Dan Haren pregame interview

Dan Haren pregame interview

When you were with St. Louis, Jim Leyland was down in Spring Training with the Cardinals. Could you tell us if you got to meet him at all and if there's any stories about your relationship with him?

DAN HAREN: I did get to meet him a few times. He was always really outgoing to a lot of the younger guys, even -- I wasn't even in big league camp in '03 when I met him, and he remembered me even when I met him this year out the first time in Detroit.

He always had kind of a certain aura about him, and I think he's very well-respected in the St. Louis organization.

He's always been really nice to me. He's always made it a point to come up and say hi. He seems like a good man, good individual, good baseball guy.

How do you think the extra rest is going to affect you?

DAN HAREN: I think everyone has got to deal with it. I threw in the bullpen yesterday and my arm felt really live. I think it's going to be pretty much similar to the time I threw against Minnesota and had some extra days. I think it's about controlling emotions.

My arm is going to feel great when I go out there, probably too good, and try to overthrow in the first inning. I've got to concentrate on keeping the ball down, and I'm sure the energy in the park is going to be great and the atmosphere will be great.

I think it's going to be about controlling my emotions. My arm is going to feel great, I know that just from the bullpen yesterday.

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How surprised were you that you were pitching in Game Four instead of Game Three?

DAN HAREN: A little surprised. I was told I had Game Three. The same kind of thing happened, though, in the Minnesota series. I was told either three or four, and I got Game Three in that series. I knew it was going to be -- I had a feeling that if Harden went out and threw okay in the instruction league and his arm felt okay, they'd want to make sure to get him two starts.

Of course I'd like to have two starts, but I assured them if something went wrong with Rich that I'd be ready for Game Seven anyway. I think it's a safer way to approach it. And, of course, I'd like to be guaranteed two games if it got that far, but I think either way I have a chance to throw. It's been a long time for Rich. He had such a long road to recovery and he sat out for so long, and I think that he deserves this start. He deserves to have this postseason start. I think everyone is excited to go out there and watch him.

Two parter if I could: Who are your closest friends now on the Cardinals? And have you talked with any of them along the lines of, Hey, maybe we can meet up here next week?

DAN HAREN: My closest friends would be Randy Flores who is Ron Flores' brother. I talk to Jason Marquis every once in a while; Woody Williams is a good friend. He is not on the Cardinals anymore, but he was a good friend of mine over there.

It's funny, after Game One -- I haven't talked to Marquis in probably three or four months, and he texted me saying that they watched me on Fox flossing my teeth during the game (laughter). That was the majority of my messages from the Cardinals' players was that I was on TV flossing. I talk to those guys every once in a while. I probably talk to Flores a little bit about meeting him, and I thought it would be cool if obviously his brother, who is along with us now, if we had a chance to play them in the next round that would be kind of special.

Obviously St. Louis, having played there, would be a little extra special going there. I'd like to see that stadium; that would be fun. I know that baseball town is just crazy about them, and if they got a chance to play in that series, it would be just a really great atmosphere there.

What's the coldest you've ever pitched in? And what do you think the impact of the weather will be tomorrow if it's as chilly as it is tonight?

DAN HAREN: The coldest I ever pitched in was in A-Ball, Peoria, Illinois. My first start in A-Ball was there. It was 18 and it was snowing during the game, and there was about five or six people in the stands, one of them being my dad (laughter). That was probably the coldest I've pitched in. I think the advantage probably goes to pitchers being able to maybe throw inside a little more and keeping the hitters honest, keeping them uncomfortable.

Like Rich, he throws the ball mid, upper 90s, so I think he can keep them uncomfortable, and hopefully my velocity will be able to get in there. I think the toughest part is the long breaks between innings. I think the breaks now are like three minutes, which is pretty crazy, but I think that's going to be the toughest part.

You got to pitch in the World Series a couple years ago. How much does that help you going into a start like tomorrow's?

DAN HAREN: Going into my last start even, I was still extremely nervous, anxious, all those things. I think it helped me a little bit just having been out there before. And I think going into tomorrow it's going to be a tough situation for us, because obviously it's going to be 2-1 or 3-0, and it's going to be pretty much a must-win for us. I think that I did a good enough job last game to be confident going into this start, and I think all the guys believe in me and everyone believes in Rich. I think that we still feel confident that we can get something done here.

I'm personally really excited to go out there. I think it's going to be fun. They haven't had postseason baseball here in a while, so I think it's going to be electric here.

I'm going to try to have fun as much as I can. I know it's going to be tough, especially in the beginning, but I'm going to go out there and try to have fun.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.