10/02/11 9:06 PM ET
Workout day interview with Colby Lewis
By / MLB.com
Colby Lewis participated in an interview on the off-day prior to Game 3 of the Division Series.
Q. Colby, when you look back to your postseason last year, what do you think that allowed you to be so successful?
Colby Lewis: You know, I think just staying relaxed really, not really building up, not having trying to do anything more than I was throughout the whole season.
Q. When you're facing a guy who is as hot at the plate like Longoria has been the last month or so, do you change your approach at all? Or something where it is more heightened or you just go with it?
Colby Lewis: We have our game plan and we try to follow that. And other than that, I mean, you try to pitch to your strengths and their weaknesses really.
Yeah, granted, he's hot, but you still have to stay within yourself and try to make pitches and try to get him out.
Q. Colby, how different does this Tampa Bay lineup seem to you from the one you faced last year in the playoffs? No Crawford, no Pena. How does this lineup compare to what you saw last year?
Colby Lewis: They are a real similar lineup actually. They are the type of ballclub that comes out and they take advantage of mistakes. They run on you. They do the small things at the plate. I think Maddon has done a great job with the organization in how he's put these guys in the postseason pretty often.
So it's just like I said, for me it's trying to stay within yourself, stick to your game plan and go out and try to make pitches and get outs.
Q. In their lineup, Damon, he takes a lot of long multi pitch at bats. Five, six, seven. Can you describe what it's like to have to contend with that?
Colby Lewis: He's a veteran guy. He knows what he wants to swing at, and it's just trying to get him involved in the at bat. I mean, you have to with a lot of guys, for me anyway, I try to get guys to be really aggressive at the plate. I try to make pitches early and try to get quick outs.
And, like I said, with him, he's a veteran guy. He knows his strike zone. He knows what he wants to do at the plate, and it is just trying to follow through with your pitches and get him out really.
Q. Colby, you talked about kind of staying within yourself last year during the postseason. For a lot of guys, first time through the postseason it does change. Things do change. You speed things up. Did you surprise yourself at all last year with how under control you were able to maintain yourself? Was there anything that you kind of did to make sure that you kind of kept to your routine?
Colby Lewis: Like I mentioned before, I try to not let like this right here, the media and everything else, build it up to where it is more than just a start. For me, I try to keep everything normal, keep the workouts the same, keep everything as familiar to me as possible.
So it's just a situation. Like I said, it doesn't matter if it's the second start in April or if it's seventh game of the World Series. I try to look at it the same and try to keep the same approach.
Q. You weren't surprised by your by being able to carry that, by having that mentality going in?
Colby Lewis: If you keep your mentality and your approach the same, I felt like I just wanted to repeat kind of like having quality starts and keeping my team in the game. I think that's what's key to any start.
So I think that's keeping a level head. And for me last year it was coming back from Japan and stuff like that, I just felt like it was a good time. I mean, it was a time to go out and have fun and experience it all, and now we're back again and keep doing it, keep enjoying it.
Q. You mentioned Japan. How much do you think that staying relaxed, that mindset comes from some of the obstacles that have you been through in your career?
Colby Lewis: Yeah, like I said, I mentioned from Japan last year and saying like pressure and taking my family over there and stuff like that. Yeah, for me, I mean, we play a game and I try to be relaxed and enjoy it, try not to worry about all of the small things, you know.
When you come home from having a good game or a bad game, your kids don't know if you had a good game or bad game; they just want to go wrestle on the bed.
So that's, I think, a big thing that has helped me in my career, is my family and being able to be relaxed and not worry about the small things, you know.
Q. Colby, is there something we can look for you in the first couple of innings to tell us that you're locked in on this big stage, maybe fastball come in, secondary pitch is breaking balls, that let's you know that, you know what, I got this thing, I'm ready to go?
Colby Lewis: Getting outs and not giving up runs, right? I mean, that's -- I don't know, that for me is -- even if things aren't right on or perfect or whatever you want to call it, if I'm getting outs, I feel like I can keep my team in the game, and that's all I want to do.
Q. Colby, you had a chance to face Napoli as an opponent with the Angels for a little bit, had a chance to work and compete with him every day. What impressed or surprised you the most about him this season?
Colby Lewis: I think his ability to just -- I think coming over here this year, just talking to him a little bit and how relaxed he is and how much fun he is having, I think that was a big key to his success, especially his average. He definitely has had the power numbers and the RBI production, so I think just our group of guys that we have in the clubhouse and how everybody treats each other as equals, it doesn't matter if you have 15 years in or 10 days, it's just a real fun, relaxed atmosphere, and everybody likes to have fun.
Workout day interview with Ron Washington
Ron Washington participated in an interview on the off-day prior to Game 3 of the Division Series.
Q. How do you account for Moreland's success that he's had in a brief period of time in the playoffs, this year and last year?
Ron Washington: Well, he's a gamer and he never get affected by adversity. And that's just his make up. And at this time of the year, this is the type of stage that you go into Spring Training hoping to be a part of. And we are very happy that at this time of the year he shines.
Q. Wash, this is a unique park. Your club was here about four weeks ago. Is that enough time that you are familiar with it, or do you need to go over extra stuff today to get used to the place?
Ron Washington: No, we're just going to go out there and work out. We've played many games here. We have a good idea how the ballpark plays.
But coming back here, we're just going to go out there today and outfielders got to make sure they understand where the crevices are and get used to the lights and get used to the surface. And tomorrow is just play baseball.
