But I know I understood immediately falling behind in the count is not going to be a good thing.
Q. Obviously this team has a lot of capable guys to start in Game 2. What's it mean to you that the organization has confidence in you to give you the ball for Game 2?
YORDANO VENTURA: I feel very happy with the opportunity and the confidence they've shown in me. What I plan on doing is continue to do whatever I did in the regular season with the same confidence they showed in me to continuing to out there and do my job.
Q. Did you see Pedro Martinez' message to you? What was your reaction to that?
YORDANO VENTURA: What I immediately noticed was that many people saw that I put my head down, and I knew that with the many messages I was getting and different text messages and so forth from everywhere, I needed to go out there and kind of put it behind me, get my head up and understand the circumstances of what I needed to do to get back and get my confidence.
Q. Did you see the message?
YORDANO VENTURA: Yes, I saw the message.
Q. Did it feel special that Pedro, someone of his stature, a guy who had done so much would take an interest in you and it seem almost like a fatherly type of gesture from him? Was that special for you?
YORDANO VENTURA: I was very happy, and it does make me feel special because it seems like Pedro put himself in a situation like that before. It seems like he was put in a situation like that before where he failed and he learned from it. So what I got out of that whole message from him is you're not the first one or the last one this is going to happen to. Go out there, put your head up, and know that it happened to me before. I was going to go out there and have success, but keep your head up and go out there and do your job. But, yes, it did make me feel pretty special.
Q. You faced the Angels before, but it was cut short a little bit because of rain. What have you learned from that experience, and how do you attack a lineup with as many different options as they have and as much power as they have?
YORDANO VENTURA: Everybody knows they do have a very potent lineup and a lot of guys out there that can hurt you and hit the ball. But I think my main concern is to know that I go out there and make some pitches. Making some pitches means I've got to put it in good spots against very dangerous people out there. I know if that happens, all I want to do is go out there and help my team.
Q. When you look back at your season, what do you think allowed you to have, I guess, what we call a breakout season? What allowed you to go to the next level?
YORDANO VENTURA: First of all, I thank God that I had the opportunity to go out there and learn. Also, it was through a lot of hard work. It was work and work and asking questions and observing and studying, but mainly just throughout the work that I was able to do and also listening to a lot of people asking a lot of questions to make sure that I could absorb as much as I could.
Q. What does it feel like or will it feel like to face Albert Pujols as one of the idols of your country, the Dominican Republic?
YORDANO VENTURA: Yes, it's very special to face a guy like Albert Pujols. Number one, I know what he's done on the field, tremendous credentials. But also, I know what he's done off the field. Somebody that actually grew up and being from the Dominican, we all have and idolize players, and he's one of those guys that everybody idolizes and we know how Albert Pujols is. But I also have a job to do tomorrow, and my job is to go out there and make pitches, and it's necessary to get Albert Pujols out and compete against him.
Q. Ned said that you and he had a conversation, I guess it was yesterday about the game Tuesday. What did he say and what did you say back to him, I guess?
YORDANO VENTURA: First thing he asked me if I was okay. If I was feeling good, and I said, yes, I'm feeling good. My response also was the fact that I want to take advantage of this opportunity, and he's given me the opportunity to go out there and I know that I can do it better the second time around. So Ned gave me a lot of confidence by naming me to pitch tomorrow and having the ability to ask me that made me feel comfortable in that position.
Q. You mentioned that you asked a lot of questions this year and got some good answers. Who did you talk to? I know you tied James Shields for the team lead in victories, and I think he helped you quite a bit, probably Bruce Chen and Kelvin Herrera. Who are some of the veteran guys you talked to this year?
YORDANO VENTURA: Since spring training Bruce Chen, as you mentioned, Jason Vargas, James Shields have been on me pretty much, talking to me a lot. Once the season began and I was in the dugout, I also approached Salvador Perez a lot asking questions and game situations and hitters.
At the same time, I got some more information from the pitchers asking them what they would do against certain hitters and that's the combination of how guys helped me out this year.