Oct. 15 Marco Estrada workout day interview

Q. What would you say has been the biggest difference for you this season to take your game to seemingly a different level?

MARCO ESTRADA: I think the biggest part is the mental aspect of it. I've had a different mindset this entire year. It wasn't all there last year, I guess. But I didn't really change too much, other than being able to throw a cutter now and being able to locate the curveball. And obviously having those guys behind me calling the games they've been calling; Russ has been great and obviously Navarro, who has been tremendous. That's basically been it.

Q. Have you had a chance to kind of digest what happened yesterday maybe on the plane or something, and go back and think about how crazy that game was?

MARCO ESTRADA: I was in the pen, so it was kind of hard to see. It was nuts. There's a lot of action and just a lot of ups and downs. That whole thing with Russ throwing the ball back, hitting Choo's bat, I've never seen anything like it. And obviously the fans weren't too happy. But luckily, the very next thing we scored a few runs and got us back on top.

It was a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun to be a part of.

Q. After going through the Division Series, what's it mean to you to get the ball for the fresh best of seven series?

MARCO ESTRADA: Yeah, it's awesome. It's having it lined up. I've had four days off now, so I'm right on schedule. And I'm sure if Price wouldn't have thrown in -- I forget which game it was, I think Game 4, I'm sure he would have started tomorrow.

But it's awesome. I'm excited to get this started and get things going.

Q. You mentioned the guys behind you earlier. Just curious, you seem to be dominant with Navarro behind the plate this season. Is there something extra with your relationship with him? Are you close buddies off the field or do you just have a good rapport?

MARCO ESTRADA: We get along really well. Obviously I don't think I'd be pitching like this if we didn't.

But, I don't know, we just seem to click really quick. That's not to say I didn't click with Russ. We had pretty good games. I just think with Russ, he kind of caught me in the first few games where I was getting into starting again. And I guess the numbers look a little different. I'm not really sure.

But with Navarro, he's been catching me, I guess, more into starting and just things have worked out. We do have pretty good chemistry together. And I don't know, I like the way he calls games. I trust him with everything. I trust Russ, also, so I don't know.

Q. How do you feel you match up against the Royals' hitters? How have you done against them in your career and how confident are you going into this start?

MARCO ESTRADA: Yeah, I'm going about it the same way, just like any other start, just like the first playoff start that I had a couple of days ago. I'm not really sure how I've done against them during my career. I know this year I think things have gone pretty well. Actually, I think we might have lost the first game and maybe won the second one.

I'm looking forward to throwing strikes, getting ahead of guys, trying to keep them off-balance. It's a big field and so I'll use that to my advantage. I don't know. I'm going to attack just like I've been doing all year and follow Navarro.

Q. You just touched on it, you did give up your first share of fly balls at this pretty spacious park. Do you feel more comfortable in an environment like this, can that allow you to be a little bit more aggressive?

MARCO ESTRADA: Yeah, a little bit. But I try not to think about it that way, obviously Rogers Centre isn't the biggest ballpark in the world.

I'm not trying to get pop flies all the time, it just happens because I elevate so much. Part of it is just what I do. And this field I think is going to help me out a little bit. But still I'm not trying to get the ball up in the air, you know, because they get ahold of one it's going to go out and cost me a few runs.

Yeah, I'm just going to go out and try to do the same thing.

Q. I just want to ask you about Jose and the bat flip, it's what everybody is talking about in the media today. Have you guys talked about it, joked about it at all? What are you guys saying, what do you think about what other people are saying about it?

MARCO ESTRADA: Like I said, when it happened live I didn't get to see it unfortunately. I was tracking the ball. I didn't watch him throw the bat or whatever. I've seen it a few times today. We joked about it. I thought it was cool.

If it happened off of me, then it sucks, but that's the way baseball is. I'm not really a guy that shows too much emotion out on the mound. If I strike someone out I'm not jumping around. If I make a bad pitch and someone crushes it, I'll tip my hat to that and I guess you can do whatever you want.

Q. Last time these two teams played there was a bit of fireworks and the benches cleared. And you said you're not a very emotional guy when you pitch, but do you expect there to maybe be a bit of an extra added element to the game tomorrow, maybe even the whole series?

MARCO ESTRADA: It's a playoff game, you know, tensions are going to be high. I don't think it has anything to do with who we're playing against. It doesn't matter who it is; emotions are always going to be high because of the leverage of the games. It's just going to be high intensity. It should be a lot of fun, but I don't expect anything out of the ordinary. I think it's all going to be the same.

Q. Just curious, you talked about learning the cutter. When did you learn the cutter? How often do you go to it? How key has that been to your success this season?

MARCO ESTRADA: We talked about it in spring. We messed around with different grips. I couldn't really get the hang of it. Every time I try to throw one I'd kind of throw like a curveball, it wasn't working out very well.

And then I remember there was a start against Houston where I just said, you know what, I'm going to throw it. So I threw it in the pen and it came out really well for some reason, took it out to the game and had a few swings and misses, a few ground balls, and it just worked out. And ever since for some reason I've felt comfortable with this grip.

I'm not sure how often I use it. I don't know, maybe ten a game or something. I really don't know.

But I do like the pitch. It's going to help me with lefties and righties. And it's just an extra weapon to have, you know.