Oct. 23 Jeremy Guthrie workout day interview

Oct. 23 Jeremy Guthrie workout day interview

Q. This may seem like ancient history to you, but we were asking Ned about this a little: When you were at Colorado, did you feel you were at a bit of a crossroads? And how much did it change everything for you when you came to Kansas City?

JEREMY GUTHRIE:  I didn't feel like I was at a crossroads. I just was not pitching very well, at least at home. Really struggled to get people out and get into any rhythm. But I felt like my velocity was there, and I felt like the pitch quality in terms of the action on the pitches was going to be more than fine, if I could just get into a rhythm and get some momentum going on my side.

Q. The importance of Game 3, I mean, the Giants came out and took a 1 0 series lead. If you guys could win Game 3, what would that do for your momentum?

JEREMY GUTHRIE:  Every game's important to swing momentum, I think. Seven game series, you win one, you have momentum on your side. So I think my last start we were ahead 2 0, and in a seven game series, and I felt like that was a must win for us as well.

I think every game in the playoffs you have that mentality where you want to win it. There is no game that you ever want to let get away, because you know that once you do, that other team could gain momentum and take two or three in a row.

Q. Two part question about your time at Stanford: One, what did Coach Marquess and Coach Kunis impart to you that you still take with you today? And secondly, what do you remember about the 13 inning game against Cal State Fullerton?

JEREMY GUTHRIE:  I think the most important thing I learned at Stanford is, I had two years and really all of the little pitching experience I had was kind of wiped away during those two years when I was 19, 20, and 21 years old living in Spain. So when I came back, my mechanics they were able to mold them in a way they thought would help me be most effective and be able to repeat my delivery and be efficient.

Just in terms of pitching, their approach there, and in many colleges, is to let the starters work through all their issues. You're the guy that's going to kind of take the decision, win, lose or draw. So I think my last year I threw 157 innings in 21 or 22 starts, and that is just kind of the way it is. You get the ball at the start, and it's your game to lose or win.

I think that taught me a lot about myself both in the good games as well as the struggles. It teaches you to have a goal to finish the game, and to get deep and understand the impact that can have on your team. So those have been foundations for whatever I've been able to accomplish as a professional as well.

Then in the 13 inning game that you're referring to was against Cal State Fullerton, and probably nobody here knows about that game, so I had Wes Littleton was my opposing pitcher. Ended up being drafted high by the Rangers. They had a 2 1 lead, Chad Cordero, eventual first rounder to the Expos or the Nationals, was their closer, and they chose to go with Littleton for the complete game in the first round of the Regional, just down the road at Stanford. And we ended up getting a run off Littleton before they could put their closer in.

I had thrown nine innings and Coach Marquess looked at me and said, "You're going to keep going." It was the 10th, "You're going to keep going." It was the 11th, "You're going to keep going." 12th, 13th, at which point he said, "I think you're done," and we ended up scoring a run. So I threw a 13 inning complete game.

Four days before the draft, Scott Boras my agent, or advisor at that time, was there, and I don't think he was anticipating or hoping for 13 innings that close to the Draft. But it was 147 pitches. Again, it was a reflection of competing to the end, it's yours to win, and watching kind of the pitchers pitch by pitch, and seeing how they're doing versus kind of letting the number dictate when they were going to be taken out.

Q. Since you've been here, what does Salvador do that helps you when you're out on the mound? And what are some of his unique attributes that you see in him that maybe other catchers don't have?

JEREMY GUTHRIE:  I think his number one unique attribute, aside from his talent, which I think puts him with the elite catchers in the league, is his energy and his excitement, his demeanor. Always very happy go lucky, no matter the situation, men on base, cruising, not cruising. He's always very positive. Has a smile on his face. "You can do it, pop. You can do it."

That builds confidence in the pitcher when you know he believes in you, and he's pushing for you to get over whatever obstacles are in your way. I think his talent speaks for itself. I anticipate he would win another Gold Glove this year, and I anticipate he'll have a lot of those by the time he's done playing.

Q. You were referring to your mission a little bit earlier. When you were on that, is it true you didn't throw a baseball for two years? Can you just maybe elaborate on why and what perspective that gave you?

JEREMY GUTHRIE:  Well, I appreciate the question. Yeah, I left after my freshman year. I was a freshman at BYU. I led the team in innings with 65. I think I led the team in wins with 6, and I was not even that far behind in ERA with a 6.70. So when I left, baseball was not something that I foresaw in my future, at least long term. I loved the game. I enjoyed playing it, but I was burned out. I had pitched poorly as a freshman, and quite frankly it was not fun.

So when I took my call to be a missionary for two years, I left my glove behind, I left the ball behind, and that was really because that is what is asked of a missionary. When a missionary leaves, they're asked to leave everything behind that could be a distraction to them. At the time, that was my girlfriend who is now my wife, Jenny. That included baseball. That included family. It included my interests, shoes, chess, and every other thing that could distract me from what the goal was, which was to find people that were truly interested in listening to the message that we shared as missionaries. So I did that.

