October 20 Marco Estrado Pregame Interview
Q. How important is it going to be to have your cutter and your curveball against a high-contact team like Kansas City?
MARCO ESTRADA: Yeah, it's obviously very important to have all your pitches. I think the key for me tomorrow is being able to locate my fastball more so than my off-speed pitches. The first time around I didn't really have four-seam location, I guess. I didn't have the down and away as much as I wanted to. And those were the pitches that really got hit.
So for me that's the most important thing is to be able to establish the fastball location and then work off of that.
Q. Is there anything you learned about the Royals lineup in Game 1?
MARCO ESTRADA: Just they're really aggressive. That's basically it. I've faced them twice during the season. They're just like any other team where some guys take, some guys don't.
But pitching against them in the playoffs, it's been a lot different. At least my game was. They're really aggressive, and I've noticed the last two games they've kept that up. That's all I've noticed. Other than that, I don't know, they're the same team.
Q. In terms of controlling the fastball, is there anything you've done since; do you look at video, talk to Pete or what do you do to try to get that back?
MARCO ESTRADA: No, I didn't look at video. I have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing. Those things just happen, and it was just one of those days for me.
I did go to the bullpen and throw a lot of fastballs and just work on the down and away. That's basically it, to be honest with you. I haven't really done too much else. I feel pretty good and confident with that pitch and I'm ready to use it.
Q. I know pitching is always a mental grind, but when you're taking on a ballclub that wastes good pitches and battles like the Royals do, is it more mentally taxing facing a lineup like that?
MARCO ESTRADA: It doesn't bother me. I prefer a team that takes, to be honest with you. But either way, if you want to be aggressive, that's fine, I'll just make my pitch and it could be a quick out. You've got to use both things to your advantage, whether they're aggressive or patient.
It's something I really don't think about at all on the mound. I'm just trying to make my pitch, whether they hit it or not, I'm just trying to locate as best as I can.
Q. You mentioned that it was a little bit different as far as the approach by the Royals maybe from the two regular season starts. What were the other differences to you from pitching in the regular season to the playoffs
MARCO ESTRADA: You mean myself, instead of them? No, there weren't any differences. I did exactly the same thing that I've done all year, not just against them, but against every team. I felt the same.
Q. Was there a different feeling as far as how you felt when you got on the mound, more tense or whatever?
MARCO ESTRADA: No, there's no difference. I'm trying to take every game just like I did during the season. I was successful then, why change anything. I have the same mindset going into this next one, and I'm trying to keep it the same.
Q. You started this playoffs pitching Game 1. Now you're going to be in a totally different situation and you're probably going to pitch to try to save your team from elimination or put your guys ahead, depending what happens today. Could you talk a little bit about the significance of this game you're going to pitch and how you're going to control your emotions going into this game?
MARCO ESTRADA: Well, just like I said before, I'm taking this game just like a regular season game. It helps me out mentally and it's made me have a pretty good year, I guess. Obviously against Texas it was the same thing, we were down 2-0. I didn't think about it that way. I thought it's the first game we're playing against them. You have to make pitches regardless if you're up 2-0 or up 3-0 or whatever.
So I'm trying to take it the same. I'm trying to have the same mentality, regardless of where we're at tomorrow I'm going to take it the exact same way. I don't want to look at it any different. I don't want to add any extra pressure on myself or anybody else. I'm going to go out there and just try to do what I've been doing all year.
Q. You waited a long time to get to where you are today in these playoffs. Are you able to enjoy it under all this pressure?
MARCO ESTRADA: Oh, yeah, I'm enjoying every game. I'm enjoying pitching a lot more than I am sitting back and watching games. I get more nervous watching a game because there's nothing I can do about it. You have to sit back and you root these guys on and you cheer for them as much as you can, but you can't help them on the field. So when I'm on the mound it's a lot of fun for me. I enjoy it and I'm just having fun being on the mound. Not so much watching, but actually pitching.