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Oct. 3 Jon Gray workout day interview

October 3, 2017

Q. How important do you think it is, and it's an obvious question, you guys shut down Goldschmidt, Martinez, to really keep the Diamondbacks at bay? What is your plan on that, and how do you do it?JON GRAY: I'm not really changing too much of my plan. I think

Q. How important do you think it is, and it's an obvious question, you guys shut down Goldschmidt, Martinez, to really keep the Diamondbacks at bay? What is your plan on that, and how do you do it?
JON GRAY: I'm not really changing too much of my plan. I think that I just need to control my effort level, my tempo and delivery, and just keep doing the same things I have been. But they're a tough offense. They've got a lot of big bats in their lineup and so do we. So it's a really good match-up, and it will be a lot of fun.

Q. How do you let the pressure of the moment not get to you when it's a one and done game like this and you really haven't been in that situation before?

JON GRAY: Well, I like to step it up and slow it down a little bit when things get going so fast. I just focus on executing one pitch at a time. I know if I do that, I'm going to give our team a chance to win.

Q. How motivating is it to go against Zack Greinke?

JON GRAY: It's very cool. The guy's obviously got a great track record. He's been a really good pitcher for years. It's very exciting for me. It's a guy I used to watch on TV, so it's very, very surreal.

Q. Two questions, one, your voice sounds a little raspy, are you okay?

JON GRAY: Yeah, I'm fine. It's just from the celebrations of the past couple nights. Yeah, yeah, I used my voice quite a bit the last couple days.

Q. How fresh do you feel right now? We know you missed some time early because of the foot injury, but you've had a heavy load. Do you feel fresh and about as good as you can feel at this stage of the year?

JON GRAY: Yeah, absolutely. I feel really good. I know the thing earlier in the year was a bad thing, but, then again, I feel fresh right now. I feel like it's mid season. So, yeah, I'm grateful for that kind of. It's a good time.

Q. As a pitcher, is it harder or easier to go against a team that you've seen 19 times? More of a challenge?

JON GRAY: It can be. They know what you have. I know what they have, but there is always changing going on in the game. There are always adjustments being made. So I know we don't use the same game plan every time, but it can be a challenge when guys get your timing down and the small things you change here and there. Then again, it's just executing pitches and doing what you know works.

Q. I remember talking to you at spring training and asking you about the role of becoming the ace on this staff. You embraced it so readily. Can you talk about getting to that point? Do you feel like you're that guy? And the fact that here you are getting the ball in a game of this magnitude, it is something that you seemed to be ready for last February?

JON GRAY: Yeah, since I've had my sights set on it, and I'm just grateful to be in this position. It's great that Buddy Black trusts me enough to give me the ball in this game. That gives me all the excitement I need.

Q. The game here in September a couple weeks ago when you had the ten strikeouts, and I think Martinez hit you for a home run, but you were pretty much in control of that game. What was working for you and do you plan to continue what was working for you that tonight into tomorrow?

JON GRAY: I was doing a really good job of mixing the off speeds in that game. There were a few pitches that were left inside. Some curveballs that got hit pretty well. But I thought I did a really good job of keeping everything down in the zone. An off speed down in the zone and pitching the fastball in. That's usually my game plan every game. But it really worked well that night.

Q. Talk about pitching here at Chase Field. It is known as a hitter's ballpark. Do you have to do anything different?

JON GRAY: Not really. I pitch at Coors and it's pretty similar. I don't try to do anything at all. I know how everything works and it does work similar to Coors, So I think that gives me a little conformability while I'm up there. But I think visually everything looks good. The mound feels very tall, and they say it doesn't make any difference, but it could be in a live game. But I've always enjoyed pitching here.

Q. Bud Black is the first manager in Rockies history with a pitching background. How much has he meant to you this season and the growth that you've experienced as a young pitcher?

JON GRAY: Well, I give a lot of credit to him, especially early in the year when things would get tough out there. He would leave us in and give us the chance to get ourselves out of that situation, and I think that's just helped our pitchers grow throughout the year. So I think he's done a great job. A lot of our young guys have been stepping up, and I think it's a lot of credit to him.

Q. Do you look at this as a chance to assert yourself as one of the best in the game, or is that a dangerous way to approach a single game in terms of putting pressure on yourself?

JON GRAY: Yeah, I think a lot of pressure is self created. You can only control what you can. You know, some things that happen behind you, you can't control. But as long as you focus on what you're doing in there and forgetting about the negative and looking forward to the positive, that's the best chance you can put yourself in to win.

Q. Obviously Goldschmidt and J.D. are the highlights of their offense. But as you look up-and-down the lineup, is there anyone else that stands out to you?

JON GRAY: Yeah, they're packed with a good lineup. It's not just those guys but (Indiscernible) had a really good year even last year. And there are lots of guys in the lineup that are dangerous.

All of them can hit the ball out of the yard. So you really have to focus and make sure you're executing your pitches rather than throwing. It's very dangerous, and it's going to be a heck of a battle. I can't wait for it.

Q. When it comes to your mindset on approaching a one and done elimination game like this, does it alter the equation for how you manage the inning early in terms of how much effort and energy you look to expend for each batter you face?

JON GRAY: I think it can be. Depending on how you look at it. I'm not looking at this game as a one-and-done. I'm taking it as another start and putting tons of concentration and focus on this one. I know there is not going to be a question of my effort. I want to go hard until the last pitch. Just grateful again to be in it, and it's going to be a lot of fun.

Q. You mentioned watching Zack Greinke. Was there anything just watching him when you were growing up that you picked out or you noticed that you really appreciated or tried to put into your own game?

JON GRAY: One thing I remember is he made everything look like a strikeout, even the offspeed, so that's one thing I thought he did really great. Another thing he did really great was even when things weren't going right for him, you would never see his emotions on the mound. He would get back up there. You could tell it was a rough night for him, but he would get back up there and compete every single time.

Q. You're talking about having fun and enjoying this moment and things like that, but at the same time it is a one-and-done kind of thing. How hard is it to have fun in a situation like this?

JON GRAY: It can be, but I think a lot of that kind of depends on if you have a negative or positive emotions. A lot of positive emotions coming in here, and it leads me to think it's going to be a lot of fun. I don't think it's going to be a tight game for me. I don't think I'm going to be feeling that nervous. I'm just going to go out there and control what I can. The results are the results. But the effort is going to be 100% for me.