10/02/08 6:23 PM ET
Dave Bush pregame interview
Pitcher wants to be ready to pitch whenever he is needed
By FastScripts by ASAP Sports / Special to MLB.com
DAVE BUSH: Sure, I like to keep routine during the season as far as pitching on the fifth day. But at the same time I try to keep myself in shape all year round so I'm able to pitch whether it's in the bullpen, on short rest, or long rest or whatever it may be.
I suppose I try not to get too wrapped up in routine so I'm able to adapt, as I said, whether it's early, late. I found myself in the bullpen at some point almost every year in my career. I guess I'm somewhat accustomed to it, just trying to be available whenever I can.
Can you talk about what CC's meant to this team and what he's brought outside of just the outstanding pitching?
DAVE BUSH: As you said the outstanding pitching is what everyone has seen. He's been a great addition to the clubhouse, a great teammate. His willingness to pitch on the short rest for the last two weeks and also again today just shows us he's willing to do pretty much everything given he's going to be a free agent as soon as the season ends. He's willing to put himself on the line for all the guys in the clubhouse and try to do whatever he can for us and for the team and the city. Something that people in Milwaukee haven't experienced in a long time.
So we're all very impressed by what he's done. Gives us a lot of motivation to pick up our end of the bargain as well.
Can you tell us when you got word that you were going to be the starter and what your reaction was right at the moment?
DAVE BUSH: They had mentioned it a couple days ago that it was a probability, either Saturday or Sunday. They hadn't decided for sure yet. Also depending on how the first couple of games went, that if we ended up in a game that was 12, 15 innings long things would change a little bit. So once again I was ready for a little bit of anything.
I think the plan for most of the time had been to pitch this weekend for me.
Obviously your first game in a long time in Milwaukee. What do you think that will be in terms of the excitement and energy in the ballpark?
DAVE BUSH: I'm sure it's going to be exciting if it's anything like the sendoff the other day, a lot of energy around the park and all the people there. We're all looking forward to it. It's going to be fun to get back home and feel that energy in the park and just be ready to play and do the best we can.
Can you go over the Phillies lineup, they've got a lot of guys who can change the game in the swing of one bat?
DAVE BUSH: Sure. They have a very talented offensive lineup. There's no doubt about it. But we've played them just a few weeks ago, so we're relatively familiar with what they're putting out there. And I'll sit down with the pitching coach and the catcher before the game and come up with a plan.
An approach that we want to take, that I want to take, try to mix my stuff to the hitters as best I can and somewhat let the situation of the game dictate how I pitch. But we'll have a pretty good idea going into it.
Given the 26 year thing you guys have heard so much about and CC and Ben Sheets' uncertain future, what's the urgency of the team to take advantage of the fact that you guys got into the playoffs?
DAVE BUSH: I haven't thought about it beyond this year. It's something that we're excited to be here, and kind of put ourselves through the ringer in the month of September to get here.
But as far as this year, we're really not thinking that far ahead. We have a lot of business to take care of these next few weeks. Beyond that, depending on what happens in the offseason, me included, if I'm back, then we'll try to get back to this spot next year. And if the guys who aren't back next year, they've had a pretty big contribution help get us here.
Dave, what about pitching at Miller Park with the roof closed? Talk about overall pitching in Miller Park. Is it a hitter's park or pitcher's park? How do you see it?
DAVE BUSH: I think it plays relatively even. There are a couple short spots and then there are some spots especially down the lines where it plays pretty big.
I don't know if there's a difference between the roof opened or closed. I've heard hitters and pitchers say both ways: They like it opened versus closed versus day night. I personally haven't noticed that much of a difference. I guess whichever way it is. If it's cold out, we definitely prefer to have it closed, keep it warmer inside if nothing else.
Do you think it's almost ironic that you're getting your first post season start against a team you rooted for when you were young and does that make any kind of difference or doesn't it really matter then?
DAVE BUSH: Once I get on the field it won't matter. It's been fun. I enjoy coming here and pitching. My friends and family get a chance to see me in person which they don't get to very often. But as far as actually playing against a team I rooted for, once I get on the field it makes no difference at all to me.
You mentioned that you're familiar with this Phillies team having just been here a few weeks ago. But that was a four game sweep, ultimately led to Ned Yost getting dismissed as manager. Tough loss yesterday. Does it ever become a danger that there may be a mind set problem with going into a game here at Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies?
DAVE BUSH: I don't know. My outing against them is going to be in Milwaukee. As far as pitching here, I don't care a whole lot. We've had a tough go of it lately, but we played a pretty good game yesterday and just came up in the short end. We're ready to go back out there today and regardless of what happens today we'll go out there and I'll go out there on Saturday ready to go. And you kind of throw stats and streaks and everything else out the window at this point. You just try to win three out of five games.
What's your sense of how the team came out of yesterday's game, looking at today? Obviously you guys have a lot of confidence when CC pitches. And understandably. But you can't view him as a magic pill that you guys still have to jump on Myers a little bit?
