10/08/2004 6:37 PM ET
Johan Santana pregame quotes
Game 1 winner ready to go on three days' rest
Q: Pitching on three days' rest, does that bother you? Is there any adjustments you make, and how much have you done that in the past?
A: I have been done it very much, but this time of the year, it doesn't matter. You have to be sure that you're ready because this game counts.
You have to make sure that you prepare yourself for the game. When you get to this point, you have to be ready every day, so for me, I'm in the bullpen and I know what it is to pitch two three for days, even 25 days. I know what's it's like.
Q: Last year, when you guys came back, you were 1 and 1 also; how does it feel, different or similar this season?
A: It's always good to come here knowing you have a chance to win the division here, but you know, last year, I think it was different. I think -- this year we feel that we are better, and we have a pretty good chance. We showed the last game, even though we lost, that we can play this game, and that they have to play the game the right way if they want to win.
Q: Even though it's three days' rest, are you excited that you're at home in a controlled environment as opposed to the cold brisk air of Yankee Stadium?
A: I'm always excited about baseball. It's good to be back home and get the support of our fans and, of course, trying to win some games that will be supportive for us. I feel comfortable and feel at home and we'll see how it goes.
Q: Johan, what do you think going on three days will affect most for you? Will it be velocity, command, stamina, what do you think?
A: I don't know. I feel pretty good, and that's the most important thing, see how you feel the day after, and when you throw your bullpen. I felt pretty good yesterday, and who knows, we'll see what happens. I think the game will dictate what's going to happen.
For myself, I feel pretty good, so I'll do my best, and whatever happens is going to happen on the field, but I know that I'll do my best.
Q: Johan, the other night your changeup wasn't quite there. What adjustments do you make between starts for your changeups to get it back?
A: You have to make sure when you're in the bullpen you work on your pitches. For me it's more about locating my fastball and start moving the ball around. Here is different. It's going to be -- the weather is going to be the same all the time because we're indoors. I got to make sure these guys are pretty aggressive on the swings, so you have to make sure that you are ready, because if not, the ball is going to be out of the park.
Q: What did you guys take away from your experience losing to this team last year?
A: We definitely don't want to lose. I think we feel that we are a better team than last year. We also feel that we can play these guys, and last year, it was a little bit of excitement going into Yankee Stadium and playing the first round against them, and we feel like we could do it, but we were more excited, but this time we are on top of the game, we know what to do.
I think it makes a lot of difference. Whatever happens is going to happen, but we're going to feel pretty good about ourselves, because we know we've made a lot of improvements since last year.
Q: Where in your opinion are you guys significantly better this year?
A: I think, you know, we got a better pitching staff, I guess. I think we're pretty solid and, of course, our defense. The defense makes the whole difference about this team. When we're able to do those things, then we have a pretty good chance to win.
Last year we had defense, but pitching we didn't do as good as we want. This year we're definitely much better. I think that's why we have a pretty good chance now.
Q: You said you hadn't pitched very much on three days' rest. Can you remember the last time it was, and how did it work out for you?
A: It was exactly the same thing that's happening right now. Last year I pitched Game 1 against
New York and I have to pitch Game 4, but you know, it's nothing. Last year is last year. It's not even close to what it is this year. We're going to be a little more experienced, mature, knowing the game better. It makes a lot of difference. You know, for me, it's like when you get into this situation right here, it doesn't matter. You have to go out there and do your best and whatever it takes, you know, it could be like I said, three, four, five, 25 days, it doesn't matter. You have to make sure you do your best in order to win the game.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.