Q: What's it like pitching in the postseason (he did so with the Orioles)?
A: The biggest difference is how draining every pitch is. You're sitting in the dugout or you're out there pitching, every pitch means so much. You give up one run, and that might be it that night. There's a premium on runs, so as a pitcher, it's on you a little more than it is the regular season.
Q: So it's physically taxing?
A: Yeah. There's a lot of B.S. that comes with the playoffs, too. The times in between games. For whatever reason MLB wants to change the game times. We play 162 games then all of a sudden we're playing at a time we haven't played all season, which I always thought was weird. So it's a little bit different. There are definitely intangibles that are different in the playoffs.
Q: How would you assess your season?
A: It's been good. This is my third straight year making over 30 starts. So I pat myself on the back for that. More than anything I've tried to get better every season and I feel like I have. I went through an up and down season last year, made some strides and some adjustments to carry into this year. … "I've been feeling great since I came over here. I've really felt like I've been throwing the ball more consistently whenever I take the mound. I feel good. The biggest thing is I feel healthy. I'm confident and excited for Sunday but also what's to come after that."
Q: Did you have a specific goal entering the year?
A: You know, my biggest goal was to make every start and get close to 200 innings. Could've had a couple more starts maybe if I was on a different team (Braves used a six-man rotation at times), but obviously I'll take where I am right now. I feel good where I am, and I'm excited to watch this team play in the playoffs.
Q: We talk about the ‘it’ factor. What is it with this team?
A: It's showed in how this team has played the last motnh. We had some tough games we had to battle back in. That series in Arizona was a real big point in out season. To have those three wins we had were huge. Not only to come back but overall. The way they ended, (shortstop) Dansby (Swanson) making that play over the middle. So many weird things happened in that series overall. Just shows the fight this team has.
Q: What are your impressions of this team after spending roughly half a season here?
A: From Day 1, I noticed a different brand of baseball I wasn't used to seeing in the American League. It's just been really fun to see these guys run with their hair on fire. It's been a little crazy at times, but (we're) always having fun playing the game. It reminds me of how (Jonathan) Schoop and Manny (Machado) were when they first came up (with Baltimore). Always messing with each other. But when they came to the game, they were always focused, always prepared. I don't know about just one moment, but this has been great. These guys have made it fun to come here every day.