Oct. 6 Doug Fister pregame interview

Q: Doug, last year what did you learn in the playoffs? Your first game went four and two thirds, and next you went five, and then you went seven and a third. What did you learn through the playoffs last year?

DOUG FISTER: Most importantly, that it's all the same game. I mean, the stands are packed. Obviously you got some energy that may be a little different than the regular season. But it's still the same game.

There's some ups and downs and some trials that you've gone through for the full year, but when it comes down to it in the playoffs, that's when it's the most exciting.

That's when the fans are in it; the team is on the top rail the whole game. But it really just comes down to you're doing the same thing over and over again.

Q. You talked about the fans being in it. Can you just talk about what you expect the atmosphere to be like tomorrow night and tonight?

DOUG FISTER: You know, I'm sure it's going to be the same as it was last year. Being able to stand in the dugout, whether you're pitching or not, you stand in there and you kind of look up at the stands.

And last year they handed out towels, and you could see everybody standing up waving those towels, especially in big situations.

The energy that they bring. The fans are a big part of this, and we're obviously very appreciative for it. So they really give us a lot of energy and upliftment.

Q. Now that you've had time to reflect on it, could you talk about your strikeout game? What was that like for you?

DOUG FISTER: I haven't really taken any time obviously it's soaked in a little bit. And the more it does soak in, the more humbling and such an honor it is to be a part of it.

But I haven't taken any time to reflect on it. I kind of wanted to finish out the season and stay focused on what we've got ahead of us right now before I really try to look into those other things.

Q. Doug, when I spoke to you this summer about your approach, you said that you're a guy who goes a lot more with feel and how you want to attack guys rather than with scouting reports. Does that change at all in the playoffs with the games having more of a magnitude?

DOUG FISTER: Not at all. Again, that's going back to the first question of what changes or what have I learned. That's the most important thing for me, is really to just stick to my guns, stick to my game.

And for me, it's a matter of when I say I'm going with feel, it's that intuitiveness that you have, that feeling inside that you have the confidence in what you want to throw.

And so if you are sitting there trying to debate on what the scouting report said, if you're trying to remember it or whatever, you may not be sure. You may not be confident enough to make that pitch.

And so for me, if I go off of what my gut feeling is, that means I always have that confidence that I know I am making the right pitch and the right time, and just a matter of executing it.

Q. In tonight's game, do you approach it almost like you're a scout? Are you charting pitches up on the TV monitor, on the bench, watching what Verlander does against them?

DOUG FISTER: I'm watching the game and very attentively paying attention to what they're doing and what kind of strategies they're coming into.

But also I have to keep in mind that Justin's a different pitcher than I am. He's got different stuff, different pitches that do different things.

But I can still watch how a hitter approaches, how a hitter may take a check swing or what kind of running game they have, so there's things I can still pick up.

But we do pitch in different styles. And I think that is a good attribute for us, to keep them off balance.

But, I mean, there's definitely things that I can pick up and learn from him.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about growing up in Northern California, whether you were a Giants or A's fan and going to A's games when you were younger, if you did that or not?

DOUG FISTER: I grew up in Central California. I paid attention to the A's. I watched them but I was more of a Giants fan, especially growing up.

But we did go took family and did go to the games. So, I mean, it's definitely special for me to go back there. Last year when we clinched the playoffs, that was in Oakland Stadium.

So it was definitely a special feeling last year, because family, friends and everybody were there. And be a part of it. So again this year we're trying to do the same thing and clinch it there.

Q. Could you sum up the year you've had?

DOUG FISTER: You know, as of right now it's just a matter of there's been some ups and downs and trying to continually fine tune and take the steps in the right direction that I need to and keeping consistent.

Coming into spring training, every year my mentality is I'm going to try to be as consistent as possible every day. And unfortunately this year I've had some injuries that have kept me out periodically.

And so just trying to stay, number one, healthy, and stay, two, with my guns, stay with what I do best and not to waver from this.

Q. Just the honor of starting Game 2 at home at Comerica Park, what's that going to be like here?

DOUG FISTER: It's definitely an honor to be able to start Game 2 and follow Justin. He's going to set the tone tonight and kind of the atmosphere that we're going to have here in Comerica.

I look forward to the opportunity to pitch against Oakland. They've got a great lineup over there and somebody you have to respect.

They've done everything that they've needed to do to get into the playoffs. And so it's going to be a great series, I feel. And so it's one of those things that no matter what game you're pitching, it's important to stay focused and to do the things you know how and the things you've done to prepare all year, whether it's been in the offseason or during the season, just to really kind of stay true to yourself and stay within your guidelines.