Oct. 12 Max Scherzer pregame interview

Oct. 12 Max Scherzer pregame interview

Q. I was just wondering if you were expecting any effects from pitching in relief the last game?

MAX SCHERZER:  Oh, not at all. I'm on normal rest, pitching Game 2, so I'm fully ready to go. Arm feels good. My relief appearance was just needed.

Q. Did you feel your mental game or your confidence level go up this year as you continued to have the success you did?

MAX SCHERZER:  Absolutely not. My confidence level has always been the same from the day I arrived into the big leagues to now.

I believe confidence is a choice. And I always choose I'm going to believe that I'm always going to come out on top. Doesn't matter if you're struggling or matter if you're on top. You've always got to believe that you're going to have success. And this year I had the same confidence level I had my entire career.

Q. As the season went along, obviously a lot was made about the running game against you guys. What kind of work did you guys put in as the season went on, as we went into September, to try to limit that, whether it was pick off moves, whether it was changing your timing to the plate, what all went into that?

MAX SCHERZER:  That's something I always pride myself in, is to try to prevent the other team stealing bases against me. I know Boston does that. That's why they create so many runs, the ability to steal bases.

For me it comes down to the simple fact I've got to change my timing. I like to hold the ball, I think that disrupts the base runners, you've got to be quick to the plate and you've got to change all different aspects of it. You can't be repetitive, because they can just time you and figure you out. So that's something that I'm always cognizant of and especially when you play a team like this.

Q. Your work regimen was altered by the relief appearance, can you talk about how you dealt with that. And do those numbers on your chest have particular significance?

MAX SCHERZER:  Yes, they do. That's the Mizzou football score, big win against Georgia. I'm definitely going to be talking loud today.

As for the workload, I've had five days off, so I'm going back into my routine. Nothing has changed from me having to relieve. I've gotten a ‑‑ my normal routine to be able to start.

Q. That's a nice touch, there.

MAX SCHERZER:  It is.

Q. If at all, how have you changed your delivery since you've come into pro ball and come to the Tigers?

MAX SCHERZER:  I'd say in the past couple of years it's simplifying everything and making sure it's consistent. You can talk about different ways it breaks down, but usually it breaks down earlier in your delivery. For me I've really isolated it to my hands, where I break my hands when I take the ball in my glove. I find if I have a nice little pause right before I come set, as my leg travels down, and I break my hands up by my chest, that allows everything to work in sync. And it helps to create rhythm for me.

That's been my kind of checkmark list to make sure everything is right. When I'm able to do that that's when I'm able to repeat everything, and repeat with four pitches.

Q. You mentioned confidence never being an issue. When you're in a rotation with guys like Verlander and Sanchez, do you make each other better, feeding off each other's skills?

MAX SCHERZER:  You're trying to emulate certain things you're trying to do. We all know that we work together, and we try to have a feel for the hitters. When you watch somebody, Verlander, Sanchez, you can see how they attack the hitters, they might do something different that you do. And they might change speeds in a different way than you might have thought. And when you can see them being successful in those situations, there's times you want to emulate that and take that and add it to your game. That's the benefit of being on this team.

Q. The Red Sox swing at fewer pitches out of the strike zone than almost any team in baseball. Does that have any impact on your pitch selection or approach?

MAX SCHERZER:  Well, they're just a great team. They can grind AB's out, they don't chase a lot. They foul off pitches. Really, it all comes down to, you can mention all those things they're very good at, it comes down to attacking the hitters and making sure I'm working ahead in count.

I've got to be 1‑2 before I'm 2‑1. All the simple things in pitching. If I don't do that, it's going to make it extremely uphill battle for me. If I feel like I'm working ahead in the count, I feel like I can be successful. And that's the recipe for success.

Q. If you go back a little bit to the trade here after the '09 season, you were a very young player. Were you surprised at that deal? When you look at the rotation, all the deals that Dave Dombrowski has made, how impressive is that track record?

MAX SCHERZER:  Usually when you get traded you anticipate like a phone call or somebody to tell you that you've been traded. I just woke up on Tuesday morning to seven text messages saying you just got traded. And I could only track I was getting traded on the bottom line, on ESPN. So that's why I was surprised I got traded is just the way it went down.

Q. The fact that you've got a couple of other guys in the rotation that went through trades?

MAX SCHERZER:  Yeah, Dave has done a great job, finding guys at the right point in their careers to make them even better. When we've come to Detroit we've all collectively pitched even better than we have in the past. I know Dave has done a good job but that's the onus on us to further our careers.

Q. I read something today where in your game ‑‑ relief performance you were inspired by Miguel Cabrera and how he's gone through his physical issues.

MAX SCHERZER:  I think what I was referencing was if anybody ‑‑ even in Game 5 if they wanted to give me the ball just for an inning, I was ready. It doesn't matter. At this point in the season, if your arm is tired or anything, you're going to go out there, because everybody is going out there with injuries and Miguel is the leader of that. He's playing through pain right now. He's been playing through pain the past couple of months.

This is an all‑out type atmosphere, and when you see players like him, especially your super star players, going out there and playing everything for the team, it makes you want to do anything for the team, as well.

Q. Have you followed Buchholz's season at all, obviously early in the year you and he both were just about unbeatable? What do you think about the way he's come back from his injury?

MAX SCHERZER:  Yeah, we follow Major League Baseball, and he was pitching absolutely lights out. He's able to do a lot of different things with all of his pitches. That's what makes him so effective. It's unfortunate that I think he did suffer an injury and just took a long time to get back. But I did catch him when he was pitching against Tampa and you can see how good he is. I think he's back, and he's going to bring his A stuff, so I'm going to have to match him.