10/23/08 8:24 PM ET
Matt Garza pregame interview
Pitcher tries to follow team motto of living in the moment
By / MLB.com
When you win two games like you won in the last series, they're not just two ordinary games. Do you feel winning those games takes you another place as a pitcher?
MATT GARZA: I just didn't want to have that sour taste in my mouth like I did after the Chicago game. I just kept telling myself I don't want to end my year like this. I don't want to have that taste going into the off season, because it would be bitter. And then how we did it was bittersweet. So I wanted to go out there and kind of make a statement to myself.
What are the things you have to do to make sure in your start your emotions work for you as opposed to working against you?
MATT GARZA: Keep them out of the start. Just tell myself I've got to go one pitch at a time, not look ahead of any hitter, not even look back at any pitch I've thrown. Once a pitch is gone, it's over. I can't control what happens after that.
One of the things you hear this time of year a lot is that young arms seem to have an advantage over older bats. But given the number of innings that young pitchers have thrown this season, yourself included, is there a toll that is taken? Are you the same pitcher in October as you were in July?
MATT GARZA: Obviously you're not the same pitcher, your stuff is probably not as sharp. It's not as crisp. But I think your body adapts through routine. And you develop a routine in Spring Training. You base your routine off a five day program, and the more you get into that routine, the better your routine and the crisper the routine, the easier it is for the body to bounce back.
That's why I think it's not age or anything, it's just the way your body can adapt to your routine.
Can you talk about, I know on your pitching you're going to be calm and cool, but approaching it, the excitement of starting a World Series game, first time for you. What about the noise you anticipate in Philadelphia?
MATT GARZA: I anticipated a ton of noise in Chicago, and I anticipated a lot of noise in Fenway. There's even more noise here at the Trop. Whatever noise they bring, I'm all for it. You just have to block it out.
I'm not really anticipating going into Saturday's start. I'm just anticipating watching tonight's game. I can't look past tonight. That's our team motto, "live the moment," don't worry about what's happening later, "live the moment."
Philadelphia's pitcher Saturday is 45-years-old. Can you imagine yourself still pitching at age 45?
MATT GARZA: No. At 45 I want to be watching my son play. He's doing it with will and guts. Pitching at 45 is amazing. That's a feat. It's undeniably amazing, the way he does it successful still, and compete at the highest level you can in baseball, it's absolutely amazing.
Joe was named Manager of the Year today. Can you talk a little bit about what he's meant to you in your career. I know you also had experience with Ron Gardenhire, if you could compare and contrast the two?
MATT GARZA: Me and Joe, it wasn't really a physical addition to me, it was more of a mental aspect and the way Joe is, philosophically and just kind of beating the stuff out of numbers. And that's how Joe is. Joe helped me gain control of my emotions, how to put my body in check, say hey, step back, relax. Joe says, don't worry about what happened, or what might happen, just worry about what you can do and what you can make happen.
I was just wondering if you could talk about how your defense has kind of evolved in holding runners, and if that goes back to your time with the Twins at all and the improvement you made and how that helped you this year?
MATT GARZA: I've always been a quick to home plate guy, not really lift and drive, it's more of a slide step. And with my velocity it helps keep from running. Anytime I throw a fastball, it's really rare that I throw a breaking ball or something, when it's not called for. And for me to hold runners and be able to field my position has been huge this year. It's being able to get that last out when you need it or that extra, you almost have to rely on the strikeout or the other eight guys behind me, and get that last out.
And that play, that swinging bunt, I jumped off the mound and it was either overhand and hit him, or underhand and hopefully I beat him.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.