Q. Trevor, are you preparing as though you'll be starting Games 1 and 4?>
TREVOR BAUER: I'm preparing for Game 1. Yeah, it's not wise to look past anything like that.
Q. But you wouldn't alter any of your routines in preparation for a start on short rest after that? You'll just --
TREVOR BAUER: Well, like I said, I'm preparing for Game 1. And then whatever happens after that, then I'll handle it then.
Q. Trevor, what's so dangerous about this Yankees lineup?
TREVOR BAUER: They've got a lot of guys that hit for power. They've got some scrappy guys that put the ball in play, and they run. Some veteran guys, leadership.
Didi's had a really good year. He can run a little bit, puts the ball in play, and has power. Gardner puts the ball in play, steals bags, is a tough at-bat, takes a lot of pitches.
You've got some youth in there with big power. You've got some veteran guys in there too that balance everything out. So I think it's very well balanced. They can do a lot of different things offensively, and they're very well balanced. They're not really like -- it's not like they have all one type of hitter. So you have to be able to do a bunch of different things as a starting pitcher to be able to handle all the different types of hitters they have.
Q. Trevor, what's been the key to your success after the All Star break? I mean, obviously, you had a solid 15 starts and a 3.00 ERA going into tomorrow.
TREVOR BAUER: Regression probably. I think I was very unlucky a lot of times in the first half. So my advance numbers and my ERA matched a lot better in the second half. So my overall numbers looked a lot better.
I think, in the first half, I just -- I gave up damage at the wrong points, like I'd give up a home run, but then there would be two or three guys on, so it would be a lot of runs. Whereas in the second half, I'd still give up a bunch of homers, but they're solo shots. Maybe being smarter, managing a lineup, choosing who to pitch to and kind of pitch around.
I think my walk rate was a little bit lower. So I was giving out less free bases, less people on base to score.
But overall, like mentality-wise, I've just basically tried to do the same thing, attack the strike zone, let my stuff play, and punch people out when I have the opportunity to.
Q. Trevor, a lot of guys talk about postseason experience making a difference. Was there anything about last postseason either for yourself or watching other guys that you learned from or that you take into this postseason?
TREVOR BAUER: There's definitely things that you take into it and that you learn. I don't know if it's necessarily a conscious like, oh, I learned this exact thing. I think it's just, when you get out there, you're more comfortable with, like, stuff like this, like media the day before, media in the clubhouse, the breaks between innings for TV, the different start times. Just the whole atmosphere, the adrenaline rush, the stakes, stuff like that. I think it's just a comfortability factor that you're not surprised by anything that comes up.
Q. Trevor, can you explain your success against the Yankees this year that you've had.
TREVOR BAUER: I remember my start in New York, I was bad. I walked a bunch of guys. I didn't feel like I was very sharp. I couldn't throw the ball where I wanted to. They hit some balls really hard. I was fortunate it went two people. I think that start could have easily gone differently from a results standpoint. I don't remember the first start against them too well.
But none of that matters for this start anyway, really. The playoffs are a different animal, and any team can beat you on any day. So it's a matter of looking at that lineup, identifying a game plan, how you're going to attack each hitter, and then going out and trying to execute that.
Q. Trevor, yesterday Tito, when talking about your growth this year, said you getting the ball in Game 1 really speaks volumes to how you've come along. What's been different for you this year just in terms of, I don't know, maybe the enjoyment of the game or maybe not overthinking things too much?
TREVOR BAUER: It's so -- that's a tough question for me to answer because the first half was miserable. I was depressed for the first month, month and a half of the season. I didn't enjoy coming to the field. Like, my numbers sucked. I didn't feel like I was contributing to the team. So it was like I was on the team but didn't feel like I was contributing, which is a terrible feeling for any competitor. You want to be one of the main guys out there with your teammates and contributing.
Then the second half started off terribly, one of my worst starts in pro ball. And then over the course of the next couple months, it turned around. So it's been enjoyable for sure because I feel like I'm able to contribute now instead of just being on the team, I feel like I'm a part of the team.
I think, as far as like relating to teammates and staff and just club personnel, I feel like I'm more comfortable now given that I've been here for three, four years. So it usually takes me a couple years like that to kind of get comfortable with the situation and with my surroundings and the people I'm around and really kind of open up and feel like I'm okay to be myself and have other people understand that, when I say certain things or do certain things, like they understand how to interpret that. They don't take it out of context, you know.
So it's a growth process on both sides and learning each other and learning the situation and the circumstances, the culture, stuff like that.
Q. Your curveball has been such a big pitch for you. Can you give us a little history on that, when you first started throwing it.
TREVOR BAUER: I started throwing it when I was ten. I threw a variation of a curveball when I was like seven or eight, but I started throwing this curveball when I was ten. I was a really big -- I was a big fan of pitching staffs in general growing up, not necessarily teams. So I liked the Braves pitching staff of Maddox, Glavine, and Smoltz, and I liked the A's pitching staff with Zito, Hudson, and Mulder. Zito was my favorite pitcher for a good long time, pretty much until Lincecum came into the league.
Obviously, if you know Barry Zito, you know the big curveball. So that was kind of my inspiration for learning how to throw it. Tried to pattern that pitch off of him as much as possible. Now, back then there wasn't nearly as much information available on how he threw it or the spin rate of it or anything like that, so it's a little bit more difficult.
But that's a pitch I've been throwing, I guess now, for like 16 years and always been my go-to pitch. It's the first breaking ball I learned, so that's always been the one I lean on.
Q. When you have a bullpen that's proven to be as big of a factor in postseason games as this one has, does it affect the way you might think through a game? Does it affect your intensity? Does it affect the way you pace yourself maybe through tight jams or anything like that? Does it feel almost like a long relief outing as opposed to stretching out a start?
TREVOR BAUER: In a sense. I think the biggest thing is just knowing like -- well, there's two things. One, trusting that, if you do get in a jam, you have people down there that are there to come in and get you out of it. Sometimes in the regular season, it might be the fourth inning and you get yourself if a jam in a one-run ball game, or maybe it's tied or whatever, and you're like, okay, I've got to find a way to get out of this myself.
In the postseason, it's not as much like that.
As far as pacing myself, I try to throw -- I try to attack each inning during the regular season as if I'm the closer, all out for that inning, close it out, and then go out for the next one and do the same thing. It doesn't always turn out that way, but that's my mindset going into it. So in that aspect, nothing really changes from regular season to postseason. I think the majority of it is how the game is managed by Tito and the staff.
As far as how I manage it and prepare for it, I'm preparing for a start like I do any other start and try and take the same lines that I do in every other start.
Q. Trevor, did you watch the game last night? And if so, was there anything -- were you watching it intently, trying to learn anything from the lineup you saw or just watching it for entertainment?
TREVOR BAUER: I was really interested to watch that game. I haven't really been interested in watching a baseball game in a while. That one I thought was just such a unique matchup. So I watched the first two innings, I think. I was at dinner with some friends. Obviously, those first two innings took quite a while. It was very dramatic and a lot of great plays and momentum swings and stuff.
After that, we decided to go see a movie. So I didn't watch much of the rest of the game. I kind of followed the score. But, yeah, as far as trying to learn something or scout the teams or anything like that, no, it was mostly from an enjoyment, just enjoying the atmosphere of postseason baseball.
Q. I was wondering if anyone returned your drone, or is it still out there missing?
TREVOR BAUER: Still missing. I've pretty much given up on it. So I started the process of building a new one. I took the props off this year, though, so we should be good.