10/12/05 8:59 PM ET
Roy Oswalt pregame interview
Pitcher talks about preparing for Game 2 start
By / MLB.com
ROY OSWALT: He's totally different, for sure, from every other day. He has an intensity level where if he gives up two or three hits in a row, you think he's tipping his pitches or something where something is not working right.
I've seen him change his mechanics between innings where sometimes he goes over the head with his glove and sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he tries to make his delivery quicker than normal. He gets me to go look at the replays here and there if a guy gets a hit on a good pitch that he threw, to see if I thought maybe he tipped a pitch or maybe it wasn't the exact location that he thought it was. Anything that I can pick up, I try to limit my walks through the -- I call it the Rocket Tunnel, as much as possible because every time I go through it he's asking me different questions about different things and I don't want to tell him the wrong answer.
He's one of a kind, for sure.
You faced this lineup so many times, what do you do before tomorrow, have you studied some more tape or what have you done to get prepared for seeing the Cardinals again?
OSWALT: Watched some videotape from the first probably six times I faced them from this year and then a little bit a part of last year, they had some different guys out there from last year.
As much as I can pick up off of film is the biggest with me, a lot of the charts that we get doesn't really show what you can do against them as far as yourself. It shows the league against them and I think everyone pitches different so it's hard to get a read off what the league does against them instead of just yourself.
Probably for the first time in a long time you guys are actually picked by a lot of people to win the series; do you prefer to be the underdog, does it make it easier for the team to have everybody believing in them?
OSWALT: You know we got ruled out early in the season, so to be here and get picked, it's an honor, I guess you could say. It doesn't count until you win, doesn't really matter what people put in front of you; you have to win the ballgame. So I think once we played the first 45 games, people ruled us we would be home already, so anything we achieve from now on, it's going to be great.
Tony LaRussa said that he appeared to be changing their approach against you; do you feel that you will change some of the things that you will do against their lineup?
OSWALT: According to how the game goes, it's a feel once you get out there. I've seen a few things on the tape the last game, on the tape that I think that I can do different to get some quicker outs. But overall, I mean, the Cardinals, they have a great team, one through nine, they have a real good team, but the biggest thing for us is from the pitching standpoint of it. The pitchers did a real good job for us in the playoffs and the team getting some early runs for us.
You've taken the same road here last two years but this year it came from a lot farther back. What has allowed this team two years in a row to come from behind and come back to the pack and make it as far as you've made it?
OSWALT: I think the main key is the young players believe in ourselves. We have some guys that keep fighting until the last out and I think years past, some of the guys, and I don't want to say gave up early on us as far as key people on the team or anything like that. I think the biggest thing is the young players have been playing hard and the pitching, adding Roger and Andy to the pitching staff, I mean, that does a lot. That's two guys that's picking up 230 innings, 220 innings a year that you didn't have before, where you only had one or two guys that gets to the 200 inning mark. It keeps pressure off the bullpen. Your bullpen doesn't have to come in and each one has 80 or 90 innings a piece. You have starters picking up a lot of the load.
Once you get to October, the bullpen, it's wore out, you're not going to get very far because your starters already throw 200 innings and how they have to pick up three or four innings a game. They are not down there for that, they are there to pick you up when it's tight and late in the game and not the third or fourth inning. I think the biggest key the last two years is adding two dominant pitchers with Andy and Roger.
What did you think when you saw Mulder get hit by Randy's line drive in that game the other day?
OSWALT: You know, I didn't even get to see that. I actually saw it today watching TV he got hit. I didn't even know he got hit.
And what was your reaction when you saw it today and have you ever been hit by a pitch with a line drive?
OSWALT: It's kind of like getting hit at the plate I guess, except you don't see it until it's hit you, it's coming back a lot faster than you throw it.
I've been hit a number of times all over the place, so it hurts and it's something that you have to just kind of deal with and pitch the best you can the rest of the game. Usually if you keep going and throwing, it doesn't stiffen up as much as when you quit, when you stop and you go put on ice and the next two or three days it doesn't feel well. Usually it's like getting hit by a pitch and in two or three days it goes away.
Is there any benefit to pitching in Game 2, while Andy is not the same pitcher, throw from the left side, watching him, will that help you beyond looking at tape and will that be a benefit to you?
OSWALT: It's so different, Andy pitching and me pitching, you can't really pick nothing up on film. I watch hitters' approaches, I guess you could say but they are approaching totally different against me. Andy is left handed, throws different pitches than I do, coming from a different angle and I'm sure they are going to probably have a different lineup against me than they will him because he's left handed, they will have more right handed hitters and with me they will try to put as many lefties as they can in the lineup.
I don't know if this question was asked already, but you didn't have any family down in the Gulf that was affected by the hurricane, did you?
OSWALT: No, I'm probably two hours north of the coast. We had some trees and things blown down but nothing serious the way it affected down south in Mississippi.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.