Q. When you watched this Blue Jays team last year in the Postseason and saw the talent they had, how much did that make you kind of even yearn even more to come back and be a part of this this year?J.A. HAPP: Yeah, that was a big part of
Q. When you watched this Blue Jays team last year in the Postseason and saw the talent they had, how much did that make you kind of even yearn even more to come back and be a part of this this year?
J.A. HAPP: Yeah, that was a big part of my decision to come back, for sure, was the ability to potentially get to the playoffs again.
It's kind of what every player wants in free agency. And I felt like they had a good team returning and I wanted to be a part of that.
So having gone through some stuff my first trip through here, you know, this feels good to get back to this spot.
Q. How has the Rangers midseason acquisitions -- Beltran, Lucroy, Gomez -- change the way you approach this lineup?
J.A. HAPP: I'm going to focus on what I do well, but obviously those three guys really made a difference. You look at where they finished, obviously, we're playing here to start for a reason, the best record in the American League. So they're playing good baseball. They're a really good team -- speed, power and average and defense and everything that you want.
So it's going to be a tough matchup, that's for sure. But, yeah, I'm going to focus on my strengths and we'll go from there.
Q. You guys played in so many close games and so many must-win games down the stretch. Can that help a team when you're going into the Postseason where every game matters?
J.A. HAPP: I think so. It did feel like those last couple of weeks, there were so many huge games and must-win games for us. I think it's probably brought us a little closer. So in that respect, I think, it may be a benefit, yeah.
Q. You mentioned your strengths. If you look at the four starters projected for this series that you guys are going to throw, each of you has a little bit of something different to offer, maybe a different look for the opposing hitters. But yet you've all been dominant this year. Can you just talk about how that has been a real advantage for your team, the fact that you do have these guys that have all had different ways that you guys have been able to contribute but you're all kind of different?
J.A. HAPP: Right. I think that the one benefit there is just the opposition is getting a different look day in, day out at least from the visiting starting pitcher for us. So we all throw it different. We all kind of attack the zone in a different way. And have strengths and weaknesses in a different way.
So I think that's beneficial over the course of the season. So I think that's probably contributed to some of the success our staff has had.
Q. John Gibbons was saying how you've made pitching adjustments over your career to get to where you are now. It's obviously working. But is it always ongoing to try and change things, or are you just happy with what you have right now?
J.A. HAPP: I think it will be -- I think it is a situation -- you know in this league they say it's a league of adjustments. I think the biggest thing is to keep my mentality the same and that's to be aggressive. I think you're always searching for maybe tinkering with a few things to make certain pitches a little better or maybe trying to come up with a new pitch that can work for you.
But keep that same aggressive mentality and I think that will be huge for me going forward.
Q. It's been a while since you've done one of these things. It's been a while since you've pitched in a playoff game. How well do you remember what it was like and how excited are you about getting out on that mound tomorrow?
J.A. HAPP: Yeah, just feeling the energy in the Wild Card game, it brings it back. It has been a while, but that's the whole point of anybody who gets that taste, you know. I was fortunate to go to two World Series my first two years, and just to be in the playoffs, you get that taste. And you want to continue to go back.
And that's kind of what you search for over your career. So that's why I said it was one of the most important things in free agency was to try to go to a team where I felt had a possibility to get back into the Postseason. And really excited to feel that again.
Q. Being a guy who lately has relied so heavily on your fastballs, especially over the last two years, what kind of benefits does that provide you and what kind of challenges does it present?
J.A. HAPP: Well, a fastball's an aggressive pitch. I think that just helps with the mentality. But we've tried to incorporate a two-seam as well as the four-seam. And, you know, just kind of consistently not fall into too much of a pattern while maintaining kind of the type of pitcher you are.
So I think just attitude and aggressiveness is the main thing.