2006 NEWS

2006 News > 10/5/06


Original Article HERE.

Q. Could you talk about your odyssey from the blood clot to here.
Well, I mean, it's been a good turn of events, I guess, you know? Obviously, when I had the scare with the blood clots, I mean, that's the kind of thing that you don't want to have happen, obviously, and you worry about what it means for the rest of your career. But certainly in the short term, I was worried about not being able to take part in this. I mean, this is what I wanted to be a part of, and obviously was excited to try and be a part of, you know, now that I've been here in New York for a little while. I guess that was my biggest concern. But, fortunately, you know, the situation is controllable, and, you know, I've been able to come back from it. So it was fun to get out there.

Q. Just now, Cliff Floyd was saying basically that he felt like maybe you wanted to prove you could still pitch well in the playoffs. Did that enter your mind tonight? Did you feel like that?
You know, a little bit. You know, probably more yesterday than today. I mean, I'm well aware of what my last postseason was like, and it certainly isn't something that I'm proud of or happy about. But it happened, and there's not a lot I can do about it now obviously. I just was in a position where I obviously wanted to try to get back to the postseason again and try and do better and have more fun, and have a better experience. But, you know, I think it's the kind of thing that once I got to today, it really didn't enter my mind. It was more about just trying to go out there and pitch a good ballgame and try and take advantage of this opportunity that I and everybody on this team finds ourselves in, and being in the postseason, and just try and go out there and pitch a good game.

Q. Was it like an old feeling for you since you had pitched so much in the postseason in the past? You showed a little emotion, there was clapping from you, that kind of thing out there.
You know what, it's the kind of thing that I guess more than anything else I want to enjoy it, you know? I mean, I've waited a while to do it. Gone through some tough times here in New York, personally. You know, it's the kind of thing you try and persevere and find yourself in this position, which I obviously wanted to be in when I came to New York. So it's the kind of thing that first and foremost I want to enjoy, but, you know, I think honestly, today, tonight was probably the most relaxed I've been all year long. I don't know why. You know, I was pretty nervous and anxious about it all day long. I was anxious driving in today with Wags. For some reason, once I got to the ballpark and got in the clubhouse, everything just kind of fell into place, and I felt extremely relaxed when I got out there on the field. But, you know, there's certain situations, obviously, that are bigger situations than others, and I got in a couple jams tonight and I was able to make some pitches and get out of them. You know, there's certainly you know, those are big emotional moments in the game. I guess I'm not one that usually shows that kind of stuff, but I just wanted to have fun.

Q. Is it nice to get a really good Division Series win, get it off your back and get everything out of the way in this series?
To a degree. You know, I mean, I don't pay attention a whole lot to what my numbers are. I mean, I know, you know, maybe you can make the argument that my numbers aren't that great, but I know I've lost a lot of close games in the postseason. Looking back over my postseason career, you know, I'll be the first to sit here and tell you I probably had four or five games that were awful. But the rest of them have been pretty good, to the point where at least I've gone out there and given my team a chance to win. You know, lost some close games, but, you know, I think that for me, I don't feel as though I have anything to prove. I'm proud of what I've done in my career. I'm proud of what I've accomplished. I'm trying to live in the moment, and the moment right now is that we have a great team, we're trying to get ourselves to the next round. For me, you know, it was a big opportunity to try and put us in a great position going out west. I just tried to take advantage of that opportunity.

Q. As Willie walked out, he gestured back at you and said, "Big game, Tommy." How sweet was it, how meaningful was it for you to pitch the big game in this town at this point in your career?
That means a lot to me, you know. Like I said, I think it's a lot less about what I have or haven't done in my career in the postseason and much more about now. Obviously, like I said, this is the opportunity that I wanted to have here in New York, and, you know, I'm no different than anybody else; I want to do well. I have a lot of pride in trying to go out there and do well. Maybe that was the reason why I had a lot of anxiousness this morning and this afternoon before I got here, was, I mean, I understand the opportunity that's in front of me. I understand the expectations on this team, and certainly on me as a player. So I think sometimes you think about that a little bit too much, and let it play on you a little bit too much. But, you know, obviously, the guys played great yesterday, won a big game. It meant a lot for me personally going out there having a one game lead rather than being down a game. It helps you to relax. You know, again, I try to go out there and do what I have to do to be successful, and ultimately just try and give our guys a chance to win a game. I'm not trying to do anything spectacular, anything like that, I'm just trying to give us a chance to win. I was able to do that. The guys scored some tough runs offensively. The bullpen was spectacular, like they've been all year long.

Q. Explain to us the confidence going into L.A. up 2-0.
Well, I mean, we're confident, obviously. It's not the kind of thing that we want to go out there too relaxed, you know. We've taken care of our business here, have done what we've needed to do and give ourselves a 2-0 advantage going out west, which obviously you couldn't have asked for anything better. But it's important for us as a team to recognize that this thing is not over, and we have to keep plugging along. Certainly, in a short series like this, momentum is such a big thing. So, you know, the more we can keep grinding it out and try and get this thing over as quickly as possible, then the better off we're going to be.

Q. You talked about driving in with Wagner. Did he try and say or do anything to make you feel a little looser?
Not really. We just talked a little bit about yesterday's game and, you know, I kind of asked him about his feelings and his nervousness and that kind of stuff. You know, he kind of made light of everybody giving him a hard time because none of his saves ever seemed to be easy, that kind of stuff. So, I mean, it was more about me talking to him about what his experience was than it was about me going out there and pitching. But, you know, I mean, it's just the kind of thing that you try and engage in a little bit of conversation so it's not tense the whole way in and, you know, you don't drive yourself nuts. But like I said, for some reason, once I got in that clubhouse, everything seemed to kind of fall in place, and I was very relaxed from that point on.