Q. Ron, how big was it to win a game? Unusual for you guys, you think of the big boppers, Napoli hit 30 home runs in 360 at bats, Cruz, Josh Hamilton, and didn't get the big barrage without any home runs. Mitch hits the big home run in the eighth or ninth inning when the team was already winning. How big was that for you?
Ron Washington: It was huge. We always prided ourselves in being a group that can win ballgames in many ways. We just fortunate enough to have some guys in the lineup that can hit the ball out of the ballpark.
But we don't rely on the long ball to win ballgames. We can do a lot of things, and that's what the game of baseball is about, and that's the way we look at ourselves as a baseball team.
Q. Certainly got our attention when you picked David Price to be part of your All Star group this year, despite the fact he hasn't beaten your squad. Can you talk about why you have such high regard for Price, despite his lack of success against you?
Ron Washington: Well, when you look at him you can see he has tremendous competitive spirit. And in the game of baseball, that's what you have to have. You have to be able to deal with the adversity of what this game entails, and he does a good job at that.
We tremendously have a lot of respect for David Price. And we know our hands will be full tomorrow, and we just looking forward to competing against him. And that's what it's all about. He will bring his best game, and we certainly better bring ours.
Q. Ron, what do you see as the reasons for Lewis's success against the Rays, and not just against the Rays, but his success in last year's postseason?
Ron Washington: You know, Colby, when he can command his fastball and he has the depth, that he can certainly get on his breaking ball. He can be tough. And when he can start moving the fastball around the zone, and his breaking ball have the depth that it carries, it makes him tough on any opponent.
You know, we play this team tough and this team plays us tough. You know, I don't think any one of us has run away with any ballgames, as far as the amount of games that we played against each other, it's got to be right there, if it's not right .500.
And we play a similar type of game. You have to pitch and you have to catch the ball, and usually the team that makes the most mistakes is the team that ends up getting it done. Except for the first game when Matt Moore just shut us down.
Q. Wash, go back to last year versus this year. What have you learned from that run to the World Series last year that's helped you prepare your team for this playoff?
Ron Washington: We are aware of what it takes to get there. And we recognize that the road to get back to the World Series is a tough one. And we are aware that each day is as important as the next. You don't look ahead, you don't look behind; you just deal with what's in front of you.
And you have got to have great focus. We know that. And we understand the fact that pitching can stop hitting. And so when the opportunity presents itself, that you are able to throw some runs across the board in many ways, you have to be able to be ready for it.
And that's what we learn. We're taking nothing for granted. We know we have to go between them lines and play. And one thing my team enjoys is playing baseball. So we're looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. Ron, obviously in Game 1 you went with your left handed lineup. Is that going to be the same approach tomorrow with Price going with Gentry, or have you made that decision yet?
Ron Washington: Yes, Gentry will be in that lineup tomorrow. I'm planning on putting Moreland out there. So that will probably be the only change, Moreland.
Q. What is your feeling on Moreland in that lineup, with Price out there?
Ron Washington: Well, give us another threat. One swing of the bat, he can make a big difference. And he's you know, he gives us another defensive help right there at first base. He is a natural first baseman.
Last year in the playoffs it didn't matter who he faced. And right now he's feeling good about himself, and I just want to give him that opportunity to continue.
Q. Ron, why has it been more of a factor for Napoli from your team's standpoint, offense or defense?
Ron Washington: Both. He has been tremendous behind the plate. He blocks well, he calls an excellent game. When one of our pitchers get off track, he is able to get them back on track. Mike Scioscia taught him well, and right now we are reaping the benefit of Mike Scioscia's teaching.
You have to give Mike Napoli credit. He has come over into our clubhouse and fit in very well. He is a gamer. He grinds out at bats. He can use the opposite field. He can beat you with the long ball. He can beat you with the ball underneath the defense.
He brings a lot, and we are very fortunate to have him.
Q. Wash, last night it looked like Beltre got hit near the left knee by a pitch, and also he had to make a pretty quick start and run to score on the wild pitch. Basically I am asking: How did he get through last night in terms of his leg?
Ron Washington: He is fine. He got hit in the calf, but I think you saw his burst of speed when the ball got past Shoppach. No problem with the hamstring.
Q. Were you holding your breath there at all?
Ron Washington: No. Right now we're playing baseball, and he read that well. And he showed a burst of speed with no hesitation. And that's what it takes on those type of plays to score.
Q. Wash, you and I have known each other for a long time. Are you surprised at some of the odd things you have seen in the first couple of games? Kelly Shoppach hadn't hit a bunch all season, he hits two home runs; James Shields, some wild pitches, balls in the dirt. It just seems like these two games, strange things have happened I guess.
Ron Washington: And in Kelly Shoppach's case, there are always guys in this time of the year that shows up. He's hit home runs before, so him hitting the ball out of the ballpark doesn't surprise me. No, he doesn't hit it out with regularity, but if you throw a pitch in the wrong spot, Kelly can hurt you. He hurt us. You know, as a matter of fact, the first game he was the MVP, other than Matt Moore.
And, you know, in Shields' case, I don't care how good you are, there will be a day that you walk out there and sometimes things just don't go right in the game of baseball.
I think that's what they mean when they say the game sometimes humbles you. He's certainly the past few times out have really stymied our lineup.
But yesterday I think it was our turn and we won a ballgame, and tomorrow we have to come out and be focused because we have got David Price and we have to be at our best.
Q. What did Beltre say to you and Kevin Harmon when you went over to see him.
Ron Washington: Don't come out here on the field checking on me, I'm fine.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.