When I came back, I had no expectations. It wasn't one of those things where I prayed one night and said, "Lord, if I do this, you promise me to do this." It was not that way. It was, "I'm going to give this up, and I know whatever happens will be the best for me and it will be Thy will."

So when I came home, I was fortunate to get that transfer to Stanford, because they had three openings for their starters, and things just took off. I told reporters, I mean, Mercury Sun probably covered us the closest, the Chronicle as well. But I have a number of articles photocopied from my time in Stanford in '01, and '02, that the only explanation I had    I think I tried to come up with them for a while, whether it was Coach Kunis or Coach Stotz, who is a great pitching instructor as well, but after the more I tried to answer questions as to how my baseball life or career had turned around, the less I had answers for it. I began to think, the only answer I have is this is just a tremendous blessing.

So that blessing really carried me through three very difficult seasons as a Cleveland Indian. My first three years in professional baseball, aside from the first two months, where I was the greatest thing to ever happen to Cleveland Minor League Baseball, according to them. From there it was downhill for a long period of time.

And those were more of a crossroads than what you referenced in Colorado because I was not good, and I did not have confidence, and my pitches were not crisp, and they were not executed, and I didn't have anything going for me as a professional pitcher.

But that understanding that everything that happened to me was happening for a reason, helped me to continue to grind through it, to push, and when it did click for me at the end of '05 in Triple A, I was able to run with it. Carried that through 2006 in the Minor Leagues. Went and played Winter Ball, a decision that I made because I knew it would give me the opportunity to maybe get on a Major League team. And eventually I was released by the Indians, claimed by the Orioles. Gave up one run in Spring Training, and eight years later I get a chance to pitch in a World Series game.

So life, baseball, everybody has a story. I'm no different. But what I learned as a missionary in those two years away are the foundation for everything that happens to me in my life.

Sometimes it's used for positive. I remember a number of articles saying, "This kid's very mature, this kid is this, this kid is that because of his mission." And when I pitched poorly for three years, "Now I was not a good pitcher, and the two years off hurt me, and baseball wasn't important to me and church was more important." So I've seen that. So when I pitch and there is something written or something said or there is a perception, I understand, much like what Ned said, when it's one way, everybody has a reason and an explanation for why it is that way, and when it flips, a lot of those reactions just automatically flip over even though nothing has really changed except the result.

So results don't drive what I do. I don't think they should drive anybody, but it's the effort that you put in and the experience that helps you become who you are.

Q. You mentioned the college mindset of send you out there, it's your game, this and that. Especially in this postseason, maybe more than ever, the starting pitcher is being asked to meander through the fifth inning or throw 66 pitches or whatever. What is different about it as a starting pitcher?

JEREMY GUTHRIE:  Well, that's been the result. My first go at it in the playoffs we played nine games or ten, and it has been that way. Unexpectedly I think you have on our team four starters that are currently starting, as well as Danny, that have the desire to go deeper. So that is not the mindset of our starters. That's been the result, but we're out there trying to get as deep as we can. For us to win a game without having to throw all three of our relievers at the back end, Kelvin, and Wade, and Greg, will only give our team a better chance to win throughout the series.

So we're going to go out there every time and try to keep the pitch counts low. But playoff baseball has proven to be a grind on both sides. Their pitcher has to grind, our pitchers are grinding. Hitters are grinding and giving great at bats. It's different than when you're out there throwing in May, and guys are just giving you two or three pitch at bats, move on, and roll over and onto the next guy. There is a very heightened sense of awareness and focus by each side.

Q. Considering your circuitous route and everything you've been through from BYU to your mission to be back here, so close to Stanford, what would it mean to you tomorrow and to your family and people close to you to be in a World Series so close to where you kind of started your baseball career back up?

JEREMY GUTHRIE:  Well, it would be great. I invited the three coaches that I worked with. One will be in attendance tomorrow. There are a number of people I run across when I come back to play against Oakland or San Francisco in the past, that had seen me play in college and expressed their happiness that I've been able to pitch in the Major Leagues.

So it's fun to be here. It gives more opportunity for family and friends, like you said, to come down from Oregon, where I grew up and be able to catch the game, and certainly from the people that live around here that I know and have benefited from their coaching and their support.

Q. How prepared are you to possibly be lifted early only because it is a National League ballpark? And if the situation dictates, you know that Ned has to look for the pinch hit opportunity, if it arises?

JEREMY GUTHRIE:  For sure. That's something that none of us wants, but we'll all accept. Whenever you're taken out of the game, for the most part you're wanting to go through it and you're wanting to push further. So the big thing will hopefully we can hold them to zeros on our end, and get a few runs that will allow Ned to be a little more aggressive with what we can do with as starters.

My goal is to put up zeros. If I put up zeros, I have a chance to stay in. If I don't, I'm going to be taken out, whether it's a National League ballpark or not. So that's got to be the focus for me is, what can I do to put up zeros against a good hitting team.