Oct. 3 Nick Markakis Pregame Interview

Q. I know you guys are used to playing a lot of different starting times, but what's it like to have this kind of a turnaround in such a big game like this?

NICK MARKAKIS: We're used to it. Things like this happen through the course of a season and the postseason is no different. We gotta not look too much into it. We gotta play a baseball game no matter what time the start is and we gotta take care of business.

Q. After not being able to play two years ago, what were your emotions like yesterday?

NICK MARKAKIS: You know, at the beginning, I just kinda took everything in, but after that, you know, it was just a baseball game, a game that we had fun doing. And it was great to be in that atmosphere and in that situation. But after the first at bat, first inning, kinda settled down and it's everything you expected, everything you hoped, everything you wanted, so it was really cool.

Q. Nick, when you look at this Tigers' rotation and now you have Justin Verlander and the next game David Price, is this as good of a three pitcher combo that you've faced in your career?

NICK MARKAKIS: Yeah, I mean, I would be lying to you if I didn't say yes, because how many times does a team face three CY Young's? We know what we're up against. It's nothing new to us. We got to stay within ourselves and do what got us here, no matter who is on the mound. That's the way we look at it from our standpoint.

Q. Nick, whatever happens today, you guys will have a chance to finish the series in Detroit. Do you go there with confidence given how good of a road team you all have been this year?

NICK MARKAKIS: I don't think we're looking into that right now. We have a ballgame to play today, and everybody in that clubhouse is focused on today. Whatever the future may hold, it holds, but we got one game today and it's a big game for us. We need to do what we need to do.

Q. Going back to what you were talking about, your first game last night in the postseason when you hear guys in that clubhouse, whether it be Adam, J.J., Chris Tillman, guys who have been here through the bad times, too, talk about how good they feel for you in this situation knowing that you weren't able to do that in 2012. How does that make you feel? What do you think about what they're saying about you?

NICK MARKAKIS: You know, it's a good feeling, makes you feel good that your teammates would respond like that. I think that's one of the main reasons we have played so well together this year. We bond together. We pull for each other. And the biggest thing is we play together. We play well together. It's hard to get 25 guys to be on the same page, and that's where you got to tip your hat to Buck and Dan and ownership for bringing the guys in that they bring in. It's a fun run so far, and to do it with these guys, it makes it even more special.

Q. You mentioned taking it all in last night, and you also said how great the fans were. I'm wondering, as an athlete, what do the fans do for you? You've got to hit and catch and throw, but is there something that you actually feel as an athlete when it's like that?

NICK MARKAKIS: You know, the fans, they're the reason why we play this game. You know, to go out there in front of your home crowd and to play a game that we love and to get this far, this late in the season, you know, that's what it's all about. It's all about the fans. And ultimately, we are playing to win, but we're playing to win for the fans. They're the ones that put us out there every day and they're the people that make things happen. And like I said, if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be in this situation we're in right now.