Q. Russ was talking about how one of the things that pleased him most is it didn't matter 1 through 5 this year, whoever was starting he knew the team had a good chance to win. Talk about what it was like to be part of a rotation that was so deep and offered so many different looks to the opposing teams?
MARCO ESTRADA: Yeah, I think one of the reasons why we were so successful was because we're all different. Excuse my voice, by the way, it's a little raspy. But we're all completely different; not one other guy pitches the way I do, not one other guy pitches the way the next person does. We're all completely different, so you see a different look every single time out there.
It wasn't just five, it was six of us. Six guys that could have been part of the top three, any other rotation, I guess. Liriano, he's been incredible. Hopefully he's ready to go for this one. And it really doesn't matter who's out there, we all feel pretty confident with any single one of us being out there.
Q. Cleveland led the American League in stolen bases this year. When you have a runner on first base how do you balance making sure that that runner isn't advancing with trying to focus on the batter?
MARCO ESTRADA: To be honest with you, my job is pretty easy. I just -- as long as I don't take too long making the pitch I don't think too many guys are going to try to steal. We've got one of the best catchers behind the plate, with the strongest arms. So if they want to try to steal, go ahead. Russ, you know, he's got a cannon. He's quick releasing it, he makes accurate throws. So it makes my job that much easier. I don't really have to think about who's on first that much. You pay attention, you can't just grab the ball and go.
But like I said, I really try not to think about it too much just because Russ, and even Navi, he's got a great arm. Whoever is catching, they both get out runners, as well.
Q. Does it feel any different compared to this time last year?
MARCO ESTRADA: No. It's the same thing. It feels like another game because that's what it is. Obviously it's the playoffs and I understand it's a big deal, but I treat every game just like the one before. I don't think -- I don't put extra pressure on myself. And it's something I've been saying since last year, why think about it any other way than just another normal start.
So this is exactly what it feels like. This is what the last one felt like. This is what the ones before it felt like. The one last year, it's the same.
Q. Not just for you, but for the team, as well?
MARCO ESTRADA: Compared to last year?
MARCO ESTRADA: It does. Last year's team was really good. And obviously so is this one. I think we're starting to play a little bit better. We're starting to get hot at the right time. A lot of teams were hot in late August, early September and kind of cooled off once they got in the playoffs, where I feel like we're just starting to get hot.
It's perfect timing. It's all about timing. That's usually the way things work. The best team doesn't always win, but I think the hottest team is usually the one that takes it all.
Q. Is there anything you can do differently with your routine because of the extra rest, and what effect do you think that will have tomorrow?
MARCO ESTRADA: It won't have any affect on me. The only difference was maybe pushing back your bullpen day. But even then I don't really necessarily throw them. You know, once in a while I'll throw a bullpen if I feel like something is a little out of whack, just to get the feel for that pitch again. But other than that, if I feel fine, I don't really throw them. So this doesn't really change anything for me. I was able to work out an extra day, but other than that it's the same.
Q. Starting pitchers talk about feeding off the energy of the home crowd. Do you enjoy pitching in front of a hostile crowd?
MARCO ESTRADA: I guess I haven't really thought about that. It seems like every time I have pitched in the playoffs it's been on the road. And I think we kind of thrive on that, having our back against the wall, having the hostility, I guess. Not having our fans behind us where we get a hit or something they boo us. I think we kind of enjoy that sort of stuff.
We've been playing pretty well on the road, I think. And tomorrow is not going to be any different, I'm sure. But the last time we were here, we had a lot of Toronto fans making their way down, obviously being so close. We had a lot of fans here, so hopefully they do come out. But if not, it's okay. We know what we have to do tomorrow.
Q. How would you describe Russell Martin's role behind the scenes, things we don't see?
MARCO ESTRADA: How would I --
Q. How would you describe Russell's role behind the scenes in terms of on your team?
MARCO ESTRADA: His role behind the scenes?
Q. Like what type of leader is he?
MARCO ESTRADA: Yeah, he's pretty outspoken. He'll let us know, if we need a little pick-me-up he's always there to give it to you. But he likes to go about his business. He works hard. He's always prepared. That's why it's easy to pitch to him because you know he's prepared well. And you don't really have to worry about scouting reports too much because he's got that all locked in.
But like I said, he does -- he'll give you pick-me-ups when you need it. If nothing needs to be said, he just won't say anything. He goes about his business. But he's a great clubhouse guy. He's the perfect guy to have on your side. He's pretty tame until you need him to kind of lash out a little bit. He's got that, also.
Q. Is there something to be said about being here for a second time with the same group of guys and having experienced it as a core?
MARCO ESTRADA: Well, I think, like you said, it's the experience. Now we have that, whereas before I know the Blue Jays hadn't been in the playoffs in 22 years or something like that. So none of the guys that were on the team last year really didn't have that much experience other than some of their relievers or some guys they brought in from other teams.
But now as a whole basically all of us have this experience. And I think it's going to help us out. And it showed the first years. We were playing like it's another game and like a normal regular season game, maybe with a little more excitement. But, yeah, I think having the experience behind us has made us a little bit better.
Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge this Indians team presents you?
MARCO ESTRADA: Well, it's like any other team, every team has a good lineup. Obviously teams that are in the playoffs might have a little bit better lineup. And that's basically what it is. Texas had an incredible lineup, so do these guys.
And then you basically face their top three or four starters. So that's always the toughest thing for our hitters is you have to face the best of the best. And that's basically what we're going to do.
One of the better pitchers in baseball, he's pitching tomorrow, so I know the guys have a tough task at hand, but I like the way we're swinging our bats right now.
But it's just like any other team, every team is good. Some are a little better, but you can't take anybody lightly. And they've got an extremely talented team over there, but so do we.