Off-day interview with Evan Longoria

Off-day interview with Evan Longoria

Q. How much does having Carlos hitting behind you and hitting well impact you, and hitting in front of him, obviously the pitches you see and what you're able to do?

EVAN LONGORIA: It's a big impact. You know, obviously we've seen throughout the course of the year when Carlos does get hot, usually it affects the whole lineup, the way that they approach everybody, not just me. I mean, you don't want to put guys on in front of him when he has the ability to drive guys in or hit the ball out of the ballpark.

He's getting hot at the right time. It's good to see, and being on second and watching the swings that he's been taking and being in the dugout watching him hit balls out of the ballpark, it's exciting to see.

Q. You've already seen Cliff Lee once, doesn't walk a lot of guys, that's a big part of your game. You go back to the right-handed lineup. How do you guys go about trying to pick at him and get some things going?

EVAN LONGORIA: I actually think we've seen Cliff Lee four times up to this point, and we've had decent success against him. Obviously not as of late, but you know, throughout the course of the year we've had some good battles against him. You know, again, that's something that we need to look back as far as we need to look back to regain that confidence in going up against a guy like Cliff. Obviously he's had good post-season success, but at the same time, I mean, we're in a good spot. We've been able to bring the series back home, and we have our horse on the mound, too, and that's the biggest thing for us is giving Dave another chance to go out there and do what we know he can do.

Q. A couple of years ago in the ALCS, I remember you telling a story that you went to talk to Price when he was on the mound and you said, "You were born for this moment." Of course he was struck by the fact, I'm older than that guy. But do you think he was born for this moment, too? Is he just one of those guys?

EVAN LONGORIA: You know, he's the guy that I want out there tomorrow. At this point of the year, he's been our workhorse the whole year, and maybe not the leader of the staff, so to speak, but he's been our best guy throughout the course of the year.

You know, that's what you want when you set up a post-season series and you have a chance to win a game. You want your guy who's been the best for you out there all year. Without a doubt, Dave has been the best for us.

You know, I can't express how happy I am that we have -- that he has another chance to do what I know that -- when he closes his eyes at night, what he wants to do the next day. So I think he's really excited about that second chance tomorrow, and I am, too, because I think it's going to be a really fun night for him and for all of us.

Q. Are there any lessons that you learned in the last few games of the ALCS in 2008 that you can apply or that you're applying right now to the last few games of this series?

EVAN LONGORIA: Well, I think the biggest thing is just playing in the pressure-packed environment, playing when everything is on the line, and it's win or go home. We weren't in that -- well, until Game 7, we weren't in that situation. We were pretty much in command of that series, lost it a little bit in that Game 5 in Boston, but other than that, you know, we had played a good series up to that point.

But this time was a little bit different. But we've been able to regain control somewhat, so to speak, and put the ball a little bit back in our court, and again, still have the opportunity to continue playing October baseball. That's the biggest thing is we're not going home yet, and we've got one more chance to continue playing.

Q. Just a two-parter on the quad. First of all, did you find that running on grass was easier than it had been running on turf? And second of all, do you think that having a day game off and having a night game will give you more time to recover and be more beneficial for you?

EVAN LONGORIA: To answer the first part of the question, it's definitely a little bit easier to run on grass. You hear guys talk about all the time, playing on turf takes a little bit more of a toll on your legs than playing on grass does. But I think up to this point, it doesn't really matter. I think everybody's legs feel bad. Nobody feels 100 percent, and it's definitely not something that I'm pointing my finger at. I'm going to go out there and give everything I have for this next game.

To answer the second part of the question, yeah, it's definitely more time to recover and get treatment and do all the things that I need to do to get myself ready. Playing a day game is always tough, no matter what time of the season it is. But at this point it's particularly tough to play a game as intense as we played the evening before and then come back and play a noon game. It's pretty taxing on everybody's body. I think everybody is going to feel a little bit more fresh tomorrow night than we have in the past couple days.

Q. Yesterday on TV, they showed you when Carlos was up. You had like a little container of Gatorade on your shoulder. Looked like you were filming it kind of. What was going on there and will you do it again every time Carlos is up tomorrow?

EVAN LONGORIA: I probably should. I was actually pretending like I had some sort of cannon because I was hoping he would hit some sort of home run, and he ended up hitting a home run, which was kind of irony of the whole situation. I didn't do it again. I didn't do it in the last couple hits that he got in the last game, so I'm not superstitious in that respect.

Q. Even though it hasn't shown up so far in this series, how much of a home-field advantage can this place be especially when it's really loud and they're going to open up 5,000 more seats for tomorrow's game?

EVAN LONGORIA: Well, I think the numbers speak for themselves. I was just looking at that sheet over there and it said we were like 35 and 18 or something when this place is sold out or above 30,000. That speaks for itself and the home-field advantage aspect.

We've just got to play a little bit better baseball. I mean, the first two games at home we were -- I mean, offensively we were stagnant, and the pitchers did their best to keep us in the game.

But I mean, that's a pretty good lineup over there, and to watch zero after zero of your team putting up no runs and then go out there with no runs supported, it's tough to keep a team like the Rangers at bay. I think the quicker that we can jump out and put some runs on the board, you know, the more comfortable that pitching staff is going to feel, and in turn the home-field advantage is really going to start to show.

Q. You just mentioned obviously David Price and how glad you were to give him another chance. Just knowing how competitive he is, how much more determined do you think he'll be after what happened in Game 1 and what's he been like the last few days?

EVAN LONGORIA: You know, he's been the same guy, laughing, having fun, enjoying his time. It's not like it's going to be a short time, but just enjoying the moment and being around the guys and being in the clubhouse. I know that he's very determined. He's antsy and anxious to get back out on the mound. But I hope at the same time that he just -- you know, he doesn't try harder. He goes out there and pitches the way that he knows how to pitch and the way he has pitched the whole year. If he does that, he's going to have great success.

Q. You guys have been able to make a lot of late-inning comebacks during the course of the year. How much confidence does it give you to have the bullpen the way it's been able to go and not give that lead back and just kind of shut the door a little bit?

EVAN LONGORIA: Again, our bullpen throughout the course of the year has had the ability to shorten the game, and when we do get a lead, I mean, even like the Game 4 where Wade was throwing a tremendous game and Joe was able to go to the bullpen in the sixth inning and mix and match those guys and shorten it up until we get to the 8th and 9th when Benoit and Soriano have been pretty much -- I don't want to say lights out, but they've been as good as you can be for an 8 and 9 guy all year.

When you have that ability as a bullpen, it gives you a lot of confidence throughout -- the whole team, we feel if we get -- you get ahead and you're able to maintain that lead, and once it gets down to those later innings, you've got a good chance of winning a ballgame.