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Oct. 7 Doug Fister workout day interview

October 7, 2017

Q. I was wondering if you could sort of reflect on sort of the improbable situation you find yourself in or if you go back three or four months, how far you've come and now you're the guy standing between potentially the end of the season with the start tomorrow,

Q. I was wondering if you could sort of reflect on sort of the improbable situation you find yourself in or if you go back three or four months, how far you've come and now you're the guy standing between potentially the end of the season with the start tomorrow, and what sort of journey that's been and how unlikely it's been for the last few months for you.
DOUG FISTER: That journey's definitely had some ups and downs and some questionable moments, but I'm certainly blessed to be here now. To be put in a position that I get to be a part of this team is a tremendous and humbling experience for me. Looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and putting our best foot forward. We have been backed into a corner before, it's nothing that we haven't been able to overcome, and it comes down to execution now. We get to go out there and be kids and go play a game. We got to go out there and have some fun and let our experiences and our talents let those things work for us.
Q. Two part question, one, is there any different kind of approach when you're in an elimination game? Number two, y'all tried different things against Altuve. How do you view pitching against him in Game 3?
DOUG FISTER: Changing things now would be a bad thing. The way we have played the game all year, the way that guys go out there and approach their job, whether it's a pitcher, whether it's a hitter, an outfielder, an infielder, they know what they need to do. We all know what we need to do. It's a matter of executing. To change things now in the playoffs is the wrong way to go about it. We got to go out there and play freely and play as a team with some vengeance. But other than that, it's a matter of going out there and putting good at-bats on it and working in the strike zone and working out of the strike zone. Altuve, you ask about him, it's going to come down to executing. That guy's a hot hitter right now and has been all year. But it's going to come down to having him put it in play and put it to where we're playing defense. Hopefully that's enough.
Q. Do you feel your familiarity with some of those guys work to your benefit or do you kind of know them pretty well?
DOUG FISTER: You can look at it both ways. They know me and I know them. So like I said before, it really just comes down to execution. This day and age with all the scouting reports and all the numbers and the video that we have, everybody knows everything about everybody. There may be a small secret here or there that you may hold, but everybody knows it. It just comes down to who has the ability to go out there and execute. Who has the ability to, for me as pitcher, keep the ball down in the zone and locate and keep things mixed up, or the hitter who goes out there and makes him get it up in the zone or doesn't chase high fastballs, whatever it may be, who has that ability to go out there and stick to their game plan.

Q. You have a really good postseason record as a starter, I think your teams are 7-1 in games you started. What works for you in the postseason?
DOUG FISTER: Sticking with our normal game plan. Again, now's not a time to change up our game plan or our execution. It's a matter of going out there, staying with what we do and do what we do best. A lot of it comes down to being able to play as a team and having that vengeance. We got to go out there and play with a reason and being able to go out there and prove somebody wrong. We have got a lot to prove and we have got a great team on our side this year and that's not to be spoken lightly about. We need to come out tomorrow and play with a fire.
Q. You personally, if I can just follow-up, do you feel like you have a greater focus in the postseason or are you more amped up for it?
DOUG FISTER: No, definitely not amped up. I think a lot of it comes down to -- I've been asked before how do you deal with some of the crowd or the uproar and everything else, for me I've always not tried to block it out, but more soak it in. Take a second to soak it all in and then get back to work. If I sit there and try and block it all out, it still becomes an outside influence. We are here in Boston, we have got some of the best fans in the world, and they know the game of baseball. They're going to be ready to cheer on a good game and we have to be ready to soak that in, to use that adrenaline, use that energy, and use that for the betterment of our side.
Q. What stands out to you the most about that start you had against Bumgarner in 2014 in Game 3, and how are you maybe a different pitcher than you were then?
DOUG FISTER: My pitching style has kind of wavered a few different times and unfortunately it got a little straighter into the four-seam fastballs for a little while and now back to really trying to sink the ball and kind of command the strike zone and mixing location and pitches up a lot. I think that's going to be the biggest thing for me, is getting back to making sure the ball's down in the zone, staying out of the middle of the plate and really just kind of keeping them off balance and throwing any pitch at any time. It's no secret I try and throw any and every pitch in all counts.
Q. The Bumgarner start in 2014, what do you remember most about that game?
DOUG FISTER: To be honest, I can't pick that one out in my head right now. It's been a couple years. I have to go back and look at stuff like that.
Q. You've started a few different games in the postseason with your team facing elimination. What do you draw from that experience? Is that any different than any other playoff game in your mind?
DOUG FISTER: No, it's one of those. Things talking with a buddy last night about it, there's nothing to lose, with everything to lose. You got to go in with that mindset and you got to give everything, leave it all on the field tomorrow night. We have got 27 outs to get and 27 outs to give. So we have got a lot of work to do ahead of time and be ready to go. But tomorrow's going to be a fun day. We can't look at it as it's an elimination day. We look at it as an opportunity to continue. There's only a handful of teams out there continuing right now and we still have a life. You can't look at it as it's over until it is over and we still have a lot of life to give.

Q. Looking at the season with the numbers, the first inning seems to be the hump that you need to get over. Is there anything you do differently or have tried to do differently to lower those numbers in the first inning?
DOUG FISTER: No. A lot of it just is a matter of going out there and getting in a rhythm, and unfortunately it's taken me a little bit to get in a rhythm sometimes. I guess the last outing trying to emulate that again and continue that stretch, just getting going from the first pitch on.
Q. John said yesterday that when you've missed, they haven't. How do you change that pattern, if you will?
DOUG FISTER: A lot of that, again, it's coming down to execution. They have done a terrific job of executing and that's something that we really have to lock in on tomorrow. I can't miss in the middle of the plate. It's just one of those things that I'm not going to allow it and it's not going to happen. It's a mindset now it just becomes something that you have to execute and have to get it done.