St. Louis Cardinals rookie pitcher Marco Gonzales addressed the media in advance of 2014 NLCS Game 2 against the San Francisco Giants.
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Q. Mike said he hadn’t been able to rap with you yet, but have you played catch and done the things to kind of evaluate where you are today after your performance last night?
MARCO GONZALES: No, we haven’t. Been out stretching yet, but I plan on playing catch. And as far as I know my body feels good. And a demanding situation, I hope we don’t run into it, but I think I could be ready.
Q. Marco, how are you making the transition to the role you are in now from where you were as a starter? How is that going?
MARCO GONZALES: I just try to keep things simple. I think that the biggest thing is just trying to get out, trying to come in and compete. With this atmosphere in the playoffs and everything that’s going on, it’s not hard to get amped up and get the adrenaline going. I think I have just been riding on that.
Q. Marco, can you just reflect on the year that you’ve had, kind of rocketing through all of these levels and you find yourself getting four outs in a League Championship Series game last night.
MARCO GONZALES: Yeah, it’s hard to kind of slow it down and break down the year, but it’s happened so fast. But, you know, I’ve just been trying to compete, and luckily I have been able to stay healthy this whole year and get myself a chance to take advantage of some opportunities and it’s worked out.
At this point it’s about getting wins and I’m not trying to sell my story or break it down in slow motion, but just trying to get wins at this point.
Q. Marco, you seem pretty calm and collected so far in this series. I wonder whetherthat’s how you really feel inside, and if it is, how you feel? Have you always been that way through every level of the game?
MARCO GONZALES: I think the most part it’s been how I have been my whole life, my whole career. I think growing up, and I grew up in minor league club houses following my dad around. And since then, I had a pretty good grip on the game and what it’s about and how to handle myself. Trying to remain calm. My heart is pumping quite a bit when I am out there, but I try not to show it.
Q. Marco, what were you doing at this time last year, especially getting ready for the season?
MARCO GONZALES: I just finished up with instructs in Palm Beach at our Spring Training facility and was heading home, probably at this point, watching the Cards on TV and just a fan at that point, so yep.
Q. Marco, I know your dad has taught you a lot, but what has he asked of you lately since you’re going through some new experiences? What has he been curious about?
MARCO GONZALES: He’s been such a supporter, 100% just been a fan. And just kind of enjoyed it with me. I think we’ve had some cool experiences together and he’s had a chance to come out to some games. In L.A., our clinching games here, back in St. Louis and NLDS and then in San Fran, too.
It has been cool to see him get wrapped up in postseason baseball. It is our first live postseason games together, so pretty cool for both of us.
Q. Marco, what influences has John Lackey had on this team?
MARCO GONZALES: I think just you know the savyness that he brings. His cool and collected attitude off the field. I know on the mound, he’s kind of a grinder and pretty salty, but in the clubhouse he is just a mentor to all of us and just a cool guy. Really laid back and you can just talk to him about anything. So I think he’s he just brings that mindset to the clubhouse of staying relaxed, staying loose and being a good mentor.
Q. Again on availability have you ever pitched back to back?
MARCO GONZALES: Yeah, I did in L.A., that was my first time. So we went through it there and Matheny asked me that second day if I’d ever gone back to back or how I felt and I told him fine. And I was interested to see how I would feel, too, and it worked out great. So I think he was even stronger the second day.
Q. Marco, just curious, when you’re out there on the mound on the playoffs, does it feel like a different game than it did in the regular season?
MARCO GONZALES: Maybe a little bit in the energy in the stadium. I think when I finally get out to the mound, it feels pretty normal. It feels a little bit different than minor league ball, for sure. But no, it’s trying to keep it as simple as possible and just trying to throw strikes. I’m trying not to get too wrapped up on what we are doing and also focusing on the job. And you can tell. And the fans, once you run out to the mound, it is pretty incredible.