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10/12/07 4:54 PM ET

Fausto Carmona pregame interview

Indians' starter learned from last year's mistakes

Your idol growing up was Pedro Martinez, and now you're kind of pitching in his ballpark in the playoffs, or his old ballpark where he had so much success. Does that mean anything to you?

FAUSTO CARMONA: I feel good about it. It's not a big deal. I just feel proud about my Dominican countryman, the way I pitch, and hopefully I can continue to pitch the way I've pitched the rest of the year.

How much does it help your confidence to have that game that you pitched against the Yankees under your belt? How much does that help your confidence going into tomorrow?

FAUSTO CARMONA: Well, I'm very confident anyway. I know I threw out a good game in New York. That's in the past, and I'm going to try to concentrate and throw a nice game tomorrow.

Could you tell us about your confidence level now as a starter? How much more has it improved that you've become a starter, and what is it about playing closer or being a closer that didn't suit you? What is it about being a starter that suits you?

FAUSTO CARMONA: From the stretch I went through last year as a closer, I learned a lot. I don't regret what I went through last year because it makes me stronger, and coming into this year that was something I learned from last year, the way I pitched last year. I worked hard in the Dominican during winter ball and worked on my confidence and worked on my pitches, and coming into Spring Training I forgot completely about what happened the year before. I feel like it was a new start for me, and I was going to take the opportunity and do the most with it.

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Curt Schilling had some very high words of praise for you today and heaped a lot of credit on your shoulders today, even went as far as to say that he thought he was the underdog going into Game Two. How does that make you feel when a guy of that stature says some things that he said about you?

FAUSTO CARMONA: I don't think Schilling is going to be the underdog. I don't believe that. I've got to pitch tomorrow and then we'll talk about it.

How are you going to feel about facing your countrymen Ramirez and Ortiz and those guys?

FAUSTO CARMONA: I feel good about it. But tomorrow when everybody gets on the mound, everybody is going to be the same, it doesn't matter where they're from.

Do you remember the 1999 All Star game when Pedro pitched and was the MVP? Did you watch that and do you remember anything about it?

FAUSTO CARMONA: No, I don't remember it (laughter).

Do you think it'll be at the same level, maybe a little bit tougher, as far as pitching in Fenway Park, compared to Yankee Stadium? Will the environment be tougher pitching here than Yankee Stadium do you think?

FAUSTO CARMONA: It's tough in both places, but I don't worry about that. I'm going to pitch, I'm going to concentrate on facing those hitters. The fans, I'm not going to allow them to get on my head, and I'm just going to pitch and keep the ball down no matter how I pitch. I'm going to be aggressive and keep the ball down.

To what do you credit your success this year?

FAUSTO CARMONA: I learned a lot from the mistakes that I made last year during the time when I was a closer, a reliever. I came to spring training, and after that I've been able to pitch one game at a time. I wasn't trying to be ahead of myself, and every game I pitched, it was the game I was worried about, that game, that time. I continued to do that through the whole year, and it worked for me.

After the All Star game you were the guy with the best ERA in the Major Leagues. What do you give credit to that?

FAUSTO CARMONA: No, I just pitched, just pitching.

How much credit does Victor Martinez deserve for the performance of the pitching staff, not just yourself, but team wide this season? And is there a notable difference in the way he handles the staff and calls the game compared to past years?

FAUSTO CARMONA: I give Victor a lot of credit. He helped me a lot during the whole year. Every time I feel like I'm struggling or something, Victor will come to the mound and talk to me and make sure I'm under control. I feel like he's been doing the same thing with all the pitchers this year, and it's been a different Victor Martinez this year because he's been at every game and helping every guy out during the season.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.