DAVE BUSH: You're absolutely right. CC as you say can only do so much that we have relied on him a lot lately but at some point the rest of us need to pick him up here and there. We'll come out ready to go today.
We always like our chances with him on the mound and at the same time knowing that we've still got to play a good all around game. We've got to play defense. We've got to hit. We let him do the pitching, and then just see what the result is at the end.
You mentioned when you were told, were you surprised that you were picked to pitch Game 3?
DAVE BUSH: No. It was the last couple of weeks we've all kind of been prepared to do anything. My last outing in the regular season was as relief after Ben pitched. But I was ready. As I said, if the situation was different yesterday, we had a long game or if Yovani couldn't go very far, that I would be at least ready and prepared for the situation.
But beyond that, I was pleased to get the opportunity to start and I've been in the rotation most of the year. So I wouldn't say surprised but definitely pleased to have the opportunity.
You've always said you've always had so much confidence in your ability. But it was such an unusual road for you this year being sent down early on after a rough start road and then the unusual platoon that you were placed in with Seth McClung. Is there some validation, then, in being selected to represent the team in the first home game in so long?
DAVE BUSH: I wouldn't say validation in it. I've remained confident in what I can do and what I take out on the mound, kind of regardless of the results. I'm fairly certain over time that the approach I take is a successful one and that I can be a full big league pitcher.
In the beginning of the year I went through definitely a streak I wasn't real pleased with. But found myself back here and given the opportunity to pitch and over the course of the season I think that validates more what I can do than just being able to start one game in the post season.
Can you talk about what Jason Kendall has meant to you as your catcher this year?
DAVE BUSH: Stabilizing presence he gives back there. It's very helpful he's been around a long time. He puts a lot of effort into being a catcher, calling a good game. Throwing out runners, being a good defensive player.
Sometimes in the past I've had catchers that weren't necessarily as focused as I would have liked them to be. But Jason is as prepared as we are as pitchers, he sits down and goes through scouting reports.
So when I go out there I know that even if we're not agreeing on a pitch, he's calling it with a reason and there's something he sees. If I don't, we'll talk about it. I have confidence he's as prepared as I am when we go out there.
You've talked a lot about being a pitcher who pounds the strike zone and sometimes give up home runs because of it because you're around the plate so much. They're a left handed, home run hitting team. What challenge does that particular challenge give to you and what adjustments can you make to your game?
DAVE BUSH: The biggest thing for me on home runs usually I let the ball get up in the zone. I do give up a lot of home runs I always have but at the same time I get a lot of quick outs because of it. I've had a lot of games with very low pitch counts because I'm able to pound the strike zone early. So for me the tradeoff is worth it.
Giving up home runs not something I want to do. But as I said, as long as I'm getting a lot of quick outs and ground balls out of it I'll take that. Usually when I get in trouble is when the ball gets up. So being able to keep the sinker in the zone down but down, that's the biggest key for me.
You were talking about the sendoff in Milwaukee and the excitement among Brewers fans. Can you relate some conversations or just some of the excitement the fans have said when they've seen you on the street or on the ballpark?
DAVE BUSH: It's been great all year. It started last year really when we started off so well we had a lot of energy in the city and then the end of the year last year it was tough balls we were disappointed the fans were disappointed with the way it ended but they supported us all year and especially this last few weeks even as we weren't playing that well. The last week or so was a great week for us at home. There was a lot of energy and excitement and being able to clinch it at home was exciting for all of us.
The support they gave us when we left the other day it was great. I don't know how many people, I guess 10 to 15,000 people were there to see us off and that was a lot of fun for everybody to show the kind of support they have for baseball and the city.
Simply put, is this the biggest start of your career on Saturday?
DAVE BUSH: I don't know if it's the biggest one. I guess it's the most important given the situation. But I take the approach just like all the rest, keeping my emotions in check is going to be important for me just staying relaxed and trying to pitch, not trying to do too much right away, just allowing my stuff to work and pitch the way I usually pitch, is probably the best approach I can take.
Charlie Manuel was talking about I guess the difference he expects in the crowd in Milwaukee being in the dome, the first time they've had a playoff game at home in 26 years. Can you talk about -- do you think that will be a factor, and also I know you're from the area. Did you go to a World Series game in 1993 and compare that?
DAVE BUSH: I'll start with that. I did not get to go to any of the games in '93. I actually grew up with Lenny Dykstra's son. We were a year apart in high school. Pretty good friends and got to know some of the players back then and was a big baseball fan growing up.
I guess as involved as I could have been at that age, with seeing as many games as I could, but I did not get to go to the playoffs, but I do remember being heartbroken at the end of the World Series, just disappointed with the way it ended.
But as for playing in Milwaukee, we're excited for it. It's going to be a lot of fun. There's going to be a lot of people there. It's something that they played the whole generation to be able to experience that and I'm very pleased to be a part of it and be able to represent the team and the city and hopefully do a good job with it.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.