October 27, 2019
Washington, D.C. – pregame 5
Q. You’ve pitched a lot just through the season and never pitched kind of this deep and late into the season. How is your arm doing, and are you doing anything differently maintenance-wise in between starts?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: Yeah, it’s definitely uncharted territory. And I’m just trying to continue to do what I’ve tried to do all year, is just take it one day at a time and just listen to the body.
Q. Do you credit that to some of the changes about your routine or do you think it’s random that this year it all worked out health-wise? What do you think about the longevity you’ve had this season?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: Not really sure. I think mechanically I’ve been able to be a little bit more consistent when I go out there and pitch. Just made some minor tweaks in the offseason training program. I kind of put more emphasis on just strength, not so much endurance, and trying to get my weight up. And I was able to kind of ride that throughout the year.
Q. Have you had a chance to see Max today? If so, what’s his sort of state of mind and state of being right now?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: I haven’t seen him today.
Q. Were you aware yesterday that there was something going on with him physically?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: Yeah, I mean, guys were talking in the clubhouse. And I think everybody is dealing with the effects of a long season. So you really just kind of focus on what you can control. Sometimes things are out of your control.
Q. In a game like tomorrow where you know you’re facing a top pitcher like Verlander, does that cause you in any way to up your level or is it a point you do what you do and who’s on the mound for the other team makes no difference?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: Yeah, it’s an American League game. So he’s obviously not going to be getting in the box. What he does against us is really irrelevant to what I have to focus on, and that’s their lineup and finding a way to keep them at bay.
Q. Kind of keeping it with Verlander, this is your second straight start against him in the World Series. How big is that to you as a pitcher, as a player?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: I mean, I really don’t look at the opposing pitcher. Again, it’s who I’m facing, the hitters that I’m facing. That’s my job.
Again, pitching at this point in the season, it’s a tremendous honor, and I’m going to go out there and compete and give it everything I have.
Q. Were you able to say anything or is there anything that you think you can say to advise Joe in the position he is now to have to fill in as a spot starter with Max hurt, what kind of position he suddenly finds himself thrust in?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: I mean, Joe has kind of done a little bit of everything this year. He’s such a great competitor. He’s such a great athlete. I trust his ability to prepare. I think that’s one thing that having some of the struggles early on in the year with him, he really took another step as far as like preparation, doing his homework, and you just take notice of those things. That’s his own journey.
He knows I’m here for him but at the same time, you’ve just got to let him go out and do his thing.
Q. When did you get word that Max was officially scratched? I know it might have been a long shot, but would it have been at all conceivable for you to come back on short rest tonight?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: No, I don’t think it really was ever an idea. I threw a bullpen yesterday. Obviously found out when — a little while ago. But I’m kind of at that point where I’m preparing for Game 6.
Q. On a separate note, what is the team sentiment on the president attending the game tonight? Do you care at all or irrelevant to you?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: I think everybody is excited. It’s the president of the United States. So there’s obviously beefed up security. So usually the dogs that are sniffing in our clubhouse are these nice Labs that are super friendly. And today there was a German Shepherd that I didn’t really feel comfortable petting.
Q. Has that been the main difference to him coming compared to most games?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: Yeah, I mean, obviously there’s a lot of extra security around the ballpark, too.
Q. You go from facing the Astros lineup for the first time all season to facing them twice within a week as a pitcher. What’s the biggest challenge facing a team on such a short turnaround?
STEPHEN STRASBURG: Yeah, the schedule it seems like each year you’ll go, you’ll play the Phillies and then you’ll come around next week and you’ll play them again. Really, it comes down to execution of pitches. Their approaches might change a little bit, but the important thing is to go out there and pound away and trust your stuff.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports