MARCUS STROMAN: Yeah, absolutely. Those dog days at Duke when it's kind of tough to get through a workout with the knee pain and all that, that's kind of what you have at the back of your mind to keep you going. Obviously it's a perfect situation that kind of played out in my head. And it's happening, and I mean, I get the chills even just thinking about being in the position that I am now, just coming from where I came. I'm so ready and just thankful for everybody in my corner who's helped me along the way. And I'm just excited about this opportunity to go out there and compete with my brothers and to have some fun.
Q. Do you remember the last time you were ever nervous on the mound?
MARCUS STROMAN: I mean, I get nervous. I get nervous, don't get me wrong, but it's controlled. It's controlled nerves, you know what I mean? I feel like I put things in perspective. So when I'm out there on the mound I know that I put in all this work, all this hard work so that when I get out there it's just time to have fun. I know I'm prepared from everything that goes into it. And when I get out there once every five days it's just the opportunity to play the game I love and have fun. So I don't get nervous in that sense, but I definitely have butterflies flying around in there with every pitch and kind of use that to pitch.
Q. John just left and before he left he said he's a likable guy, but he's cocky. Is that a good thing?
MARCUS STROMAN: I mean, some people may interpret it differently. I would say I'm confident. Some people may call it cocky. It is what it is. It's something that my dad kind of raised me with, a huge chip on my shoulder. I'm not scared to say that, I'm extremely confident. That's something that I pride myself on, that's the reason I'm at where I'm at. Something my father kind of raised me on. He always told me I'm going to be the smallest guy in the room so I have to be the most confident and that's something that I kind of pitch with today.
Q. Having seen these guys so recently, what can you take from your last start against Texas in Game 2 and apply to tomorrow?
MARCUS STROMAN: Just follow my game plan, you know what I mean? Just dealing with the preparation I go through game to game. Like you said, I've seen them before, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything, you know what I mean? Just talking with Russell, Pete, just going over all their entire lineup and just pitching my game. That's the most important. Just go out there and pitch my game, not try and do too much, to be aggressive, attack the zone like I always do, let my fielders field the ball behind me and just kind of go from there.
Q. Along the way in your rehab when you set those goals of comeback in September, be a hundred percent, of do whatever it takes to get there, when along the way does that first goal of getting back to September go from a fantasy to a reality in your mind?
MARCUS STROMAN: I'm pretty sure you didn't think I was going to be back. Yeah, I remember that. Yeah, I knew it was possible. I knew my work ethic. I knew how dedicated I am to the game and I knew that I pushed myself to every possible limit to be back and to be a part of something special. So that was in my head the entire process. It's hard for me to talk about, I get the chills, and I get pretty emotional because there's so many people. I can't thank my doctors enough at Duke, Robert Butler, Nikki Huffman, and Jason Shutt. I can't thank them enough. Without their efforts, I wouldn't be here, I can honestly say that. There's been a lot that's gone into it and I'm excited to be here, I'm more than ready and I can't wait to get out there.
Q. You've had a lot of success against left-handed batters this year, and Texas has some good ones. What have you been doing to have that success? And is that something you specifically focused on when you were preparing to come back from your injury?
MARCUS STROMAN: I feel like I just do everything in my power to make sure my game and my pitches are where they need to be. I don't try and overanalyze any situation too much and try and put too much emphasis on what their guys are doing, I try to do everything in my power to pitch my game and go about it that way. I make in-game adjustments, so just depending on the situations and kind of the game it is, the pitches that I feel are working more effectively than others, I kind of change it up. I never even know what I'm going to throw the next pitch sometimes, you know what I mean, so I like to keep a steady mix. So look forward to doing that.
Q. We saw you and David throwing in the bullpen last night. What were the conversations like between you guys? And when did you know you were getting the ball in Game 5? Was it when he came into the game or was there a plan in advance that was mapped out for you?
MARCUS STROMAN: It wasn't a specific plan. At this point it's pretty much do everything in your power just to win your games. You know what I mean? We were down 2-0, so it was all hands on deck. Me and David were down there, he came in and pitched well for us. He's been huge for us obviously all year. And as far as talks, me and David are in discussions on and off the field all the time, so definitely take as much as I can in from everything that he says to me and it definitely hits home and kind of sits in my mind and serves as a place where I can go to to kind of pull ideas from. It's been special having him around. And as far as Game 5, I figured once after we used him, there was talks prior to if we wouldn't like to use both of you guys. So once he went in, I kind of figured I would get the ball in Game 5.
Q. Do you ever think about who you're opposing, the opposing pitcher, and what are your impressions of Cole Hamels?
MARCUS STROMAN: I mean, his record and resume kind of speaks for itself. He's special, he's an elite talent, he's done it in the playoffs, you know what I mean. He's proven and he's nasty, he's got some unbelievable stuff as a lefty. So it's going to be a battle the whole game for us. Our guys are going to have to step in the box, and really grind out some tough at-bats. And I'm going to have to do everything in my power to keep their lineups in check. I look forward to competing against Cole. And I appreciate -- I know he said some nice things about me graduating from school, so I really appreciate that.
Q. Players, before games like this, often talk about approaching it as just another game. Is it possible to actually do that, or do you want to build it up in your mind?
MARCUS STROMAN: I mean, I like -- I enjoy the pressure, I enjoy the spotlight. This is a big stage and I'm just excited to be out there. I feel like the last couple starts, it's been this is your biggest game, and now this is your biggest game. I treat it just like any other game. It's going to be like any other day. I'm going to come to the clubhouse like I always do and go about my business, and have some fun out there. This is an unbelievable moment and time for the city so I'm just excited to be around that energy and to do everything in my power to compete and put my team in a position to win.
Q. This is your biggest game. Having not been through this experience before, is there someone you turn to for advice and guidance?
MARCUS STROMAN: To be honest with you, I feel like I'm able to do that on my own, you know what I mean? I keep a pretty tight circle of friends and family and they're there not necessarily to seek guidance from but just to keep everything normal when I'm away from the field. They're extremely important to me, my close family and friends that I have that are constantly around me. I don't seek guidance. I think I do everything in my power to do that myself. And I feel like I'm able to keep my emotions in check.
Q. (Comment about Mark Buehrle.)
MARCUS STROMAN: Yeah, Buehrle's always talking to me, he told me not to be too emotional out there and not jump around too much. I'll try to pitch like him some day where I show zero emotion but for now I'm going to show a little fuel in my heart.