Oct. 9 A.J. Griffin pregame interview
A.J. GRIFFIN: I mean, I just I feel like I've just been going through the routine and going through everything I've been doing the whole year, just going out there and just playing catch, throwing my bullpens and everything. And it's another game. And just got to get over the last couple of outings that I've had, just a clean slate right here. And just go out there and just do my best to win a ballgame.
Q. How did last week kind of prepare you guys for what you're facing now? I know it's a little bigger stage.
A.J. GRIFFIN: You know, I mean, those were really close games, kind of must win games, sort of the situation we're in right now.
It was a lot of fun, and I just feel we're a cool, calm and collected group of guys right now and we're just looking forward to going out there and giving our fans something to be proud of.
Q. All of this kind of happened sort of fast. Two years ago you were drafted, earlier this year you were brought up to the big leagues. How have you dealt with that? And you're not the only one dealing with that kind of thing with this team, there's a bunch of rookies, so how have you dealt with the swift rise to this kind of start?
A.J. GRIFFIN: I think we were just thrown into the thick of it. We just go out there and try to play baseball to the best of our ability every time we're asked to.
It's just a fun experience right now and we're just soaking it in. We're going out there just doing our best trying to win ballgames, and that's all anyone can ask of us. And we're just trying to have a good time.
Yeah, we're young, but that's the beauty of it. We're just a bunch of young guys just going out playing ball.
Q. Not to disrespect the rest of their lineup, but candidly, would there be any merit percentage wise to just putting Cabrera and Fielder on and taking your chances with the other part of the lineup?
A.J. GRIFFIN: That's a good question, but you want to be competitive every time you go out there. You want to pitch smart to them, obviously, but I don't think just putting them on base is a very competitive attitude.
You want to pitch your game and stick with your game plan, just be careful. But just go after them and try to get them out at the same time.
Q. As a fellow pitcher of Brett Anderson, what has he had to go through to be ready to start; how impressed are you with his ability to get back this quick?
A.J. GRIFFIN: It's amazing just to be able to be part of something like this year for him. Tommy John, and he's come back beautifully. Had that oblique strain. But I'm sure he's chomping at the bit to get back out and contribute.
We're looking forward to his outing tonight.
Q. You mentioned your last couple of starts. What do you feel like was going on with you in those starts?
A.J. GRIFFIN: I felt like I was being competitive in the zone and the ball wasn't bouncing my way. But against the Rangers last outing I felt like I was making some good quality pitches, but they did a good job of staying on the pitches and just putting them in play. And the ball just seemed to just evade our fielders, but in baseball that's how it goes sometimes, you know. You've got to keep your head up and just go out there and keep playing.
Q. It seems really cliché to say one game at a time. How do you continue to not worry about the remaining potential games in the series and just keep focusing on today?
A.J. GRIFFIN: Well, yeah, that's been our motto all year, just one game at a time. It's like we said earlier, now is kind of the same situation with the Rangers, except for we actually are at home if we lose. And we're having a good time and we're just going out there and playing the best ball that we can. And just, like I said earlier, just trying to give the fans something to be proud of. We're not going to quit until that last out is recorded and it's been going our way most of the year. And we're just looking forward to going out there and playing some competitive baseball.
Q. Your last start your teammates picked you up. How much is there a sense of wanting to do the same thing tomorrow?
A.J. GRIFFIN: You never want to be that guy that gets knocked out of the game in the third inning as the starting pitcher. It's been that way all year. It's been a new guy every night going out there and picking the team up, and just being the Cinderella guy that night.
But obviously you want to go out there and do your best and play to the best of your ability, especially this time of the year. You want to be peaking. But we'll just go out there and whatever happens, happens, you know. And we're feeling pretty confident right now.
Q. You seem really cool and loose now. Has anything that's happened, the losses or the difficulties, affected your confidence or are you just as confident as you were when you got up here?
A.J. GRIFFIN: I feel really confident still. Just going out there -- I love to compete. I love to play baseball. I love to pitch. I get to do that in front of millions of people. So, yeah, we'll go out there tomorrow and we'll go out there tonight and just play baseball like we've been doing all year and just try to soak up the moment and just have the best moment that we can and hopefully try to go out there and shock some people.
Q. This time last year you were in A ball, pitching in the playoffs. How much different is this? Did you ever think you'd be in the position you are in right now?
A.J. GRIFFIN: The California League and the Major Leagues are pretty comparable (laughter). I'm just kidding. Yeah, it's still 60/90, you just go out and try to pitch to the best of your ability or hit to the best of your ability. And you just go out there. It's the same game, just a little bit quicker, a little bit more focused.
I didn't have a press conference this time last year like this or nothing. But just try to go out there and just have fun and be loose. Not put too much pressure on yourself. It's still a game. You go out there and just try to enjoy it.
Q. Hate to bring it up, but the Tigers, here the one team that really got you this year, and they handed you your one loss. How much have you looked at that start the last few days or at all?
A.J. GRIFFIN: Like I said earlier in this conference, it's a clean slate now, it's the postseason. I'm 0 and 0. I haven't pitched yet. I'm just looking forward to going out there and contributing.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on, you look at what happened last night, and you're a starting pitcher in the playoffs and Brian, who was a big draft pick and everything, is a reliever, do you just have any thoughts or reflections on how things have come since San Diego?
A.J. GRIFFIN: I was out there closing for him for two years and he did an outstanding job going out there every time for us at USD, the Toreros, and we just had a good time winning ballgames there, and we're just going to try to continue doing the same thing here. He's been doing a heck of a job lately, he's got that new role over there in Baltimore. And I think he's had some sort of a renaissance there with that. I'm just proud of him going out there and getting guys out.
Q. Are you still in touch with him?
A.J. GRIFFIN: Yeah, I talk to him. When we played Baltimore last time we actually got together and talked like a half hour before one of the games, and took some pictures and sent them to Rich Hill, our coach in San Diego, so those are probably going to be used online on the USD website. Brian is a great guy. He's going out there, he's trying to do the same thing that all of us are trying to do, just contribute in a positive way and just help everyone's team win.