10/09/06 8:26 PM ET
Nate Robertson off-day interview
The Tigers' Game 1 starter talks about the ALCS
By / MLB.com
NATE ROBERTSON: As in from my last start?
NATE ROBERTSON: A lot of people talked about our inexperience and getting out there for Game One, that inexperience in itself. I don't care if it's one game or ten years' worth of playoffs, it's the experience that helps guys go out there and be a little bit more of a comfort zone, being there before.
Especially in the stage that we were in last week and where we're at right now, it's pretty exciting. It's going to be something that the first one is always like kind of the biggest, and now it's the experience with that and taking it to tomorrow is going to be big.
A lot of people say that there are some similarities between your ball club and the A's. Can you touch on that? And also the challenges of pitching to these guys?
NATE ROBERTSON: Yeah, there is very similar match ups in the sense that they have very good starting pitching, their bullpen is great, the consistency that they've had all year, for us, as well, over the long haul. They're not a team that's going to homer you to death. Even though we have some guys that have some big home run numbers, we're not necessarily that kind of a team, either.
They've got a couple guys that can drive the ball out of the ballpark, as well as we do. They've got some table setters, and playing the game right, they do that as well as anybody else, doing all the little things.
It is a similar match-up. The big thing is they have a nice little righty lefty combination, too, Kotsay and Chavez and a couple switch hitters that can flip around to both sides, so it's a balanced line up, as well.
What was the mood like yesterday getting on the plane? Were you talking about the series that was over or the series ahead or trying not to talk about baseball?
NATE ROBERTSON: It was a reflection of what we just did. It was a beautiful day in the sense that it was a perfect day weather wise, great day to fly, great day to be where we were. And then we just had to come back and listen to Al what went wrong with the Yankees instead of what went right with the Tigers.
Given the way the regular season ended and then last Monday going into New York to play the Yankees in Yankee Stadium, how does the attitude and the mindset of the team compare to how it was the Monday before at that workout in New York?
NATE ROBERTSON: Believe it or not, all year long, it's been how we've with this team we've been able to respond pretty well, when we've had bad stretches or where we've had a tough game or a tough series. It was about as tough as it could get with the weekend we had against KC and then going into New York.
But again, a team of resolve. We've got guys it really starts from the top, and Skip has been able to corral emotions and mindsets all year long with how we handle ourselves with the ups and downs of a major league season, and that's why we've been so successful is because we've had somebody that kind of helped direct that.
How important for your success is it to get Frank out or pitch to him with nobody on?
NATE ROBERTSON: Well, they're all major league hitters. They've got some guys that can hit, not just Frank. The important thing is with any hitter in any at bat is obviously getting a hit, and then with each inning it's getting that lead off hitter.
That's a pretty big out. They find ways to get guys over and in, and we do that, too, and it's about being aggressive and staying that way.
I just wanted to follow up on something you just said a moment ago. Do you feel as if there's been so much focus on what the Yankees didn't do, and are you honked off by that, that perhaps the Tigers have not gotten the credit that they deserve?
NATE ROBERTSON: Well, I think it's just the way it is. I mean, when you go out and spend $200 million you're going to grab some attention. It's obviously the biggest city in the country, biggest media outlet, and the most storied organization in all of baseball. It is going to command attention, whether they do good or bad. All we can do is what we do. I don't think it's bothered us. We're okay with what's going on right now.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.