10/03/06 6:10 PM ET
Esteban Loaiza pregame interview
Oakland's pitcher discusses his health, thoughts on Game 1
By / MLB.com
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: Well, my season started pretty good. It ended up in the first half up and down, but I am healthy now, and since the second half I have been doing a great job, and now we are at the point where we are at right now so things are going really well right now.
How do you like pitching in this place? I am sure you pitched in Chicago when you were with Chicago. Do you have to change your approach coming into this town?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: It's the same. I came down here with Chicago and won a lot of games, but this is a different story. This is the playoffs, and I know I had one start here before and it didn't go too well, but I changed that and get it out of my mind, and got to get ready for tomorrow, and it's a different story.
Right now I am just thinking about learning the hitters in today's game and do my best tomorrow.
What do you think has been your strength in the second half of the season?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA: You know what? Getting ahead of the hitters and getting a lot of people out. I am strong, using my fastball, using my cutters, using my changeup, and sinker, working both locations on both sides of the plate with righty and lefties and trying to get out there and throw first pitch strikes and get ahead of the count and everything will go well.
When your team is going against a rookie tomorrow, although he has obviously pitched here quite a bit, but in the playoffs, do you guys have any certain advantage, do you think?
ESTEBAN LOAIZA:Our team has been struggling in the first half all week, until right now, of injuries. Everybody turned it around in the second half until like the last month and a half of the season. I think a lot of our hitters are hitting close to 300 and they have been playing great ball, playing good ball. And for us right now, for the pitcher that's pitching against us tomorrow, he is going to go out there and do his best just like everybody else, and we just got to go out there and give him what's on the board and win the game.
Esteban, you said you are healthy now, but your manager before said you were in fairly bad shape when you started the season, you had some trouble in your trap muscle. Can you talk a little bit about that.
ESTEBAN LOAIZA:Well, my injuries came after the WBC back in Spring training back in Phoenix with my team, and I think I slept wrong one night and woke up the next day kind of hurting a little bit. I went and did my regular routine, thought it was going to go away, and then the season started and it was my left side, it wasn't my right side.
My arm was great, rest of my body was great, so it was my trapezius on my left side, and that's what caused me to get on the DL the whole month of May, and pitching in April, and then got healthier, and since the second half started doing really good, and I kept doing that and right now I am 100 percent.
Courtesy of Fastscripts by ASAPSports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.