10/01/08 6:45 PM ET
Javier Vazquez workout day interview
Pitcher feels blessed to pitch Game 1
By / MLB.com
With all that's been said the last couple weeks, the whole Ozzie thing, and obviously you've addressed that numerous times. Has it built now to where you have to kind of break this little thing that could become reputation when you're getting the nod the first game? Are you starting to feel that? As long as this goes on and you don't perform the last couple weeks your reputation kind of goes this way?
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: Well, you know what, first of all, I seriously don't pay attention to what the media says or the papers or anything, because if not, you get caught up in that.
But for me it's been a blessing to pitch the first game. You know, I feel good. I feel ready to go, and I just want to win tomorrow, and that's all I'm trying to do.
How much of a difference do you put into pitching on regular rest compared to three days? I know a lot's been made of that. Is that a big deal to you? How much different do you feel going into this start because of it?
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: It's not a big deal. If I started twice in three days' rest, you know, I feel strong. I felt strong. You know, I just haven't made my pitch or executed at the right time. But I felt strong at three days on regular rest.
You faced these guys before, but how cognizant are you of the fact that they want to run, run, run, and with Crawford back, it even adds more of a dimension to their lineup?
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: Well, the Rays have a great team. They have proven the whole year through 162 games that they're a good team. I know they're aggressive. They've got a group of young players, and I know they're going to run. But we just have to -- I have to try to make my pitches. We just have to try to control the running game whenever it's possible.
Do you think people want you to be more emotional or want you to be something that you're just not? I mean, you're just not an emotional guy out there. It seems like fans are like, well, we want to see emotion. When you and A.J. had that exchange, they said, well, at least there's emotion. Is that impossible for someone to be someone they're not?
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: Well, I just think that some guys are made that way, I mean, are made showing emotion and all that. I've never been that type of guy. You know, that doesn't mean when some players -- I've always heard interviews like this guy really is emotional or any type of player, pitcher, position player. But that doesn't mean that he cares more than others.
I care as much as any other player. That's why I'm here. If not, I wouldn't be here. If not, if I don't want to win and if I don't want to do my best, then I would retire right now because that's what you want to do. You want to play the game, play the best. But that's just not me, showing emotion.
You talk about pitching in the dome here, any differences and nuisances, any different approach?
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: Not really. I don't try to pitch any different in a dome or artificial turf or regular grass. Like I said, if you make your pitches, you're going to win anywhere, so it doesn't matter.
I just have to make my pitches, and that's it. That's the most important thing. But I don't look at it, where am I pitching?
There's a lot of hoopla, understandably so, with their first playoff appearance, and the place will probably be going wild like it did in Minnesota last week. How much do you feel you have to set the tone to really put the shackles on them, and kind of take the momentum away from this first game?
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: Definitely. We have to try to win the first game. You know, the starting pitch in the first game, I have to set that tone.
I've got to be ready for it tomorrow. It's important to start on the right foot and win the game.
You've had a lot of success, certainly in terms of strikeouts against this team. Is that a sign of just a young club and some aggressive hitters or do you feel like you have some sort of track record of success in being able to work some of these series?
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: I mean I've always said that -- every time somebody asks me about strikeouts I always say that strikeouts are good, but it's not indicative of how you pitch. Some guys don't strike out a lot of hitters and they have a lot of success.
I mean, I'm not trying to strike out everybody. Obviously, it's a good weapon to have to be a strike out pitcher and hopefully get a strikeout when you need it. But I'm not trying to concentrate on just the strikeouts.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
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