Oct. 8 Jacob deGrom workout day interview

Q. How much can you rely on the opening day start at city field and the All-Star Game start this year in terms of your preparation for tomorrow on a bigger stage?
JACOB DEGROM: Yeah, I think that a lot. Those are some big games for me, but I don't think they're as big as this game. But I'm going to try to keep it simple. It's another game, and just pitch my ballgame.

Q. I know there are some practical reasons like being only able to pitch once in the Division Series, but what's it mean to be a Game 1 starter and have it on you?
JACOB DEGROM: In our pitching staff, any of the guys take on Game 1, and when they told me I had Game 1, I was really honored. I want to be able to go two games in this series, I was honored with that. So I don't really know. I'm excited to have it though.

Q. How do you think the fact that you were not a first round draft pick, you had to work so hard to get their attention, how does that influence your daily approach and your approach to tomorrow?
JACOB DEGROM: I think so. I think all of us are thankful every day we get to put this uniform on, and we play this game. So try not to take any days for granted. Every time you take the field give a hundred percent and leave it all out there.

Q. Have you or will you lean on any of the veterans that have been in postseason play before just to see what it will be like that first round?
JACOB DEGROM: I haven't talked to them really yet. I don't think I'll really approach them tomorrow before my start. I think I'll prepare how I usually do. I'll go over it with Dan and Travis and come up with a good game plan from there.

Q. Do you watch either of the Wild Card games, and what did you take away from the starting pitchers' performance if you did?
JACOB DEGROM: Yeah, I watched both of them. Watching those guys pitch, it was like it was during the regular season and they were making their pitches when they needed to. You know, keeping the ball down in the zone, which I think that helps out.

Q. So much has been made of the length of this Dodgers lineup. When you look at that top to bottom, just your thought about your best approach against a lineup like that?
JACOB DEGROM: My approach every game is to try to keep the ball down and get ground ball outs. So I think that's going to be my main game plan going into this game. I'll take one batter at a time and try not to think about it too much.

Q. Is it hard not to?
JACOB DEGROM: Probably a little tough not to in this situation.

Q. It's only fair since when Kershaw was in here he was asked about you. I'll ask you about him. What makes him stand out? When you look at Kershaw, what impresses you?
JACOB DEGROM: I mean, he's one of the best pitchers in the game if not thee best. The way he takes the mound, he goes out there and attacks hitters. I think I try to do the same thing, not get intimidated by anybody who steps in the box and go out there and make your pitches when you need to.

Q. Have you just at any point here in the last few days thought about the path from obviously converted shortstop to pitcher and starting this game?
JACOB DEGROM: I really haven't thought about it too much. I've just been trying to prepare like I do for every start in between my last start and this one.

Q. The strange start times throw you off at all, playing at times that aren't usual for what's going on in the regular season?
JACOB DEGROM: I don't know. I haven't started at 6:30, I don't think all year, so that's tough to say, but I don't think it will bother me.

Q. What's it mean just to be here as a ballclub considering where you were in the middle of the season and how you rallied in the second half?
JACOB DEGROM: It means a lot. We had that goal coming into Spring Training to make the postseason and make the World Series, so I think that's still the goal. You've got to play every game until it's over. Baseball is a funny game, so you never know what's going to happen. I think that says a lot about this team. We've always had a lot of come-from-behind wins, especially in the second half of the year. So we're going to go out there and give it our best and we're going to fight until the end.

Q. For years pitchers used to talk about how pitcher friendly the mound was here and the slope was almost unique to any other mound. From your recollections from what you've heard from your contemporaries, is there still anything different, unique, special about this mound as opposed to any other?
JACOB DEGROM: I haven't really heard anything. I made one start here last year, and I felt like I had really good stuff. I just didn't make my pitches. So I can't remember anything specific about the mound. But I try not to take any of that stuff into play.