Oct. 4 C.J. Wilson Workout Day Interview

Oct. 4 C.J. Wilson Workout Day Interview

Q. This is a tough position for any pitcher to be in. How do you plan on approaching it?

C.J. WILSON:  Well, I mean, I really couldn't do anything to help the team other than give high fives the last couple games, so we're all pulling together. Everyone wants to win, like Mike said. We had some instances where we're hitting balls on the warning track, hitting balls almost off the fence and they're making circus catches in the outfield, and we just didn't get a lot of breaks. So I think for us we're looking to reset the trap a little bit, and since we're the leadoff team in this case, since we're the visiting team, we get to set the tone on offense, and hopefully that helps all of us, including me.

 

Q.  The Royals are not a team that generally takes a lot of pitches and looks for a lot of walks. Do you think that that maybe plays into your game a little bit, that they're swinging the bat?

C.J. WILSON:  I mean, every player individually has his own weaknesses, obviously, and we've got a season full of data to cull through to figure out exactly where guys are going to chase and stuff like that. But it really just comes down to if I'm throwing the ball the way I want to throw it, it doesn't really matter who the lineup is. If I'm able to locate the way I want to locate, then I'm going to be throwing a lot of strikes on the edges of the strike zone, not throwing balls down the middle. You get hurt more often when you throw down the middle more than anything else. That's pretty much the way it is.

 

Q.  You have to not be human to not feel pressure in the postseason and certainly in this situation. How do you channel that?

C.J. WILSON:  Well, the good thing is having some experience in these situations before like knowing what to expect from a hostile visiting crowd or an excited, boisterous visiting crowd. I think everybody on our team sat there and watched the A's‑Royals game. I was at a restaurant watching some of the stuff on TV and they were panning to the crowd and the crowd was just going crazy, losing their mind, and I was thinking, man, this is cool, this is a cool environment. That's the environment you want to play in. You grow up as a little kid and you say I want to pitch in the playoffs or I want to get the game‑winning hit or whatever it is and envisioning doing that in front of 40, 50, 60,000 people, not 18 people sneezing and coughing at a Spring Training game. This is more fun. This is better. It's more energy like Mike said and I like that. I think it's more intense, and having, like I said, having been through that, I understand how to sort of harness the good and block the bad, I guess, like they said in Happy Gilmore.

 

Q.  What's been your takeaway from the first two games?

C.J. WILSON:  I just feel like we've run up against some pretty ‑‑ I mean, Ventura is obviously throwing the ball 100 miles an hour. It's pretty impressive, just letting it eat, electric arm, that's pretty cool. But you see how a lot of the game has been predicated on defensive stuff, like so many swing moments really have been the diving catch or the close play at first base or something like that. So I think it just shows that regardless of the regular season records of our teams respectively, both teams are playing as hard as they can, and I think when you see every play seemingly, it's like the finger on the base or the foot on the base or like the catch against ‑‑ like that's super‑intense baseball, and I think that's just because everyone is giving it 110 percent. I don't really expect them to show up tomorrow and be like, oh, we've got this in the bag. You know what I mean, in bad way, you know I don't expect them to give away any at‑bats. I expect them to be just as intense as they have been. And I expect our guys to be just as intense as they have been, too. I just feel like it's a big burden on all of us to just pull our weight and do our jobs, regardless of what our job is, whether that's the pinch runner or the starting pitcher or the catcher, anybody, we all want to do our jobs really well.

 

Q.  Are there certain ballparks where you just feel more comfortable with mound conditions, whatever?

C.J. WILSON:  Well, some stadiums are just better than other stadiums, so you'd rather go play in Philadelphia or someplace like that versus other stadiums because there's just nicer stadiums.

But that being said, I think I've had some really good games here, I've had a bad game here, so I think it just sort of ‑‑ it really depends more on what's going on with me. Like last time I was here the circumstances weren't super awesome for me, but I pitched well against the Royals last year and I pitched well against the Royals earlier this season in Anaheim, so I feel good about it. I don't really feel like there's ‑‑ this ballpark is a fairly neutral ballpark in that sense. It's not like Fenway or Houston where they have a really short porch or some weird dimensions.

 

Q.  Obviously the season is not going the way you're used to it going. Do you look at this as a fresh start to put a good finish on it?

C.J. WILSON:  Well, I would hope that Sunday isn't the finish of our season, obviously, just to throw it right back at you, but I feel like I've had some fantastic games. Recently I had some really good games early and then I had some bad games in the middle. At the end of the season you're always kind of juggling the workload versus the fatigue versus any sort of nagging physical stuff that's going on. I think everybody, every baseball player is in the same position in that sense. But a couple games ago against Seattle I was great, and then a couple games later against Seattle I was great, and they're just as good as anybody else.

I don't feel like this is a game that is going to be ‑‑ like I said, I feel like we're going to be playing on Monday. That's what I feel like. Because the way everybody came back through the dugout into the clubhouse after the last game, everybody had that right level of intensity. Like were they a little bit upset that they didn't come through with whatever they wanted to do, but they were determined to do it, and I think that's what you see. You see that resiliency from our team. We've had a lot of things go wrong for us this year. We still managed to win a lot of games. It was just because we pull together and we work well as a team. Everybody gets along. Everybody trusts the other guy. Everybody feeds off each other. We have a lot of good energy, and I don't think this is any different a situation than that for me or for the team.