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Oct. 8 Gio Gonzalez pregame interview

October 8, 2016

Q. Can you talk about this change of scenario now from today being played tomorrow, and how this may or may not affect your routine to start the next game.GIO GONZALEZ: I think now everything's just put back -- everything's pushed right into one day. You know, you still have

Q. Can you talk about this change of scenario now from today being played tomorrow, and how this may or may not affect your routine to start the next game.

GIO GONZALEZ: I think now everything's just put back -- everything's pushed right into one day. You know, you still have to have the mind-set and the preparation of getting ready to face the Dodgers. I think what they want me to do is kind of like just get the throw in, do whatever you have to do now and obviously try to fly out a little earlier.

Hopefully that game doesn't take four or five hours; it's a speedy game, and Tanner goes out there and pitches a great game.

Q. You would fly ahead of the club?

GIO GONZALEZ: Just a little ahead of club. From what I'm hearing, they are going to be getting in a little later than usual. So I guess they just want to give me a little more time to rest.

Q. The Dodgers are a predominately left-hand hitting club and you've had success against them this year. What is it about you that allows to you have success and how tough are they?

GIO GONZALEZ: It's never easy facing that lineup. I would never say, hey, just go out there and pitch. You definitely have to some have common sense to throw some of these guys. You can't just groove a fastball right down the middle.

Just watching them, how they go and approach their swing and their at-bats, you just have to have a different approach from the last start. I'm sure they are not going to think, hey, well, he pitched me like this. We have to continue to face them this way. Same thing as their hitting. I'm not thinking they are to go out there with the same mentality as their last start against me.

Q. Have you had some time to reflect on the way -- just your entire regular season has gone the last couple of days, or what has been your mind-set or approach?

GIO GONZALEZ: I have. October 2 was the last time I thought about it. This is the playoffs now. That's over with.

Q. Having watched them for one game, does that give you a chance to see how to approach them and how to attack them?

GIO GONZALEZ: It's different because Max is a right-handed pitcher. It's a different approach. I still say Max did a great job going out there and trying to attack them. It's a good lineup. Can't take that away from them. You know, we came back and fought a little bit.

But their approach to how they faced Max and to how I'm going to pitch, it's two different things. One is lefty, one is righty. I have to do my part of trying to be aggressive in the strike zone, but at the same time, you know, can't just think that, hey, they are up there trying to be aggressive themselves. You have to pitch, you have to go out there and watch the series to have seen how other pitchers are doing, everyone is trying to be aggressive in the strike zone.

Q. Do you expect to see any of tomorrow's game in person here?

GIO GONZALEZ: I'm hoping to see as much as I can. I mean, I don't know what our flight schedule is. I don't know what time they want me to fly out. But I'm assuming they want me to go a little earlier than obviously one o'clock.

So we'll see what goes on. I mean, hopefully I can catch some of the game, at least watch a couple innings and then meet up with the team later on.

Q. I know from a consistency standpoint, it wasn't necessarily what you wanted it to be this year, but how would you describe this season for you?

GIO GONZALEZ: You know, I like to say it again, as I went with Jay, I was talking about the season's over with. It's not -- it's not something I want to sit back and reflect. I want to talk about now, which is October -- what day, October 8. It's playoff time. So this is the time you need to turn it on and get ready to go. If they need me to pitch against the Dodgers, then I'm going to pitch against the Dodgers.

Q. Talking about that subject, could you talk a little bit, just specifically about this game you're going to pitch; how do you feel about pitching in such an important moment of the year, which is the post-season?

GIO GONZALEZ: It's exciting. Especially an opportunity to pitch in the post-season and I get to pitch in L.A. It's a beautiful stadium, great crowd. They pack the house. They do a great job with the fan base. It's going to be an exciting game, and I think that, you know, everyone's going to take it in, and I'm taking it in and enjoying the moment.

This is what everybody wants to do is play in the post-season and I'm having an opportunity to actually pitch in it. I'm going to enjoy this moment.

Q. You haven't pitched since September 28, the same day as the service for José Fernández. How have you been dealing with that?

GIO GONZALEZ: It was unfortunate to happen, what happened to a very close friend of mine, Jose Fernandez. It's never easy something to talk about. Still to this day, I have a tough time speaking about it.

He knows, you know, how important he was to me and my family. But as far as that, this is my job. I need to focus on trying to help out the Washington Nationals. That's basically it.

But Jose knows that he's dear to my heart, and so do the friends and family of his.

Q. Is there anything you can draw on from your previous post-season starts that you would think about going into Game 3?

GIO GONZALEZ: I do want to go deep in the game actually. I really want to expand that fifth, sixth innings, try to give the team a great chance to get deep in our bullpen, especially with the back end of our bullpen. We have some strong arms; try to get to Shawn Kelley or Melancon. It would be great to get to those guys. It's a good sign if you did that. You see those guys come out, you know you did something well in this game.

And it's a great feeling, too. I want to take the opportunity to thank Dusty Baker for giving me this chance to pitch in Game 3 for the post-season. I want to do my best to not let him down. This is a great opportunity and I want to go out there and show that I can pitch in this situation.