Q. Obviously the bullpen has done a great job, but it's hard to expect them to go five innings. How important is it for the starting staff to go deeper in these games?
KYLE LOHSE: We've had our ups and downs as the rotation goes. I thought coming into the playoffs we've been doing a pretty good job in September and just things haven't worked out. You can't put more pressure on yourself to go out there and do more just because you need to.
I'm just going to go out there and approach it the same way I have all season, and that game against Atlanta and Washington, where I just go out there and do my thing. I can only control one pitch at a time. I can't go out there and try to throw 7 innings all at once. I'm taking a simple approach to it and just controlling my part of the game and chips will fall where they may.
Q. You guys lose Tony, you lose Albert and you lose Dunc and here you are right back where you started. What is it about this team that you can explain how you can lose three important people like that and still be here?
KYLE LOHSE: Well, it's tough. I'm not going to downgrade the importance of those guys that we lost. They were very important to this organization, this team. And I think the important part is we put in pieces that could help. You're not going to replace Albert, but we got Carlos in here who did a great job. You're not going to replace Tony. But Mike's come in and done a great job with handling the team, the mentality, keeping it going along the same lines that Tony did.
And then Lilli, he had experience with us when Dunc had to leave a little bit last year.
There was a lot of turnover, but a lot of things stayed the same as far as the mentality, the approach that we take out there. And then you speak about guys in the clubhouse. We've got a great -- guys fit together, good chemistry, good veteran leadership. I think those things are very important in getting us back to where we are right now.
KYLE LOHSE: We don't overlook anything. We're very focused. And I know it probably didn't show during the season, I think we could have won more games, but we had a lot of injuries. We didn't take it as an excuse. We kept winning the games we had to.
And I think you saw in the playoffs we're not looking past anything other than the next day. We're taking our focus all into tomorrow's game, we're not looking past it, and just really keeping things simple. And that's probably the bottom line of how we're here today.
Q. You've pitched so well at home here this year. Can you talk about your comfort level here and how do you maintain that in the postseason when the routines change?
KYLE LOHSE: It's just, like I said, you focus on the things you can control. That's the thing that I've done very well this year. That's how you be consistent. I didn't pitch poorly on the road. I had a couple of bad games that probably made it look worse. But most guys probably pitch better at home just because of the comfort level, you're used to everything. And I'm just looking forward to keeping that going. I have my routines that I go through. It's nice when you're home. Things on the road can get a little screwy sometimes.
But I'm not too detail oriented when it comes to my game day. Things can't throw me for a loop very well. I suppose it's going to rain tomorrow, I'm used to that. I've had a lot of rain days here. So that's something here in St. Louis we notice.
But for me it's just taking the mentality of it's another game and that's going to be my approach.
Q. Could you talk about your evolution as a more versatile and better talented pitcher?
KYLE LOHSE: Yeah, it's been a huge change for me since I came over here and started working with Dunc. He changed me from a four-seam guy to a two-seam guy. That's basically all I throw now. I've been mixing in the four-seam fastball a little bit more now. He got me to realize the importance of the location more so than velocity. Before I would consider myself more of a thrower.
And certain things you learn as you mature and move on, and you get some good guidance. I think I figured out what kind of pitcher I should have been and what kind of pitcher I can be. It's not really a secret, I rely on getting first pitch strikes, getting ahead of the guys and making them hit my pitch. That's my version of pitching to contact. I'm not out there trying to strike guys out. I want them out in three or four pitches and move on. I think that's come with, like I said, the maturity and realizing how I can be the most successful pitcher I can be is to go out there and be aggressive, but it's kind of a controlled aggressiveness.
Q. Do you feel like you're better locating the ball?
KYLE LOHSE: Yeah, that's my main focus out there is to make one pitch at a time and the location that Yadi and I decide we need to go to. And I've been pretty successful doing that throughout this year, and it's been a good approach for me to go out there and have continued success by doing that.
Q. Was there a particular moment when you knew this season would be good for you? How satisfying has this season been for you?
KYLE LOHSE: I do a pretty good job of staying in the moment. Maybe after the season I'll look back more and take it in a little bit more, but right now we're still -- I've still got things I want to accomplish personally and as a team. So I know it's been about as solid of a year as you can have. I've gone out consistently and got quality starts and getting deep in the games. I'm not one to kind of rest on my laurels and say, Look what I did. I'm out there to go out and keep it going until this thing is all the way through.
Q. Pitchers always say they're going against the other team's lineup more than the other team's pitcher. How much fun is it for you to go against a guy like Cain?
KYLE LOHSE: It's fun. You get to this point in the season and pretty much everyone on each staff is going to be a solid pitcher. I got to go against Medlen, who had a great streak going, and thankfully our team put up some runs for me to end that streak.
It's going to be a fun challenge to go out there and match Cain. He's got a lot of -- he's had a lot of success in this game. He's a very good pitcher. I'm not looking to -- obviously my hitting is not going to help us too much. But I'm going to go out there and do everything I can to match him. I'm sure he probably looks at it the same way.
Q. You've talked about your evolution as a pitcher. I'm wondering going all the way back to the Minnesota days how much have you changed just in your maturity, your approach, all of that?
KYLE LOHSE: I feel like a completely different pitcher. Back in those days I kind of -- you look at my approach, I was out there throwing four-seam fastballs, trying to blow it by guys. You're not going to have too much success at that at 94 miles an hour. We've got a couple of guys on the staff that can do it, they're 98, 99.
I do that. I didn't really have a sense of -- an approach of what I'm trying to go out there and do. Right now I'm trying to get ahead of guys, trying to -- it's no secret, I'm trying to expand the zone, trying to get hitters to hit my pitch and my location. Through the years of being here in St. Louis working with Dunc it's really -- it's like a light went on that this is the way I should be able to pitch. I should get ahead of guys, sink the ball. I don't get as many ground balls as most two-seam guys would, but a lot of the fly balls are out in front of my off-speed stuff. That's because I'm ahead of the count and putting the stuff where I need to put it.
Q. Your reputation was as an emotional guy. How much has that changed?
KYLE LOHSE: Just like anybody, I think you stick around in this game long enough you kind of settle in, kind of figure out who you are, what you are. I had a lot of stuff going on in Minnesota where I'm sure it's been documented, some things that I did that I'm not proud of. But you learn and move on and it's tough when you're in those kind of situations when you react -- something that you wish you could take back that happens. And you learn. And the guys that don't learn and get better, I think, get out of the game, I've learned, and moved on.
I'm 34 now, pretty confident in what I can do out there. I know what's expected of me. I like being a leader in the clubhouse.
Q. Generally how would you assess the Giants' lineup, more power, finesse, and do they remind you of any other team?
KYLE LOHSE: It's a tough lineup. They've got guys up and down that can hurt you. Obviously I'm going to try to keep guys off the base in front of Posey. They've got quite a few left-handed batters in there. In that respect it reminds me of the Atlanta team that I faced. They can throw some good at-bats on you.
It's going to be fun to go out there and everyone -- you've got so much film on guys nowadays that they're going to know what I'm going to be trying to do and I know what they're going to be trying to do to me. It's going to be a fun chance to go see who makes the best adjustments as we go along.
I didn't face them this year during the season. So that may -- usually that kind of favors the pitcher. But it doesn't matter if I don't go out and make my pitches and all that doesn't mean a thing.
But I'm just going to go out there, put together a good game plan and trust Yadi back there. That's always the fun part. He calls a great game. He's had a chance to see them for two games, see what they've been trying to do to us. I'm going to go out there and make my pitches.