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ALCS Game 3: Sonny Gray pregame interview

October 16, 2017

Q. I know you had that sim game the other day, but it's been a while since you've been on the mound in a real game. What's the challenge in having that much time off between outings?SONNY GRAY: I feel good, I got to work on a lot of stuff.

Q. I know you had that sim game the other day, but it's been a while since you've been on the mound in a real game. What's the challenge in having that much time off between outings?
SONNY GRAY: I feel good, I got to work on a lot of stuff. That's something that has been pretty beneficial to me. I've thrown a handful of bullpens and got to throw a sim game the other day.
The positive thing is I feel really good. I feel fresh, and should be ready to go.

Q. The Astros are the only team that have better offense than the Yankees. It's been a tight series so far. What are your thoughts about the Astros' hitters are and their capabilities?
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SONNY GRAY: They have a very impressive group of offensive players, and defensive players, as well. They've got a really solid team. I know these guys pretty well. I've faced them in the last three or four years, a lot of the same guys, faced them quite a bit.
And they just, from top to bottom, they've got a good lineup and they've got a lineup that will continue to put pressure on an opposing team, opposing defense, opposing pitcher. It keeps some guys off the bases and limit the damage and you can do pretty well against them.

Q. Do you see a common denominator as to why this lineup is tough on pitchers to strike them out?
SONNY GRAY: You know, I don't know why that would -- I don't know why necessarily it is tough. If they get some guys going and get guys in motion, they are just really good at putting the bat on the ball and trying to hit the holes and whatnot. They swing early. They do swing early in the count, so you might not get to a lot of deep counts. They're going to swing early and they're good at putting the bat on the ball.
They've got a solid lineup, for sure.

Q. Pitching Game 4 of the Series is a little unique because you get a lot of looks at their hitters during the first three games. How does that benefit you as you're trying to prepare?
SONNY GRAY: Yeah, I've been able to sit back and watch a couple of games and watch another one tonight. I know these guys pretty well. I think they know me pretty well. I've faced them quite a bit.
And once you get to this time of the season, this part of the season, it's a little different as far as every out seems a little more important. And I have a plan of the way I want to go after guys and I'll try to execute it.

Q. Can you get anything deeper than your normal scouting reports? Do you look for something deeper than you would in the normal season because of the intensity of the playoffs, more nuance things?
SONNY GRAY: I think everything is -- all parts of the game, everyone tries to fine-tune everything that they do. But at the same time, you've got to go out there and do what you do well and see how you match up, see how you stack up. And I think that's my approach going in.

Q. To be traded when you were during the season, what's the hardest thing in terms of adjustment? Do you feel you've adjusted?
SONNY GRAY: No, I feel adjusted. The biggest thing, I think, is just truly getting to know everyone off the baseball field, coaches, players, get to know everyone off the field, so to me that will help you on the field. Get to know everyone's personalities, get to know what makes them tick, what doesn't, and whatnot. It's been a little bit of a learning process still there.
But I feel very much a part of this team and very much wanting to help out any way I can.

Q. What is the biggest difference for you in starts where you feel you're sharp or starts where you're kind of searching?
SONNY GRAY: I think if you feel sharp, especially for me, if you get out there and feel sharp, it's, Here we go, this is what I'm going to do. And when a pitcher is sharp and when they're on more times than not they're going to come out ahead in that game.
It's when you're not feeling sharp and you're not able to throw that sharp slider every time or throw a 3-1 fastball down and away and just beat a guy to a spot, when you're kind of searching for that a little bit, you kind of need to do some things different. Not necessarily to try to get the hitter off, but it's for yourself, something that you need to do for yourself.
If you're feeling sharp then you can just go out there and it kind of seems easy.

Q. How quickly can you tell and what do you try to do to adjust?
SONNY GRAY: You can tell pretty early on. Not necessarily in the bullpen, I wouldn't say, but you can tell pretty early on in the game. And if you're kind of struggling a little you've just got to keep doing what you do, stay to your strengths. But you need to make some adjustments along the way, and that's just getting with the catcher and just telling him how you feel, they tell you what they see, and then you just go from there.

Q. I should have mentioned before, you've pitched well against the Astros. You've had good games. How much of that do you expect to translate into your start tomorrow?
SONNY GRAY: You know, obviously you can look back and think back and remember the times that you have had success. I feel like I have thrown the ball pretty well against these guys. And it's going to be a good challenge tomorrow and one that I'm ready for. I know they're going to be -- they'll be ready to go. And it's just our job as a team to be ready to go, as well.

Q. Did Gary catch your sim game the other day?
SONNY GRAY: No, he did not.

Q. The last time you guys worked, there were some issues over the last two weeks. What have you guys been able to do, talk about, to make sure that doesn't happen again?
SONNY GRAY: You just look and the more you talk and the more you just are around each other, the more you can kind of understand everyone around, understand what one another likes to do in certain spots and what you like to do with the ball and whatnot.
So we have had a lot of time off and just a lot of communication. I think that's -- if it's not physical -- if it's not going to be a physical thing, I've had some time off, then you can talk a lot and that's sometimes more beneficial.

Q. Just curious what you thought about the atmosphere at Yankee Stadium as a visitor and now as a Yankee, is there something unique about it and if so, is there something that could benefit you tomorrow?
SONNY GRAY: Basically one of the coolest things, you don't get it anywhere, is in the first inning when they chant everyone's name. That was something, as a visitor that it always kind of -- you forget that it goes on until the first inning happens, and then it's really cool. It's a pretty unique, cool, little tradition that they have going.
But being here as a Yankee it's very nice to have the support and everyone knows the tradition and everyone knows the way that the Yankees' fans expect to win, the players expect to win. So it's really nice to have that support behind you. It will be fun to pitch a playoff game here.