, myself and Ray got a chance to come over to another winning organization and help contribute. You know, on a personally level I was glad there was a change of scenery. Sometimes that's good for people. Obviously in this case it worked, and Tony had the trust in me to give me the ball every five days.
Q: Could you talk a little bit about how yesterday just going through the experience of the first post season game, how that affected you and how it might help you in your pitching tomorrow?
A: Well, it's definitely intense and exciting atmosphere. The first couple innings, you know, everybody's on edge, but our offense has been doing what they've been doing all year, and our defense the same thing. Once the runs are on the board early, everything is all right. We hit the baseball, go out there, have fun. It's something we've been doing for 162 games, and why stop here?
Q: Your rotation did not have a lot of high expectations early in the season, but it ended up with four different 15-game winners. Can you talk a little bit about the rotation and how it developed?
A: I think we had high expectations within ourselves, and that's the most important. We had a manager, a GM, and our teammates who believed in us. We believe in ourselves. Every time we throw the bullpen, whether it's myself, Sup, Woody, Carp, or Mo. We're out there giving each other pointers, going over the game films together, and just going out -- off the field going out together. We enjoyed each other's company. There was no gel see among us. We pushed ourselves and we pushed each other. I think that played a big role in why we succeeded this year.
Q: Can you describe where you are as a pitcher now as opposed to a year ago?
A: Definitely a different type of pitcher in the sense of my repertoire. I've also been a fastball type of guy, the outer half of the plate, and coming into spring training, you know, I started throwing more 2-seamers. Duncan really thought that would benefit my game plan. It's something that I stuck with and trusted in him and trusted myself with, and you know, it's worked, and it was to try to get my pitch count down. Instead of trying to go out there and do everything myself, try to strike everything else, try to put the bat on the ball early and let my defense do the work. That's what I'm trying to do, stick with it all year, even when things went south a little bit, my mechanics were something I had to reach deep in, and they keep reinforcing it. It's working, so I'm not going to change it.
Q: You mentioned that you were glad to have a change of scenery. What's -- how has it been better? What's been better about being here?
A: Well, just, you know, getting the ball here. Over in Atlanta they gave me the opportunity to get to the big leagues and treated me with nothing but respect, but it seemed like being the fifth guy over there in history, that guy usually got skipped. I always felt like I was looking over my shoulder, wondering if I had a bad start, where would I be the next time, bullpen, sent down, skipped, so it was tough pitching over your shoulder, always trying to impress somebody instead of somebody handing you the ball every five days and trusting you and trusting your ability, you know. That also gives you self-confidence when somebody backs you like that.
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