10/21/05 6:19 PM ET
Brad Lidge off-day interview
By / MLB.com
BRAD LIDGE: That's a good question. Actually, I like to throw once every three or four days. I don't like to go a whole lot more between that without throwing games. Everybody is different when it comes to that. I know myself, if it's been three or four days, I definitely like to get in the game. I'll ask our manager, hopefully, if I can get in the game, that would be great. I know most relievers don't like to go that many more days past that without throwing.
Brad, how do you guys -- how do the younger guys, and guys who haven't had a World Series appearance experience, how do you keep the blinders on and don't become overwhelmed with things once Game 1 gets under way?
LIDGE: It's just a new experience, like everything else can be. Last year was the first time a lot of us had ever been in the playoffs, period. It can actually bring out the best in you. You're able to put those blinders on because you've been through a lot of first situations as your career progresses. This is another one of those firsts for us that hopefully will bring out the best.
Obviously, a lot has been made of Craig Biggio and Jeff making it here. What was it like after the clincher, what's it been like for them since?
LIDGE: It's been awesome for us. I've been their teammate for a couple of years now. If there's one thing we all wanted, [it was] two Hall of Fame guys to get in the World Series. It's something they deserve and worked so hard for for so many years. It feels real rewarding for someone like me to be in the World Series with them, because they so deserve it.
There's usually a good catcher that calls a good game and works well with the staff. What has Brad Ausmus brought to the staff?
LIDGE: Brad has meant a ton for us. It's hard to describe exactly how much he helps us. Without him it would be a whole other level down for a lot of us. Just going out there and being able to know and have confidence in your catcher, that you don't have to shake him off, he's studied the hitters and he's incredibly smart. When I have runners on third base, less than two outs and I need a strikeout and throw a sinker in the dirt, I know I have total confidence because he'll block it. His intelligence behind the plate gives the pitching staff a ton of confidence and helps us out.
In general, what do you know about the White Sox as a team?
LIDGE: Well, I think in general they're kind of like our team, obviously Podsednik, leadoff hitter, we faced him in Milwaukee, tremendous speed and can get on the base with the best of them, like Willy Taveras. They have guys that can hit the ball well. Konerko is a guy that's had a good postseason, too. Both lineups are pretty well balanced, and they're fairly similar. We'll have a lot of in-depth scouting reports and get a good feel of what they've done, but we have faced certain hitters in their lineup before, and certain guys it will be the first time for some of us to face.
Is it inevitable the next time you get on the mound in a pressure situation, you'll think of the Pujols' homer. Have you put that behind you and processed it?
LIDGE: Yeah, that really -- I was over it the next day, so that's really -- I'm pitching the World Series now, that really doesn't mean a whole lot to me anymore. Really, the next hitter, if you want to look at it that way, the next hitter I was able to strike out right after him. I get over it the next hitter, because you have to. Obviously, it's been a few days, and now is a completely different situation. So inevitably, I won't think about it.
Did you happen to watch the 2003 World Series when Clemens supposedly was making his farewell appearance, pitching for the Yankees, and all the flashbulbs going off? Is it amazing two years later, he's pitching the World Series again, and can you talk about what it's like to be a teammate with living history?
LIDGE: It really is amazing. The guy has meant so much for our team, and so much for a lot of us young players watching his example and his leadership. When he first signed with the Astros, I couldn't believe it. When him and Pettitte came over, I was sitting back in my house in Denver, and I remember how happy I was, and all my friends were pumped up I was going to get a chance to play with Roger Clemens, and what he's meant for us the last couple of years, and he's gotten better, it's just amazing to watch. I consider myself extremely lucky to have pitched a couple of years with Roger Clemens.
Did you see the World Series game?
LIDGE: Yeah, and I know the bulbs were going off everywhere. I'm sure it will be the same this year.
After you guys got off to the 15-30 start, what did Phil Garner as a manager do or say to get you guys out of that hole and get you to where you are today?
LIDGE: Well, I think the biggest thing was we didn't try to make too big a deal of it. I think the one thing we've done on this team is, the whole year we knew despite where we were, our situation, our record, we had a lot of bad games this year, but we never doubted our ability. And I think that's one thing Garner let us know. He let us know, 'You guys have incredible talent, you've got the leaders, you've got the players to make a run.'
So despite the rough start, we obviously needed to make a few adjustments, and after we did that, things just kind of took care of themselves. We didn't need to make over-adjustments, we just needed to keep playing. As we kept playing, our talent took over and our leadership, and we started winning games, and it started snowballing from there.
Does weather play a factor at all as far as you guys being able to be warm and getting the pitches that you want? It's going to be a little chilly at night.
LIDGE: I don't think so. Obviously, it will be not the climate-controlled conditions of Minute Maid Park. But at the same time, we're used to pitching twice a year when it's cold, at the beginning and at the end. I think by now at this point in most guys' careers they know how to deal with different situations, when it's colder and warmer, what they need to do to warm themselves up. What it will mean is we'll have to do more things to keep ourselves warm, more stretching or whatever we need to do. But most people know themselves well enough at this stage in their careers to know what they need to do to get ready to pitch in a colder game.
Wasn't that long ago that you were behind Billy Wagner and [Octavio] Dotel, and you were thrown into the closer position, there's a lot of questions. And last year was overwhelming, I'm sure. Can you talk about the difference this year and that?
LIDGE: Last year was -- first of all, I will say it was awesome for me to throw behind Wagner and Dotel, because I learned a lot from those guys, especially watching Billy and everything he's accomplished and his approach and what he did. When I became closer last year, I just tried to stick to a routine, that is something that he would have done, and tried to work my way from there. I think this year, obviously, having a lot of experience even from the postseason last year, I felt more confident out there, and really this whole year I felt that I've gotten myself in a good routine.
I don't know, I'm definitely enjoying the role. I enjoyed it last year when I became that. It's nice for me that I was able to learn from those guys before I became a closer.
You guys, Brad, put so much into that St. Louis series and finally winning it the way you did. Will you have trouble refocusing for this?
LIDGE: I don't think so. That St. Louis series was awesome for us to nail down that game and watch Roy do what he did. I think the biggest thing with our starters, the way they pitch, they have so much experience, I don't think they'll have any trouble refocusing.
Just watching those guys, I mean, really, we have a lot of veteran leaders on our team, and they can get themselves ready for any big game. I think watching those guys go to work and relying on their experience is going to help all the young guys, too. But I doubt we'll have any trouble refocusing. We've had a couple of days off, and we're real anxious to start playing.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.