Detroit ó Highlights of new Tigers pitcher David Priceís 20-minute chat with reporters Saturday afternoon.
Q. On the pressure of joining a team with World Series aspirations.
A. Pressure is perceived. This is a game that I love. Thatís the reason why I play this game. This is where I feel at home. Itís why I went to the Trop (Tropicana Field) after I played golf (Thursday). I just went to the field and did my workout. Thatís when I felt really good about it (the trade). This is home for me, on the baseball field.
Q. On getting back to the World Series, which he pitched in for the Rays in 2008.
A. Thatís always the objective, whenever youíre on a team like this. Thatís what you expect. Obviously the first goal is to get into the postseason and keep advancing. Thatís the goal. I know thatís the goal in this clubhouse. Iím excited to be here and get back to the World Series. That would be pretty special, and to win one, that would be kind of crazy.
Q. On going from small crowds in Tampa to big crowds in Detroit.
A. We still had our good crowds whenever we were facing really good teams, the Bostons, New Yorks, Detroits, any first-place team or weekend series, stuff like that, we drew pretty good. Knowing youíre going to get one every fifth day, itís pretty special and Iím looking forward to it.
Q. On the Tigers passionate fan base.
A. They love their Tigers. Four teams right around this vicinity, with the Pistons, Red Wings and the Lions, they always show their support. Iím looking forward to the game tonight and my first start here.
Q. On why this year has been a career year.
A. Iím commanding the strike zone at a rate I really never have, strike one, throwing strikes. If itís 0-2, Iím not trying to get a guy out, out of the strike zone. Iím getting swings 0-1 and trying to force early action. Thatís what I want. I want a guy on or out in three pitches or less. Then I can still pitch in that seventh, eighth, possibly ninth inning.
Q. On his active streak of 13 consecutive starts of seven innings or more.
A. I take a tremendous amount of pride in that. This is the highest level of baseball. Six innings, I feel like that used to be the staple, you want to get through six. If I throw six, I donít care if I give up zero or one (run), Iím not going to be tremendously happy about that start. Seven innings is cool. I definitely want to get 25, 277 outs in a game. I want to be able to pitch in that eighth or ninth inning.
Q. On the reason behind his struggles in the postseason.
A. I know Game 163 last year didnít count (in postseason stats), but thatís a Game 5 or Game 7 in the postseason, because if you lose that game, you go home. I know I can pitch in the postseason. I did it when I was a rookie in 2008, when I had no idea about Major League Baseball, really.
Q. On free-agency, which will arrive in 16 months or so.
A. I try to focus on the now, because whenever you focus on six months from now or 18 months from now, that means youíre not focusing on what youíre trying to do right now. Iím not worried about free-agency or what allís going on with that. I want to focus on right now, on the Detroit Tigers.
Q. On the culture shock from going from one city to another, totally different city.
A. Itís all new. I donít care if you have 50 people in the stands or 50,000, itís gonna be new. I want to fit in. Iím looking forward to it Ė the way these guys have thrown the baseball. If (Rick) Porcello is our No. 5, thatís pretty remarkable with the way heís throwing the ball this year.
Q. On the reason behind his success against new teammate, Miguel Cabrera.
A. I try to throw strike one. If youíre 1-0 or 2-1 against that guy, heís gonna hit the baseball hard. Ö (In a start at Comerica Park in early July), I got a generous call on my backdoor cutter. I thought it was a ball, and he definitely agreed. Iíll always take whatever I can get, especially against a guy like that.Ē