Oct. 7 Yovani Gallardo workout day interview

Q. From your very brief experience in this ballpark, do you have any preference if the roof is opened or closed?

YOVANI GALLARDO: Not really. Like I said, I've only had the opportunity to pitch here once and I think it's, you know, for me, I pitched in Milwaukee, so it's kind of similar things, obviously the turf is a big difference. I really don't worry about it, it doesn't matter. I just go out there and make pitches when I have to.

Q. Not a lot of pitchers have done what you've been able to do against this Blue Jays team this year, hold them off their board in two outings in 13 and two-thirds innings. How do you explain the success that you have had against them this year?

YOVANI GALLARDO: You know, I think we've come up with a good game plan, just being aggressive. Obviously they have a good lineup, a powerful lineup with what they did throughout the year and I think just with the catchers, we did a good job of making adjustments throughout the game whenever we had to. Like I say, just being aggressive in the zone and get the guys to swing the bat.

Q. I know you've touched on this, but how big of an honor is it to get the ball in the first game for your hometown team in the playoffs?

YOVANI GALLARDO: It's big. You know, like I said, I'm excited. I'm very excited to get this opportunity. Just like I said, not very many people get this opportunity to pitch game 1 in the Postseason for a team they grew up watching. I'm from Ft. Worth and lived there all my life. To put that uniform on in the Postseason and start game 1, there's going to be a lot of excitement and a lot of adrenaline going on, that's for sure.

Q. Yovani, they haven't had a playoff game here since '93. You were in Milwaukee, so you know what it's like to go a long time without a playoff game in a home park. They were fired up in Milwaukee. What are you expecting here? They're talking white towels and a sellout for this game.

YOVANI GALLARDO: Just, like I said, you mentioned it, I think when I had the opportunity to participate in the Postseason in Milwaukee in 2008. It's going to be electric. You know, the fans, obviously they're going to be into every pitch. I expect for it to be pretty loud and -- you know, pretty loud in here. I think the fans are excited, the players are excited. The whole country, you know, I think it's one of things that everybody's going to be watching, pretty much. It's going to be a fun series.

Q. How do you combat that?

YOVANI GALLARDO: I think just having the opportunity to, like I said, I've been in that situation, I've been fortunate to play in the Postseason a couple years before this year and just got to try to block everything out. I know it's going to be a little tough to do, but at the end of the day, you know, you've still got to go out there and make pitches. It's a baseball game. I think just keep it at that.

Q. Yovani, a lot of media are pegging the Jays as World Series favorites. Have you guys adopted kind of an underdog mentality to motivate yourselves for this this series?

YOVANI GALLARDO: Yeah, of course. Honestly, I think when the season started nobody expected us to be here. They counted us out since spring training, so we use that as motivation. It motivated us to, you know, work harder and go out there and give it -- go for that extra base or, you know, have that good at-bat or make that final pitch to have this opportunity and here we are now. That's fine with us.

We feel confident with the guys we have in that clubhouse and the talent we have in that clubhouse. Like I said, it showed throughout the year that we never gave up, we were always fighting, battling, and ended up winning the division.

Q. Can you explain the impact that Cole Hamels had on the staff since acquiring him at the deadline?

YOVANI GALLARDO: He's been great. I think -- he's obviously had a lot of success. When he was with the Phillies, I had an opportunity to watch him pitch quite a bit. He's awesome. He showed up and fit right in, fit right into the clubhouse, helping myself and all the other guys out. You know, you learn a lot from a guy that's been around that long and has had great success and I think it gave us a big boost to the starting rotation and it made us that much better.

Q. Looking at your stats from your two meetings with this team during the season, it looked like you were able to get them to foul off some pitches and also get them to make weak contact. Was that a matter of staying out of patterns or was it just particular pitches that were working for you in those games?

YOVANI GALLARDO: Like I said, I think we came up with a good game plan for both of those games and I think, you know, it's obviously, at the end of the day it's a matter of executing pitches, hitting your spots in your location where you want to throw it. Like I said, I mean, going into those games, I think -- I knew -- like I faced pretty much a lot of the guys on their team throughout my career. It's obviously different points in their career as well, but at the end of the day, like I said, it's just moving the ball around, just being aggressive in the zone, throwing strikes. That's what the game plan was and we went out there and we did just that.

Q. Yovani, you've been really good this year at blocking out your contract status, you've been focused on the year. Does it cross your mind at all that tomorrow every team in baseball will be watching you and thinking what they could have with you?

YOVANI GALLARDO: Honestly it hasn't. I think the only thing that I have to focus on is that game tomorrow. Each and every time that I get the opportunity to go out there and pitch for this club, and I think if I go out there and do what I'm supposed to do, everything will take care of itself.