Oct. 10 Jarrod Parker pregame interview
Q. What can you use from your first start against them in this series and how might you want to change things up, considering you have seen them so recently?
JARROD PARKER: Yeah, I'm not going to go in with too many changes at this time of the year; you go in with your game plan and your strengths and try not to vary too much off of that. And obviously there's a lot of good stuff that I can take from the last outing and tweak it just a little bit and try to make better pitches and obviously make one big play on the mound that I normally make every time and that's about it.
Q. You were able to contain Cabrera and Fielder. How much confidence do you get from that?
JARROD PARKER: It's big. Obviously they're going to make that adjustment, as well. As long as I'm one or two pitches ahead of them, I think I'll be all right in terms of going at them. But they're a dangerous lineup one through nine, so I don't think you can take anyone in their lineup lightly.
Q. A lot of talk about the rookie rotation that you guys have had and even Brett Anderson, a little more experience, but he's still young like you. Do you guys feed off each other at all?
JARROD PARKER: Yeah, definitely. We're a young staff and we try to bounce as many things off of each other as we can. And we try to learn from each other and try to do as much as we can to learn and take the knowledge that we have, one guy throws a game and does something, I'm going to ask him what he's doing to get this guy out and vice versa. And we try to feed off each other.
There's been times this year where we've tried to feed off each other and tried to one up each other, it's made for a competitive but solid relationship for all of us.
Q. How do you deal with the playoff pressures, all the stuff that's going on around you, all the crowds and everything? How do you deal with the pressure that's around you?
JARROD PARKER: To us and as a team, a group, the pressure, it's not what we really it's not built by us. It's not put on by us. We know we're playing the same game. And we love playing in front of our crowd. And we love playing at home. And I think the added pressure, it makes for great baseball, and it obviously brings the competition level up. And it makes us the competitive athletes we are to be able to play in front of these kind of crowds and compete. I think that's what makes baseball fun at this time of year.
Q. Obviously you'll be opposing Verlander again. They feel very good, obviously, when they have Verlander going in a Game 5 situation. What do you think about opposing him in that kind of a situation?
JARROD PARKER: It's going to be fun. I think it's what makes this time of year great. We both have a chance to do a lot of special things. We get to that Game 5 and it's win or go home. So obviously there's a huge, huge, huge basically, like I said, it's win or go home. It is what it is. I don't think you can put too much into it. But we're going to play the game like we normally do. And I think we have the advantage at home.
Q. Similar to the question you just answered, but I'm curious about your mindset today, knowing you could either be pitching the biggest game of your life in Game 5 tomorrow or celebrating tonight. Are you kind of aware of that?
JARROD PARKER: No, we know -- what matters today matters most. And obviously we need to play tonight, 27 outs, and then when the game is over we'll figure out what we need to do the next day to get into that game and prepare a game plan and do all that. But what's going on today and tonight is the most important right now.
Q. Have you thought about being in an elimination game that you'd be on the shortest leash of your career, and you might get yanked away faster than the regular season game; would you change your approach at all?
JARROD PARKER: No, not at all. That's a thing I don't have to worry about. I'm not the manager. I'm not the pitching coach. I go out there and do what I can. And obviously if something goes wrong, I understand if Bob needs to make a change or adjustment. But I'm going to go out there and do what I'm capable of and do it to the fullest.
Q. Getting traded to the A's in December last year, obviously you had to know about the kind of reputation the club has for developing or having young starting pitchers. What was your reaction, what were your expectations then and how has that panned out now that you're sitting here in this situation?
JARROD PARKER: Obviously everybody knows there's a chance to change teams and be traded every off-season.
I was glad that I got an opportunity and that the A's wanted me enough to make it a big deal for me. And I think to be able to come to an organization that's known for getting guys ready and prepared as much as they can and they do a great job with pitchers, I couldn't be happier where I'm at right now and the place we're at. We're in the playoffs and I think that's what's exciting for us as a group and myself, as well.
Q. Especially as a young pitcher having as much success as you've had, what would you say are Bob Melvin's strengths as a manager?
JARROD PARKER: Everything. The way Bob kind of can individually coach players is what's big. He knows how to deal with different guys differently. He's had an entirely different roster one day than he has the prior day. I think to be able to deal with those guys and just to know how to keep a team going and not put his hand on us too much in the clubhouse, just let's us do our own thing and keep loose, and I think that's what's made us a great team. We've done it together and it's been a team effort all year.
Q. Being a Midwest kid was there any special significance against facing Detroit and against an AL Central team like that when you were there?
JARROD PARKER: Not a huge, huge -- it wasn't big for me. Obviously I followed the AL Central growing up and I was a White Sox fans growing up, so I knew about the tradition in Detroit. And I went to a couple of games at Comerica when I was growing up. I actually followed the division and it was fun to have some family there and a lot of people around for a big game like that.
Q. After the troubles at Spring Training when you started at Triple A what did you learn that you were able to bring up to the Major Leagues that's carried over to now?
JARROD PARKER: Just to go back to what I've been doing. I think coming in the spring I was trying to impress and do a little bit too much to impress the new people and the new teammates and a lot of things went the way they weren't supposed to. I think to be able to just look back and do what got me to the big leagues was what I wanted to do.
I think early on in spring I was trying to do too much. When I went to Triple A, it was kind of a blessing to be able to hone in on some things and slow it down, and get right and be able to come back to the big leagues and be ready with a hundred percent effort and be kind of fine tuned with my mechanics and just basically be as ready as I can, and not have to work on something at this level. You want to be as ready as you can and take what you've done your whole career and put it into each and every game.