So I think the fastball command, if that's going good then you end up
having a fairly good day.
Obviously the Rays became a big story pretty quickly with your
start. But when you went into the All-Star break on that seven-game
losing streak, and people were saying they're slipping back to where
they've been, how did you guys get refocused?
SCOTT KAZMIR: We're just a very loose team all the way
around, so it didn't bother us too much at all, when we went on a little
bit of a skid. We prepared ourself. We knew everything was going
right at the time. There really wasn't one game that kind of didn't go
our way, so we knew we were going to go through a stretch like that.
It actually came at a good time. It was right before the All-Star break,
so we got a chance to kind of get away from the game for a little bit for
these three or four days and kind of regroup.
Did you make a conscious effort before your last start in Boston
to decide to throw more sliders? Is that part of what you're thinking
SCOTT KAZMIR: Sure, sure, definitely. It kind of seemed
like for pretty much the entire season that I was a little tense in
throwing my slider, because it felt like I wasn't -- it was tough to be
able to get out there and get extended. So with this last start that I
have, I kind of just wanted to establish it early and get a good feel for it
early in the game, and it helped me out in the late innings. I ended up
getting more comfortable with it early in the game, and used it in late
situations, even behind in the count to get hitters out.
When you got the win in the All-Star Game did you have an
inkling or dream at all that you were setting yourself up for Game 1 at
home with you pitching again?
SCOTT KAZMIR: You know what, Longoria and Navi and I
talked about it when we were here. We knew that this game that we
were playing really meant something to us because in the long run it
would really give us an advantage, hopefully advantage for the World
Series. You couldn't ask for anything more, especially the way we
played here. So in the back of our head, we knew how much this game
meant to us as a team, as an organization.
You mentioned some of the tough years here, and the empty
buildings. What does it mean to you to get the opportunity to pitch in
a World Series like this and what does it mean to you?
SCOTT KAZMIR: It means everything to me, it really does,
especially for this city. It's pretty much worth the weight, you could
say, for what we had to go through the past four years, and you're not
really having a winning season, and always kind of in a rebuilding
stage, and whatnot. So it's worth everything right now being in the
World Series, after three or four years of getting everything together.
Are you preparing for this game any differently than your last
three playoff starts, either physically or mentally?
SCOTT KAZMIR: I'm not going to treat it any differently at
all. It's going to feel like a regular game to me. I'm going to go with
my same approach, which is attack the strike zone, I've got to use my
fastball as much as I can, mix up my pitches and keep them off
Preparing for a team that you haven't faced in Spring Training,
how do you do that? Do you look at videotapes, do you look at old
games? What do you do?
SCOTT KAZMIR: We look at video. There's a lot of
paperwork that we look at and to kind of figure out people's, hitters'
tendencies, and whatnot, and Hickey and I, we've went over it a little
bit. We're going to go over it more tomorrow before the game. And
Navarro and I will talk and communicate and see what our game plan
is going to be like and everything. And just talk around to different
players. There's some guys that have been in the National League and
faced these guys before. So I'll ask Wheeler, ask a couple of the guys
to get a feel for what they thought would get certain hitters out.
So it's just something where you just have to go based on the scouting
report or what someone tells you, because you really haven't faced
these guys before.
How will what you accomplished in that last start against Boston
set you up coming into the World Series?
SCOTT KAZMIR: It's definitely a confidence booster, going
into this next game, because it kind of felt like I didn't have too much
pitches. It felt like I had one pitch and my secondary pitch was a
change up that I didn't really feel too confident in. And with this last
game under my belt, it felt like all the pitches were working good,
everything was feeling comfortable for me, and I was able to throw all
my pitches, even behind in the count, and be able to work both sides of
the plate. I feel like I can feed off from my last start.
You and Hamels came out at the same time. You were taken
very close in the Draft. And I believe were compared, both left
handers and all that stuff. Have you followed his career at all or
measured against him as time has gone by, do you know him at
SCOTT KAZMIR: I said hi and bye a couple of times. But
for the most part we actually have been compared by Baseball
America and a couple of other things I was reading as I was
coming up through the minors. Seems like we were pretty much in
every single league going through the ranks. I got to see quite a bit of
him and kind of follow his career a little bit, just because of another left
hander and you just see what he's doing and see what's working for
him, maybe you can use that to your game And I've seen a lot of him.
He's a great pitcher.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.