Oct. 17 Ryan Merritt pregame interview

Q. Can you tell us when you found out and just what kind of emotions went through you when you found out you were going to be starting in the series?

RYAN MERRITT: Tito and Mickey and Chris sat me down a few days ago and just told me, Hey, you probably will be getting a start pretty soon. We don't know exactly when, but we'll keep you up-to-date. And I mean, the emotion of that is -- it's the playoffs. My first time in the playoffs. But it's awesome that they trust me to be in the situation, and I'm just going to go out there and have fun, enjoy it, and try to give my team the best chance to win.

Q. What have you been doing in the meantime since your start at the end of the year and where are you at physically as far as how extended are you, pitch count, what are you comfortable at right now?

RYAN MERRITT: I think I can go -- I mean, as many as they want me, really. They've had me throwing a few simulated games in Arizona in their Instructional League. And I went four innings, threw a bullpen after and still felt like I could keep going, you know.

So I'm just going to go as long as they want me to. When Terry comes out and takes the ball out of my hand that's when I'll be done.

Q. How much did the game against Kansas City help your confidence in that you could start and win in the Big Leagues?

RYAN MERRITT: I mean, my first start in Kansas City, obviously that went well for me. And it gives me confidence that I can get out as a starter in the Major Leagues. Just pitching that game, getting that opportunity gives me a lot of confidence going forward. And the next season, next game.

Q. What stands out the most about this Toronto lineup?

RYAN MERRITT: I think they've got a lot of older guys. They've got a lot of veterans; Bautista, Tulowitzki, and I can name others, but I think they've got a lot of experience on their hands. They've seen a lot of baseball. They've been in the playoffs before. So they know how to play in the playoffs and it's going to be a challenge.

Q. Your manager was kind of asked the same thing, but with all the crazy stuff that's gone on with the Cleveland staff late in the year and through the playoffs, have you guys as players even kind of stood back and shook your head and said, What's going on here?

RYAN MERRITT: I mean, repeat it one more time.

Q. When all the stuff that's going on with the Cleveland staff, drone injuries, stuff like that, have you guys had a moment where you shook your heads and said, This is crazy, what's going on?

RYAN MERRITT: I mean, it can kind of just hit you by surprise. But I guess you just try not to get too flustered is what it is. Accidents happen. You can't control them. We trust each other that even if one person goes down we still got enough to back it up and still be all right.

Q. What was your reaction when you found out that you were starting?

RYAN MERRITT: I mean, it's an honor to be pitching in the playoffs. It's my first year in the Major Leagues and it's a great feeling that Terry Francona trusts me to go out and try to win a baseball game for them in the playoffs.

Q. What do you think will give you more nerves, sitting up there right now or going out there on the mound tomorrow?

RYAN MERRITT: This, all day (laughter).