Oct. 10 Joaquin Benoit pregame interview

Oct. 10 Joaquin Benoit pregame interview

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joaquin Benoit.

Q. Joaquin, how much do you want the ball tonight as compared to watching Justin Verlander throw another shutout?

JOAQUIN BENOIT: I think everybody is going to be ready to get their turns. As always, for me it's fun to get the phone call and get the ball.

But I think tonight is like always, Justin Verlander, who knows how long he's going to be. If it's my turn, I'm going to be more than happy to get it.

Q. Could you tell us generally about the mood in the clubhouse right now?

JOAQUIN BENOIT: It's always a little bit of enthusiasm in the clubhouse at this time. Everybody waiting for the beginning of the game to see what is going to happen.

It's always fun, Game 5, same scenery of last year, and we have the same starter, hopefully we have the same results.

Q. Joaquin, after closing for most of this year, how have you found the adjustment from set up man to closer?

JOAQUIN BENOIT: I didn't do anything different. I was just trying to get my three outs and get the team back in the dugout. As a set up man, it was easier for me. Sometimes as a closer, you try to think too much and I was trying to not overthink and just do my job.

Q. Do you think it's different because you're the last line of defense, is that why?

JOAQUIN BENOIT: Not really, it's just situation when you know you gotta get the last three outs, and sometimes they get tougher. Sometimes you take things farther than what they supposed to be.

So I was just trying to make it as easy as I can.

Q. Could you talk about the bullpen in general. Talk a little more about your experience in this playoff as a closer.

JOAQUIN BENOIT: Well, thank God this is my third playoff with the Tigers and it's been really, really great being on a winning team. Being part of a lot of guys, a lot of young guys that have a lot of future.

My part, being able to perform at the high level I have the last three years has been amazing, and hopefully we continue to do that.

Q. Just wondering if closers are sort of like around baseball like a brotherhood. Rodney had such a tough time the other night when he came in to try to hold the lead. When you have the experience as a closer and you see that, do you root for other closers? Do you cringe a little bit when you see something like that?

JOAQUIN BENOIT: It's always tough. I think baseball is a whole big family, everybody roots for everybody. Obviously when you are playing other teams, you want your team to win. But sometimes some tough situations comes on and it's not always that you're going to succeed. Somebody has to fail for other teams to win.

Seeing Fernando the other day and seeing what he did last year is really tough, because he's a great person, great pitcher, great closer. Everybody saw what he did last year.

We are going to go through tough times and we are going to go through good times. I think he's going to come out of it.

Q. About the closer position, is that something that you enjoy or maybe if the Tigers decide to go with Rondon next year, you will be comfortable in the set-up position?

JOAQUIN BENOIT: I'm not the kinda guy that likes to say I'm going to be here for the rest of my life.

This is my first year as a closer, happens when I'm 36. So from the beginning of Spring Training Rondon was the guy who was going to be the closer, and I was happy because he's a young kid that has a lot to offer. His lack of experience, I guess, take the best of him at the beginning. But the second time he got called up, he showed that he belongs in the Big Leagues. He has the passion of a closer.

I think whatever decision they make is going to be great. If they decide to go with me as a closer, I'm happy. If they decide to give me another chance and help him, being his set up man, I would be happy to.

Q. Have you thought about recording a final out tonight?

JOAQUIN BENOIT: It's always in the mind of a closer to get the last out. The excitement, the jumping on the field, clinching the first round of the playoffs is always a dream for any pitcher, not just the closer. In my case, I would love to.

Q. Are you ready or do you think that you could go multiple innings tonight if the situation came up?

JOAQUIN BENOIT: This is do or die, so whatever the manager decides, that's what I'm ready for. He's the man in there.

We got a day off yesterday, so that helps.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.