Oct. 5 Ausmus pregame interview

THE MODERATOR: Brad Ausmus is here. We're going to get started.

Q. Brad, just can you talk about your decision to start Donnie and did Rajai come in today and not look any better?

BRAD AUSMUS: Raj was still a little sore, so with the cool weather, I think. Rather than having him start the game and maybe have to pull him out, I would rather be able to use him later in the game maybe, especially with their left‑handed bullpen.

So he's available. He certainly could pinch-hit, but he's still feeling it a little bit.

Q. (No microphone.)

BRAD AUSMUS: I just [had] gut instincts, decided to go with Donnie. Defensively they're about the same. Zeke probably runs a little bit better, Donnie has a little bit more experience.

Q. You have a veteran team and obviously an elimination game. If you don't win, it's over. What is the demeanor like in your clubhouse going into the game today?

BRAD AUSMUS: It's pretty much the same it is every single day. We went into Sunday's final game of the season needing to go win to clinch the division. These guys are a veteran group, so they're relaxed. They understand that they have a job to do, but they're not dreading anything.

They will be ready to play and I think you will see they handle the pressure fine.

Q. Obviously, there is a Lions game today. How does that affect home‑field advantage at all?

BRAD AUSMUS: I don't think it affects it at all. I think both stadiums will probably be packed, loud, and supporting Detroit teams!

Q. Brad, will Scherzer be an option today in relief or does he need another day at least?

BRAD AUSMUS: It would probably have to be an extra inning‑type game where we needed another arm.

Q. If Davis were to pinch‑hit and get a hit, would you consider leaving him in or would you want to run for him at this point?

BRAD AUSMUS: He's still getting treatment today, probably depends on how he feels going into the game.

Q. Brad, if there is a Game 4, you will have Rick on the mound. Seems like he was one of your only starters who didn't finish strong.

BRAD AUSMUS: He didn't have his best outings the last few times, but he's had an excellent year. And as I've said all year long, with Rick, if he's down with the sinker, he gets outs and he's effective.

I'm aware of what he's done in the last few weeks, but I'm also well aware what he's done for six months. I'm not concerned about him at all.

Q. Being a former catcher, have you had any conversations with the relievers after these first two games?

BRAD AUSMUS: Yeah, I've talked to them. I'm not going to get into the details of my conversations with them, but I've talked to them.

Q. Brad, with the extra‑inning game between the Nationals and the Giants last night, I know people brought up the game in '05 you had a pretty big role in. What were your memories of that? What were the challenges as that game went on with postseason pressure?

BRAD AUSMUS: When a game starts to get that long, other than on the pitchers that continue to come in fresh, I think on the position players, the pressure kind of wanes. It almost becomes a war of attrition, see who can outlast the other. And by the end of 18, I can guarantee you even the guys in the dugout that were cheering were exhausted.

Q. About Rick again, the extra day. I know we've had conversations about his innings and everything, do you think the extra time between starts will be beneficial?

BRAD AUSMUS: I hope so. I certainly don't think an extra day will hurt. And I hope the same thing applies to David today.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks very much.