10/11/06 5:28 PM ET
John Maine pregame interview
Mets hurler credits pitching coach Rick Peterson for his improvement this year
By / MLB.com
JOHN MAINE:No, I haven't thought about it. We're going to play the games, regardless and I'm still going to pitch. So I haven't even thought about it.
What did you take out of your Game 1 start, the first one in the playoffs, and how nervous were you and how nervous are you now?
JOHN MAINE:I was nervous, and you still get some butterflies now. But, you know, I saw what the playoffs atmosphere was like and I know what to expect now. It gets crazier and crazier the farther you go, I'm sure, but I kind of know what to expect.
This is probably the first time in the postseason where you guys are the story definitively here in New York. The Yankees were in it as well, their loss is probably as big of news as your win, and then you're overshadowed over Torre, how is it that all eyes are on you and the city?
JOHN MAINE:I honestly don't think that a lot of people were concerned about the Yankees and what happened to them because we're still playing. We've got to worry about the teams in the National League first. You know, it's great, we're still playing. It's just been a fun ride so far, and again, we're just concentrating on who we're playing next, and right now it's the Cardinals.
How do you think you've grown as a pitcher this year, and can you go through a couple of those things?
JOHN MAINE:I think I've done a lot of maturing. I've learned the game more in these three or four months here than I learned in four years with Baltimore and that's just because you get put in these situations and you've got great coaches behind you and you've got great instructors, too. They help you, they teach you the game. They teach you the right things, the way to do it and the way it should be done, and that's helped me out a lot.
When you got traded from Baltimore what was your thought about coming to the Mets and where did you see yourself fitting in here?
JOHN MAINE:Well, you know, I like Baltimore. They gave me a lot of opportunities and I like the coaches over there. But I thought a change of scenery would have been good, and I'm glad it happened, too. Like I said, the coaches here have helped me out so much, from the Minor Leagues up here, the instructors seem to be the same. They have helped me so much and it's been a great change of scenery for me.
Is there anything in terms of actual pitching technique that Rick Peterson has worked with you on?
JOHN MAINE:Yeah, he's worked on everything. He helped me realize the kind of pitcher I am, what I should be doing, what my strengths are and what my weaknesses are. Everything from being able to throw, you know, get grips on balls to be able to throw strikes with them, be effective and then mechanics and things like that. He's been great.
Would you agree that the biggest thing, though, was the mental part of it? Willie used to talk about having to at some point get you back on track in the game. Is that over now?
JOHN MAINE:Well, now I know when things are going wrong, and I can step back off the mound and kind of get my composure back. That's been one thing, too, where they kind of tell me, just you shouldn't be afraid of, you know, going after guys. Don't worry about it. Just go out there and just do what you do.
What's your game plan against the Cardinals as you go down the lineup?
JOHN MAINE:Well, you know, I don't think my game plan changes that much from team to team. I think maybe patterns on what pitch I throw and what situation might change a little bit. I've still got to be aggressive and I've still got to go out there and throw strikes. There are certain guys in the lineup where you have to realize the score of the inning and things like that, might change your approach a little bit.
JOHN MAINE:Pujols is one of them, and you've just got to make quality pitches on him. You know, everyone knows he's a great hitter. You've just got to be careful.
I was curious if your parents are going to be able to come tomorrow. I know that was a story in the first series.
JOHN MAINE:I don't know where that story came from. Someone came to me, "You couldn't get tickets?" I never talked to anybody about getting tickets. That was weird, nobody asked me about tickets. Nobody in my family asked me about tickets, no one told me about tickets.
Do you still live at the Ramada Inn?
JOHN MAINE:No, I changed hotels. (Laughter.)
You said when you got here, they helped define you as a pitcher, what did you think you were before you got here and what kind of pitcher are you now?
JOHN MAINE:I think one of the biggest things was, just throw a pitch and don't be afraid of getting hit; meaning, you know, if I throw it, you throw with conviction. That was a big thing. And I also found out that going through things, I'm not much of a finesse guy. Like I said, I've got to stay aggressive. I can just go out there and pound the strike zone. Guys are going to hit it. But the goal is, just keep getting outs.
You mentioned one thing that Rick helped you out with in terms of grips. Can you elaborate a little bit?
JOHN MAINE:Just I'm the type of pitcher, I go up there and throw, especially my changeup. He's done a good job helping me find a changeup grip and that goes for other pitchers on the team, like Glavine and Orlando, how they throw theirs. I can rear back and throw it and get movement out of it and it's been great for the last month or so.
Twice since you've arrived here, you've had to jump in for El Duque Hernández. Have you been able to have communication with him regarding his playoff success experience?
JOHN MAINE:Actually, the day of my first start, he came up to me and just said, "This is the playoffs, yeah, there's pressure, but stay inside yourself. Do what you've been doing." There's no one better to get that kind of advice from than El Duque. He just said, you know, "Just do what you do. Nothing changes. It's the same as when you first got up here. The only thing different is just a little more people are watching." And it was great to have him come up to me and give me some advice.
In Game 1, Willie wanted to get you early, and did the same with Steve Trachsel in Game 3. Is it amazing that you guys were able to sweep the Dodgers with the bullpen pitching almost as many innings as the starters? And do you understand the rules are different this time of year?
JOHN MAINE:Yeah, we understand and there were great match ups with Feliciano and Bradford. That's what this game is, you have to go with your best matchups. Our bullpen has been great, it's been great all year. We're going to continue to use them, because every time they come in, they seem to do a great job.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.