Oct. 11 Michael Wacha workout day interview
Q. You said after your last regular season start because you'd have such a long layoff that you looked forward to working on some stuff in your side sessions. How many side sessions did you throw and what did you focus on during those?
MICHAEL WACHA: I'm not sure how many I threw. You know, it's probably a few or so, probably three. But you know, just continue to stay sharp, just took the command of all my pitches and continued making my pitches in the bullpens in order to stay sharp.
Q. As someone who's experienced the extremes of the postseason, the success of 2013, what happened last year, what have you taken from all that and learned, bringing it into tomorrow?
MICHAEL WACHA: Yeah, I've done a little bit of both, 2013 with the success and unfortunately stuff happened in 2014. But just excited for this opportunity this year, being a part of this amazing team and looking forward to seeing what we can do in this postseason. Got a big Game 3 coming up here on Monday, and just looking forward to the opportunity to go out there and perform and compete for this team.
Q. Following up on what you just said, obviously this is a pivotal game. The magnitude of tomorrow's game, how much are you looking forward to being out there?
MICHAEL WACHA: Yeah, the excitement is unreal, just so excited to get out there and compete with this team and hopefully get that win for us. You know, this team has been fighting. I had a tough one the other day, but just continue to see in the fight in this team and just excited about Game 3 on Monday.
Q. Mike mentioned that the velocity of your sessions has been up a tick. How are the command and location since you last started?
MICHAEL WACHA: Honestly I've been feeling good. I'm excited about getting out there on Monday and getting back out on the mound. It's been a while, but definitely excited to get back out there on Monday. But just overall I guess the way I've been feeling, I've been feeling good body-wise, arm-wise, and just ready to get out there.
Q. So it's the biggest game of the year, but how do you mentally tell yourself it's just another game?
MICHAEL WACHA: I mean, I don't know if you can actually tell yourself it's just another game. I mean, you have to, I guess, try your hardest, I guess. But just show up to the field, just stay within your same routine that you've been doing all year. The night before, pregame stuff, just approach it just like any other game, and I guess leading up to it, that routine will still have you going in that same routine and same type of game feeling, I guess.
Q. How long did the sting of what happened in the postseason last year stick with you this offseason and how did you use that as motivation coming into this year?
MICHAEL WACHA: You know, it definitely hung around with me for a while, but there's definitely times where you've just got to tell yourself it's over with. There's nothing you can do about it now, and use that as motivation to hopefully never have that feeling again. That's what I used during the offseason was that motivation to continue working harder, to get back in this opportunity, this chance to be in this postseason again, and hopefully redeem yourself.
You know, just happy to get another opportunity at this postseason because I know it's very rare, but excited to be here and excited to get another opportunity.
Q. How do you focus on just what you're doing and not trying to match pitch for pitch with the other guy?
MICHAEL WACHA: Yeah, I mean, obviously going up against Arrieta, great pitcher, but you just have to worry about your own game. You can't worry about who's on the other side, and go out there and continue making pitch after pitch. Hopefully I guess that's just what you have to do. You've got to go out there and not worry about who's in the other dugout and worry about yourself.
Q. What do you take from your previous starts against these guys this season?
MICHAEL WACHA: You know, definitely had a couple rough ones here lately, but you know, just got to go out there and trust in my stuff and let my defense play behind me. We've got a great defense back there, and they've got a tough lineup. They're going to be battling. They're going to be putting together great at-bats, and just got to stick with my stuff and continue going after them.
Q. Do all pitching mounds feel the same to you or are they different, and if they do differ, what is unique about Wrigley's mound?
MICHAEL WACHA: I mean, I would say that all mounds are pretty different. You know, I wouldn't say they're all the same, obviously. But every one has their own type feel. But I can't tell you one thing that stands out about Wrigley. It's not like it's too tall or too short or anything like that. Just another mound. I don't think too much about it.
Q. With the recent history with these two teams, is there any reluctance to pitch inside or do anything that you would normally do pitching-wise?
MICHAEL WACHA: I wouldn't say that. Just stick with my game plan going in. If that's pitching inside and sticking with it, if it's staying away, then staying with that. But you know, it's important to have a good game plan going in, and we're going to have that going into the game, and just important to stick with it.