Q. Chris, obviously you pitched in a lot of big games for the Orioles. How excited are you to take the mound tomorrow night?CHRIS TILLMAN: Excited. I think everyone's different. And I think the situation's different with everyone, for sure. You know, kind of like I told you every other
Q. Chris, obviously you pitched in a lot of big games for the Orioles. How excited are you to take the mound tomorrow night?
CHRIS TILLMAN: Excited. I think everyone's different. And I think the situation's different with everyone, for sure. You know, kind of like I told you every other time, I take every game and approach it the same way. Not to put any added pressure on yourself. Just go out and try to do the same thing you do every other game.
Q. When were you told? You've had a couple pretty good outings here this season. Did that help at all?
CHRIS TILLMAN: They talked to me yesterday after the game. And I think anytime you're able to pitch well somewhere or against a certain team, I think it helps a little bit. But I don't buy into that all that much. Every day is different. Every day you're carrying different stuff. You've got to find a way to navigate every game a different way. I don't dwell on the past too much, but we've played well here this year, and it's been fun.
Q. Chris, the fact that you've pitched against them so many times, does that give you any kind of added advantage?
CHRIS TILLMAN: Yeah, you know, I don't think so. I have seen them a lot and they've seen me a lot. There's no secrets; I know what they're going to do, they know what I'm going to do. Same thing goes the other way with Stro; we've seen him plenty. So I don't think there are any secrets there. I don't think it's going to be -- you do the same kind of things you always do.
Q. Chris, the playoff experience you've had, how much does it help you guys now? How do you feel the Orioles are positioned to make a deep run?
CHRIS TILLMAN: Yeah, I think we will. You know, sitting in the clubhouse, we were sitting down after BP and it was pretty calm. Whereas in years past it seemed like everyone was chomping at the bit and not able to sleep at night. But it was a pretty calm clubhouse, and I think you've seen that throughout the whole season. You come into that clubhouse after a win or a loss, and it kind of feels the same. You just come in ready to play every day.
Q. You've had your struggles up against this team. I know we've talked about it last year about how tough this lineup is, but this year it seems you've been better. Is there anything you can look to, to see what you did to maybe attack this lineup and have more success against them?
CHRIS TILLMAN: Like I said, there are no secrets. I don't think I've gone out of my way to do anything different with these guys. It's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Last year didn't go so well, this year has been a little better. I think we're a very solid defensive team, and I think when you have that in the back of your mind as a starting pitcher, you're going to be able to attack the zone and make your defense work.
Q. Chris, first innings over the course of the year have been a challenge for the Orioles starters. Is it very important or does it matter for you to have a strong first inning, meaning because you're on the road, to try to keep the crowd from getting into it early?
CHRIS TILLMAN: There are crowds everywhere we go. This crowd is probably one of the better ones. But as a player I don't hear a whole lot of it. I have the same game plan every time. I'm not trying to give up any runs in the first. I don't think anybody is, to tell you the truth. Like I said, I'm not going to put any added pressure on myself. Try to keep the fans out of it. I'm going to focus on what I need to do to make good pitches.
Q. How meaningful was it for you and the starters to pitch so well down the stretch?
CHRIS TILLMAN: It was important. I think it was good timing. I think we threw the ball well for a while there coming down the last couple weeks of the season. I think it was really important. I think our bullpen has been there the whole year. They've been good all year and everyone knows that. I think as a starting staff we did a better job as of late.
Q. After you guys lost that first game here last week, over in the clubhouse they talked about how important it was to learn how to win here at the Rogers Centre. I know it's a different ballgame in the postseason, but does winning two of three last weekend and winning this series here, does that help you guys a little bit confidence-wise?
CHRIS TILLMAN: I think it helps with some of the younger guys. You know, I've been here when we've been really, really bad here. I've been here when we've played pretty well here. I've been on both sides of it. You know, you do have to learn how to play through a situation and in front of certain fans and against certain teams. I think this is a tougher place to play. It has been for us in the past. But like you said, I think we've been playing good baseball as of late here. I think we're ready.
Q. What did you think makes it tough to play here?
CHRIS TILLMAN: I don't know. If I knew the answer, I think it wouldn't be as tough for everybody. It's not only tough for us, but tough for everybody, I think. It's a good atmosphere, especially the last couple years. It's been fun to come in here and play. They've had good teams I feel like the last couple years, and like I said, it's been a lot of fun coming in here. It's been a battle every time.
Q. When you look back at this season, how big was that home run that Kim hit here last weekend for you guys?
CHRIS TILLMAN: Oh, that was big. That was big. I think that turned the tables there in that series. It was not looking too good before that game and for Kim to do it, he's a guy that we all kind of get on all the time. He's fun to be around, man. He shows up with a smile and leaves with a smile. Win, lose, rain or shine, he's always got a smile on his face. And no one better for that (inaudible). It was a lot of fun.