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10/24/06 7:09 PM ET

Jeremy Bonderman pregame interview

Tigers right-hander discusses hitting

How are you affected by this time off? And Jim said earlier that you didn't pitch any simulated games, is there any particular reason why?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I didn't feel like I needed to. I had a lot of innings this year, so I wanted to give my arm a break as much as I could. I threw a few bullpens but I'll be ready to go, I'll be fine.

How was just pitching in the postseason twice in the last two series, how does that help your confidence?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I don't know, I pitched two games, so I mean the pressure of, you know, what's going on, you know how you're going to feel going out there, just go out and pitch your game and kind of let you calm down a little bit.

How conscious have you been as the season has progressed about the need to hit and bunt in the postseason? Did you try to sneak in a few extra days in the cage?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I did this week. I'm not a very good hitter, so I don't really worry about it too much.

Who's the best hitter among the pitchers on your team?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I don't know, maybe Kenny, I guess. He's got a hit. So is Nate, I don't know. I wouldn't say they're very good.

You were 0-for-18 this year as a hitter?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I'm not exactly sure what it is.

Q. Have you come close to getting a hit or hitting the ball out or anything like that that you recall?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I hit the ball? I don't know. I wouldn't say I've come close to a hit, no.

It seems they're about to announce a new labor agreement between the players and the owners, that would be an unprecedented run of prosperity and no labor problems. You, I'm sure, were a kid back in '94 when they canceled the World Series. What did you think back then as a fan of that? And since then, what does it mean for the game, do you think, that they can go on and do this?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I don't really remember too much of the one back in '94 when they had a problem, because I didn't really care that much. But now that I'm playing, I think it's good for the game, because I think baseball is drawing a lot of fans. And there's a lot of good things going on with this sport. To have a strike or something like that would not be very -- I don't think it would be very good for the game.

Can you assess the Cardinals' lineup?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I don't know exactly who all is going to be in there. I know their main guys, and they have got some guys that are up front with Eckstein and whoever they bat second. Those are two guys you've really got to concentrate on to try to avoid having people on base with Pujols coming up behind them. You've got Edmonds and Rolen, Juan Encarnacion, you've got some good hitters. I don't really try to overanalyze these guys, because they're all human. They all make outs. You've just got to go out and attack them, try to put them on the defense.

Throughout the postseason players on your team have talked about the impact that your manager has on everybody, just in terms of what he does, how he motivates. For you, personally, what sort of things does he do to light a fire and to make you the best that you can be?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: He always tries to find a way to motivate players. He challenges you in certain situations to elevate your game by just little things he'll say to you in important situations to kind of calm you down or to try to motivate you to reach another level in your game. Somehow he finds a way to do that with all 25 guys.

Just give an example of what's a little thing he might have said to you.

JEREMY BONDERMAN: Like when I get in trouble during the inning or something he'll come out and he'll say, forget about the runner. Let's focus on this guy, make him hit a ground ball. Most of the times when he comes out and says things like that, good things happen for our team.

What do you remember about your encounters with Pujols during the June game and how does that apply here?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I don't think it applies at all, to be honest with you. It's a long time ago. I can't really remember too much of it. I know what he does. I know the impact he can have on a game. If I have a base open, I'm not going to be afraid to walk him. But if the situation calls for it I will pitch to him and I won't be scared to do it.

You've just touched on that a little bit with Pujols, you talked about the way the Cardinal lineup stacks up. Have you talked about how to handle him with guys on and guys not on, and when to be aggressive and when not to be?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I think everybody is a different style of pitcher, especially with our team. Our starting staff, we have the lefties and Verlander. The way I pitch, I'm going to go inside, I'm going to throw breaking balls, elevate it. I'm going to do what I can to keep him off balance and not let him sit with one.

Your old manager Alan Trammell was named bench coach for the Cubs yesterday. How much happiness is there on your guys' part to see him get back in the game?

JEREMY BONDERMAN: I'm happy for him. He's a great guy. It wasn't probably the best thing with the teams we had in the past here. We couldn't get healthy, didn't have the right -- just didn't seem like we had the right pieces here when he was here. But I'm happy for him that he has an opportunity to maybe have another managerial spot in the future.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.